West Guadalupe Loop
From I-35 and TX 6 in New Braunfels, take I-35 south to exit 187/Lake McQueeney. Turn right on Seguin Ave. and follow 1.6 miles through downtown to Landa Park Dr. Turn right on Landa Park Dr. and follow 0.4 mile to Landa Park.
This park sits on the Comal River, fed by Comal Springs. Wildlife viewing is best along Landa Lake, the Wildlife Viewing Area and Panther Canyon Nature Trail. Great Blue and Green Herons, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Belted Kingfisher and Pied-billed Grebe occur here. In the winter, cormorants and ducks can be found on and near the lake. Look for migrating songbirds in trees throughout the park. White-tailed Deer are common, as are squirrels, raccoons and armadillos.
Camp Huaco Springs
From I-35 and TX Loop 337, take TX Loop 337 north to River Rd. Turn right and continue for approximately 3 miles to the entrance to Camp Huaco Springs on the right.
Camping, screened shelters, cabins and tube rentals are available. Miles of waterfront provide good views of wildlife in and along the Guadalupe River. Summer birds include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, White-eyed Vireo and Eastern Phoebe. Look for woodpeckers year-round, as well as Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the winter. Look and listen for Barred Owl and Eastern Screech-Owl. Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks nest along the river corridor.
Lazy L & L Campground
From I-35 and TX Loop 337, take TX Loop 337 north to River Rd. Turn right and follow north 10 miles to entrance on the left.
Nesting birds include Ash-throated and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula and Yellow-throated Warbler. Campgrounds 2 and 3 are heavily wooded with pecans and bald cypress. Look for Golden-fronted, Ladder-backed and Downy Woodpeckers, and in the winter, look for Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Barred Owl or Eastern Screech-Owl may also be seen or heard in these riparian woodlands. This site offers RV/tent camping, tubing, kayaking, rafting and vacation/cabin rentals. Call for reservations.
Rio Guadalupe Resort
From I-35 and TX Loop 337, take TX Loop 337 north to River Rd. Turn right and follow north 12 miles to park entrance on right.
The river frontage is wooded by pecan, hackberry, bald cypress, black walnut and sycamore. Warblers, flycatchers and vireos can be seen migrating along this riparian habitat in spring and fall. In summer, nesters include Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Painted Bunting and Eastern Phoebe. In the winter, look for Belted Kingfisher and Osprey along the river. The site offers camping, cabins, raft, tube, canoe and kayak rentals.
Canyon Lake Dam and Guadalupe River
Overlook Park: From I-35 and FM 306, head west on FM 306 14.2 miles, turn left onto South Access Rd. which passes along the bottom of Canyon Dam. Turn right onto Corps of Engineers Rd. and proceed to top of the hill. Parking is available near the crest of the dam, at the office and in the turn-around.
Guadalupe Park Trail: Return to South Access Rd., turn left and go to the first gravel road on the right. The trail head starts in the parking area by a large kiosk showing a map of the trail. If you enter the second gravel road, you will be at the fishing area behind the tailrace at the power plant where trout are stocked every winter.
This area is excellent for viewing birds and wildlife year-round. The Guadalupe Park nature trail, near the base of the dam, meanders through pecan, cypress and juniper woodlands and along the river bank. The area's rich vegetation attracts Indigo and Painted Buntings, Blue Grosbeak, Red-shouldered Hawk, Barred Owl and Wood Duck. Overlook Park offers a scenic view of the lake. A scope is useful to scan for wintering waterfowl and gulls. Black-crested Titmouse regularly nests in the oak woodlands. Also look for Western Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher and Painted Bunting.
(830) 964-3341 (M–F only)
Canyon Lake North Shore
North Park: From I-35 and FM 306, head west on FM 306 15.5 miles to North Park Rd. Turn left and travel 1.1 miles to park entrance. The park is only open from Friday at 9 a.m. through Sunday at 2 p.m. The parking area to hike Canyon Dam on foot is open all year outside of the park gate.
Jacobs Creek Park: Return to FM 306, turn left and then immediately left again onto Jacob's Creek Rd. Go 0.6 mile to entrance. Park fees are collected by machine. This is a good location for families.
Canyon Beach: Return to FM 306 and turn left. Travel west for 2.1 miles to Canyon Park Rd. Turn left on Canyon Park Rd. and follow about 0.6 mile to park entrance on the left. Bald Eagle has been spotted near this area in the winter.
Madrone Trail: From the beach area, turn left on Canyon Park Rd. and follow about 0.4 mile to parking lot on left. This is the trail head with a kiosk and map. There are over 8 miles of hiking and biking trails that provide access to woodlands, shoreline and open grass fields with various wildlife and plants. Open all year.
Canyon Park: From the Madrone Trail area turn left on Canyon Park Rd. and follow about 1 mile to park entrance in back of park.
Hancock Horse Trail: From FM 306, turn left and proceed 1.5 miles to Hancock Rd. Turn left and go south until you get to the gate of the trail. Trail head closes during rain due to mud.
