Goliad has always had a special place in Texas history, much like the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The third oldest city in the state, the Spaniards moved their Mission Espíritu Santo and its royal protector, Presidio La Bahia (Fort of the Bay), to this location in 1749 to protect their route to the Gulf.
During the Texas Revolution, 390 soldiers surrendered at the Battle of Coleto and were marched back to the presidio. All but the physicians and mechanics were executed with only a handful escaping to share the tale. The largest loss of life during the fight for independence, soon “Remember Goliad” soon became a cry alongside “Remember the Alamo.”
Dog-Friendly Goliad Attractions
Angel of Goliad Hike and Bike Nature Trail. Bring your dog to explore this two-mile-long trail that extends from downtown then follows the San Antonio River by the Presidio La Bahia, Goliad State Park, and more historic sites. Along with historic sites, you’ll also learn more about the native vegetation through trail markers. Info: www.texastrails.org. Free.
Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir. This 3,100-acre reservoir, fed by four creeks, is surrounded by a 190-acre park that’s especially popular with Winter Texans. You and your dog can camp here (both RV and tent camping is available), enjoy water fun, or take a long dog walk on the nature trail. Info: 15 miles northeast of Goliad on US 59; www.coletocreekpark.com. Fee.
Goliad State Park & Historic Site. The focal point of this 178-acre park is the reconstruction of the Mission Nuestra Senora del Espíritu Santo de Zuniga, better known as Mission Espíritu Santo. This reconstruction was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s; dogs cannot enter the grounds of the mission (the demarcation is clearly marked). You and your dog will be able to enjoy plenty of other activities in the park including hiking (including trails along the San Antonio River), picnicking, and tent and RV camping. Info: US 183 at 108 Park Rd. 6; www.tpwd.state.tx.us. Fee.
Goliad Paddling Trail. Your dog won’t have to dog paddle on this state-designated canoe paddling trail, a 6.6-mile excursion that travels from US 59 to Goliad State Park on the San Antonio River. The leisurely trip can be started at several points including Goliad State Park, US 59, and Ferry Street. Info: Numerous entry points; www.riverrec.org and www.canoetrailgoliad.com. Free.
Presidio La Bahia. Near Goliad State Park, this historic presidio is the oldest fort in the West, one of few sites west of the Mississippi that was active in the American Revolution, the only fully restored Spanish presidio, and the only Texas Revolution site with its original appearance intact. Although your dog can’t go inside, it’s worth a photo stop. Info: US 183, south of the San Antonio River; www.presidiolabahia.org. Fee to enter; free to see front grounds.
Did You Know?
Why is Goliad named Goliad? The story is a fun one. Years later, the town’s name was changed to Goliad, an anagram of the spoken letters “Hidalgo” (the “h” is silent in Spanish). Father Hidalgo was a priest who became a hero during the Mexican Revolution.
Few towns have their own flag, but Goliad boasts its own historic, if somewhat gruesome, banner. On October 9, 1835, the Texas colonists made a move in their battle for independence. The settlers took over the Presidio and raised the “Bloody Arm Flag,” picturing a severed arm holding a sword. The next year the Texans, led by Colonel James Fannin, surrendered at the Battle of Coleto about nine miles east of town. Approximately 390 soldiers were marched back to the Presidio. After a week of imprisonment all but 20 soldiers (who were spared as physicians or mechanics) were placed before a firing squad. Over two dozen men escaped during the massacre, but 342 were killed, the largest loss of life during the fight for independence. “Remember Goliad” soon became a cry alongside “Remember the Alamo.”