South Llano Paddling Trail


Come out to the beautiful Hill Country and experience 6 miles of the spring-fed South Llano River! From quiet pools to gentle riffles and runs, this river is an experience you don’t want to miss.


Getting There

Access sites:

South Llano River State Park (DD) 30.44980°, -99.81277°
Flatrock Lane Crossing (DD) 30.47888°, -99.77771°
Junction City Park (DD) 30.48786°, -99.76165°

Driving Directions to Access Site:

Put-in: South Llano State Park: The put-in for this paddling trail is located at the river crossing just inside the South Llano River State Park. To reach the park, travel Interstate 10 to Junction, then go south on US Highway 377 for 5 miles to Park Road 73.

Take-out: Junction City Park: The take-out for this paddling trail is located in Junction's City Park on the north bank of Junction Lake just east of the bridge over the lake. To reach Junction's City Park, travel Interstate 10 to Junction. Follow Main St. or TX-481 Loop to the north side of Junction Lake bridge, also known as South Llano bridge.

Alternate Access Site: Flatrock Lane Crossing: The alternate access, located at Flatrock Lane crossing, may be used for a take-out or as a put-in. To reach Flatrock Lane crossing, travel Interstate 10 to Junction, then go south on US Highway 377 approximately 1 mile from the red-light at intersection of Main St. and Hwy 377 to Flatrock Lane. Then take a left, crossing the river to the designated parking and access areas.

Distance from nearest major cities (in miles):

  • Abilene - 145
  • Austin - 142
  • Dallas - 274
  • Del Rio - 123
  • Fredericksburg - 64
  • Kerrville - 57
  • Lubbock - 274
  • San Antonio - 118
  • San Angelo - 98
  • Waco - 218

Map


Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: 6.3 miles

Float Times: ~2 to 4 hours (depending on water level, flow rate, and wind speed)

NOTE: Alternate Access Point at Flatrock Lane Crossing can be used as a put-in or take-out site:
South Llano River SP – Flatrock Lane Crossing: 4.7 miles, about 2 hours
Flatrock Lane Crossing – Junction City Park: 1.6 miles, 1 hour

This beautiful, spring-fed river contains a variety of water types, including quiet pools, riffles, and runs. Be sure to take along fishing gear and binoculars as the South Llano River is home to abundant quantities of the state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe Bass, and offers tremendous birding opportunities as well. Although there are no man-made obstructions on this reach, there may be snags to avoid, especially when water levels are low. Heavy rains and high water can create dangerous conditions.

The clean, clear waters of the South Llano River are unrestrained by flood control dams or other man-made structures along this stretch of river. As such, the South Llano River is readily influenced by rainfall runoff that may create temporary high flows and undesirable water quality conditions. Flow information.

Fishing

This section of the river supports numerous Guadalupe and largemouth bass, several species of sunfish, and catfish. Small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, spinner baits, and light-line are recommended.

Wildlife and Ecology

The riparian corridor of the South Llano River supports a great diversity of plant and animal life along the river and beyond the banks. All three species of kingfishers (ringed, green, and belted) reside along the river; along with phoebes, egrets, herons, wood ducks, and a variety of migratory songbirds in the spring and early fall. The sycamore, pecan, elm, and oak trees growing along the river provide shelter and significant winter roost habitat for Rio Grande wild turkeys. Other common wildlife encountered include white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbits, fox, beavers, bobcats, and armadillos. Exotic deer such as axis, black buck antelope, and fallow deer may also be spotted.

Private Property

Respect private property by not trespassing or littering and keeping noise levels down. This river is classified as navigable, which permits public use of the streambed and, if necessary, the banks to portage (go around) any hazard. However, when encountering an obstruction in the riverbed, one must take a direct path around and return to the streambed without lingering on the banks. Any other use of private river banks without permission of the landowner can be considered trespassing. Under Texas Penal Code (§30.05), criminal trespass occurs when one enters property after receiving notice not to enter. Notice includes verbal notice, a fence, sign(s), purple paint on posts or trees, or the visible presence of crops grown for human consumption.

Events & Attractions

For more information please see the Paddling Events calendar.

South Llano River State Park
The 2,600 acre park has two miles of river frontage, a large pecan bottom, and typical Hill Country areas. With over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails and over two miles of river frontage, the South Llano River State Park has something for everyone. Some of the outdoor activities include canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, tubing, kayaking, bird watching, stargazing, camping, or just relaxing in the shade. The 523-acre, wooded bottomland is home to white-tailed deer and the Rio Grande Turkey. The bottomland represents one of the most substantial and oldest winter turkey roosts in the central portion of the state. 325-446-3939

Texas Tech Center at Junction
The Texas Tech University Center at Junction is home to the largest inland field station in the state of Texas, the Llano River Field Station whose main objective is to coordinate applied projects dealing with water/watersheds, exotic species, range management, natural resources, ecological restoration, and environmental education. This 411-acre facility offers collegiate summer academic sessions and a K-12 Exemplar Outdoor School Program and also serves as an ideal location to facilitate professional organizations for meetings and retreats. For additional information, please visit the website www.junction.ttu.edu.

Junction City Park
This park is located along the north bank of Junction Lake just east of the steel bridge over the lake. The lake provides an extensive area for water recreation activities including swimming and flat water paddling right in the middle of town. Picnicking, playground equipment, and a seasonal swimming pool are available in the park. 325-446-2622 www.cityofjunction.com

Kimble County Park
This park, open from 8:00 am till 10:00 pm 7 days a week, is located along the south bank of Junction Lake opposite the Junction City Park and just east of the steel bridge over the lake. Access to the park is off FM 2169 approximately 0.5 miles east of TX-481 Loop. Picnicking, playground equipment, restrooms, and a boat ramp are available in the park. 325-446-2766

Kimble County Historical Museum
Kimble County Historical Museum, located at 101 North 4th Street in downtown Junction, contains artifacts, memorabilia, and photographs reflecting the unique history of the county and its people. Open weekday afternoons. Information available at 325/446-4219.

Labor Day Kow Kick Festival
Held annually on Labor Day at Junction City Park, from 10 AM to 3 PM. Enjoy food, rides, arts & crafts vendors, Little Miss & Little Mr. Kimble County Contest for 4 yr. olds, and a Fiddler's Contest brought by United Fiddlers Association. Admission is free. (Contact is the Chamber of Commerce: 325-446-31900; www.junctiontexas.net.)

Partnership

This trail was made possible through a partnership between between the City of Junction, Kimble Co., Texas Tech University Center at Junction, South Llano Watershed Alliance, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Shuttles & Rentals

South Llano Canoes & Kayaks

Located on the South Llano River 6 miles south of Junction off Hwy 377. www.facebook.com/pages/South-Llano-River-Canoes-Kayaks/230815410265097, (325)446-2220

Fun in the Sun Canoes

1606 College St. Junction, TX 76849. (325)446-2905 or cell (830)459-7265.

Hill Country Sporting Goods

409 Main St., Junction, TX 76849. (325)446-3588.

Austin Canoe and Kayak

Rent kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards by the day to take anywhere you want, when you want. Locations in Austin, Houston and the San Marcos/New Braunfels area. For more information, visit http://www.austinkayak.com/rentals

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)

Rent kayaks, canoes, paddles, and PFDs (personal flotation devices) 7 days a week at your nearest REI co-op.
For the closest Texas store, visit http://www.rei.com/FindStores?state=TX&radius=900


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