This 9.9-mile reach of the Guadalupe River in Comal County is lined with an abundance of mature trees and a spectacular mix of limestone cliffs and shelves. Paddlers will enjoy an exciting 3-6 hour ride on a variety of rapids between gentle stretches.
- Getting There
- Trail Description
- Wildlife & Ecology
- Private Property
- Area Attractions
- Rentals & Shuttles
Nichol's Landing (Spect's crossing)
29° 52' 45.9" N, 98° 26' 53.8" W
FM 311 crossing
29° 51' 39.0" N, 98° 23' 02.2" W
Rebecca Creek crossing
29° 53' 17.0" N, 98° 22' 06.6" W
The put-in for this paddling trail is located on Old Spring Branch Road, just 3 miles west of Hwy 281 N, off Spring Branch Road. You can take-out at the FM 311 crossing, 2 miles southeast of Spring Branch. The last public access site above the Canyon Reservoir is at the Rebecca Creek crossing. Go about 3 miles east on Rebecca Creek Road off Hwy 281.
Parking for shuttle vehicles at the FM 311 and Rebecca Creek crossing water access points is free of charge, but be prepared to walk uphill to the parking area. Access to the Nichol's Landing site is free except on weekends and major holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. On those days parking and access costs $3/car for Comal County residents and $5/car for others. Fees are used to maintain the access point.
Note: Invasive zebra mussels threaten this area. To prevent further spread of this pest, paddlers in certain counties are required to drain all water from their boats before leaving the river. Get details.
Distance from nearest major cities:
- New Braunfels – 25 miles
- San Marcos – 35 miles
- San Antonio – 36 miles
- Seguin – 40 miles
- Luling – 61 miles
- Austin – 64 miles
- Kerrville – 64 miles
- Georgetown – 94 miles
- Goliad – 127 miles
- Columbus – 128 miles
- Houston – 224 miles
- Dallas – 262 miles
Trail Length: ~9.9 miles
Float Time: ~3-6 hours (depending on water levels and flow rates)
Please note: Alternate take-out at F.M> 311 is located 5.4 miles from Nichol's Landing.
There are a number of rapids on the 10 mile stretch that demand careful inspection. Approximately 1.5 miles below FM 311 crossing a chute to the left of the island at Mueller Falls creates an exciting fast water run. About 5 miles below FM 311, a chute to the left of Rust falls provides another exciting passageway. Hazardous areas can be portaged. Except during extreme droughts, there is always sufficient water for recreational use. This rugged Hill Country river is known for clear-flowing waters and its extremely scenic beauty.
This section of the river supports Guadalupe, black, white, largemouth and smallmouth bass, gar, crappie, carp, stripers, and a variety of sunfish and catfish. Small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, spinner baits and light line are recommended.
The high limestone bluffs, rugged shelves and boulders, giant bald cypress, pecan, cottonwood, oak, elm, and palmetto trees, and wide variety of shrubs and vines lining the river provide diverse habitat for deer, armadillos, raccoons, foxes, and squirrels. River beavers have also been sighted here. It is not unusual to see livestock watering in the river.
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 any hazard. 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.
For more information please see the TPWD Paddling Events calendar.
Completed in 1966, the dam was built jointly by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority as a means for flood and drought management. The dam is 6,830 feet long and sits 224 feet above the stream bed. The Vereda Real is a popular 6K walking and jogging path across the top of the dam with panoramic lake views and picnic tables nearby. www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/canyon
Located along the boundary of Kendall/Comal counties, the park has 4 miles of river frontage and offers a variety of outdoor activities including canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, and camping. www.tpwd.state.tx.us/guadaluperiver
In July of 2002, Texas received almost a year's worth of rain in a two week period. Water rushed over the spillway and washed out the south access road and destroyed 800 homes. The waters created a scenic gorge that the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority and Gorge Preservation Society intend to develop as an educational resource.
Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country
The museum has displays on: Native American Artifacts, Early Pioneers including Farm Machinery, the Canyon Dam History, Fossils, Gift Shop, open air picnic area, and the Heritage Garden Trail of native Texas plants. The museum is also the site of dinosaur tracks that is probably the most prolific site in Texas, in terms of number. These tracks were made during the deposition of the upper part of the Glen Rose Formation roughly 100 million years ago. www.theheritagemuseum.com
This trail was made possible through a partnership with the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County, Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce, Alamo City Rivermen, Texas Rivers Protection Association, Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Bigfoot Canoes701 Weidner (off FM 311)
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
Canoes, sit on top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, rafts, tubes, shuttle services
Guadalupe Canoe and Camping8545 N Hwy 281
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
canoes, rafts, kayaks, tubes, shuttle services, camping
Guadalupe Canoe LiveryHwy 281 at Guadalupe River
canoes, kayaks, rafting, tubing, camping, shuttle services
Guadalupe River RV Park Campgrounds & Nature Trails, LP7200 Spring Branch Rd.
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
canoes, tubes, shuttle services, camping (hope to add kayaks soon)
Austin Canoe and KayakRent 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.php
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