Potters Creek Park: Return to FM 306, turn left and go 2 miles to Potters Creek Rd. Turn left and go 2.4 miles to entrance. Bald Eagles have been spotted in winter at this park area.
The northern shores of Canyon Lake are good places to observe waterfowl and shorebirds during the winter. Breeding woodland birds such as Eastern Phoebe, Blue Grosbeak, Black-chinned Hummingbird and Summer Tanager can be seen along Old Hancock Trail. White-tailed Deer, armadillo, Rock and Fox Squirrels and raccoons are common. In the winter, look for Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Loon, Pied-billed and Eared Grebes, Redhead, Gadwall and American Wigeon, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Duck. American White Pelican, gulls and terns are usually seen along this northern shoreline between Canyon Park and Potters Creek Park. Unusual sightings include nesting pairs of Bald Eagles, Pacific and Red-throated Loons and Horned Grebe. Some sites offer developed camping during the summer but are closed in the winter, check website for details.
(830) 964-3341 (M–F only)
Canyon Lake and Guadalupe River
North Cranes Mill Road: From FM 306 and US 281, head east on FM 306 to Cranes Mill Rd. Turn right and go 1.6 miles to shoreline.
Rebecca Creek Boat Ramp: Return to FM 306, turn left, and go 3.4 miles to Eagle Rock Rd. Turn left for 0.1 mile to Tanglewood Trail. Turn right and go 2.5 miles to boat ramp.
Rebecca Creek Road Crossing: Return north on Tanglewood Trail 0.8 mile to Cypress Cove Rd. Turn left and go 2.3 miles to Rebecca Creek Rd. Turn left and go 3.6 miles to Rebecca Creek Rd. Crossing.
Along this riparian riverside, look for Belted and Green Kingfishers, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned and Barred Owls and Northern Rough-winged, Cliff, Cave and Barn Swallows. Nesting birds include Wood Duck, Painted Bunting, Canyon Wren and Northern Parula. Boaters often see flocks of Wild Turkey grazing on the riverbank. Look for resident Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks, but also migrating Broad-winged Hawk and Mississippi Kite. Resident raptors include American Kestrel, Merlin and Northern Harrier. Bald Eagle has been seen here, as well as Zone-tailed Hawk.
(830) 964-3341 (M–F only)
Canyon Lake South Shore
Cranes Mill Park: From US 281 and TX 46, head east on TX 46 4.4 miles to FM 3159. Take a left and travel 5.8 miles to FM 2673, which becomes Cranes Mill Rd. Take a left and follow 4.2 miles to Cranes Mill Park entrance. Trails to shore are available on left before you reach park gate house. Park at old gate across from marina gate and walk to shore to view wildlife. Site open daily and developed camping available.
Comal Park: Exit Cranes Mill Park on county road that becomes FM 2673. Go 3.5 miles east to Startzville. Turn left/north onto Canyon Bend Dr. and follow road signs 2.3 miles to ramp 5. Comal Park is on the right just before ramp 5. Use ramp 5 for shoreline access when park is closed in fall/winter season. Site open in summer only, day use only.
The south shore of Canyon Lake includes Cranes Mill Park and Comal Park. Both parks are set on peninsulas that jut from the south shore of Canyon Lake. Cranes Mill Park is located near the Guadalupe River's inlet to Canyon Lake. Both of these sites offer clear views of migrating hawks and wintering gulls and terns. Look for Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Gadwall and American Wigeon. Ring-billed and Bonaparte's Gulls are common, but look for migrating Franklin's Gull, too. Forster's Tern winter here. Cranes Mill Park also contains grass fields productive for wintering sparrows. Tom Creek Cove is a summer home to nesting Blue Grosbeak, Northern Parula and Golden-cheeked and Yellow-throated Warblers.
(830) 964-3341 (M–F only)
Guadalupe River State Park
From the intersection of US 281 and TX 46, go west on TX 46 for 8 miles to PR 31. Turn onto PR 31 and follow 3.1 miles to park entrance.
Guadalupe River State Park is home to a number of rare and threatened species with limited ranges: Cagle's Map Turtle, Texas and Honey Creek Cave Salamanders, Golden-cheeked Warbler and the official state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe Bass. In the summer, look for nesting Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Barred and Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech-Owl, Eastern Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Belted and Green Kingfishers, White-eyed, Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos, Cooper's and Red-shouldered Hawks and Wild Turkey. Enjoy listening to the Canyon Wren serenade from the rock ledges above the river. Butterflies include Pipevine, Black and Giant Swallowtails, Orange Sulphur, Checkered White, Red Admiral and Gulf and Variegated Fritillaries. Dragonflies to watch for include Blue Dasher, Red Saddlebags and Wandering Glider. The park supports a wide variety of mammals including White-tailed Deer, coyote, Gray Fox, skunk, raccoon, opossum, bobcat and armadillo.
Honey Creek State Natural Area is located within Guadalupe River State Park and entry is by guided tour only. The diverse geology, flora and fauna make Honey Creek a special place for all visitors and it offers 2 miles of nature/interpretive trails.