Come and Take It Paddling Trail

More experienced paddlers can enjoy a longer 11-mile paddle down the Guadalupe River near Gonzales on this scenic paddling trail. Along the way you'll pass the confluence of the San Marcos River with the Guadalupe River.


This trail is currently experiencing a large debris jam that completely blocks the channel. Please consider paddling another trail until the jam is cleared.

Getting There

Access sites:

Put-in: Lake Wood Park - (DD) 29.470661°, -97.489858°

Take-out: Come and Take It Dock - (DD) 29.497757°, -97.455754°

Driving Directions to Access Sites:

Put-in: Lake Wood Park
From Gonzales: From the junction of US Hwy 183 and US Hwy 90A in Gonzales go West on US 90A four miles and turn left going south on FM 2091 South.  Drive 5 miles on FM 2091 South and the road ends at Lake Wood Park.  The put in location is approximately 1/2 mile from the Park Headquarters on the Guadalupe River below H-5 Dam.
From Seguin: From the junction of TX Hwy 123 and US Hwy 90A in Seguin go east on US 90A approximately twenty five miles and turn right going south on FM 2091 South.  Drive 5 miles on FM 2091 South and the road ends at Lake Wood Park.  The put in location is approximately 1/2 mile from the Park Headquarters on the Guadalupe River below H-5 Dam.

Take-out: Come and Take It Dock
In Gonzales you will need to take out above the Hydro-Electric Dam (Dock).  The dam is located approximately 900 feet past the dam “Caution” sign situated over the river (Caution, Hydro-Electric Dam Ahead, Come and Take It Paddling Trail Ends, Exit Dock on Left).  The take-out is located on the left (east) side of the river approximately 750 feet past the “Caution” sign.

Distance from nearest major cities:

  • Austin - 62
  • Corpus Christi - 140
  • Dallas - 260
  • Fort Worth - 248
  • Houston - 135
  • San Antonio - 74
  • Waco - 167


Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: ~11 miles

Float Times: ~4-6 hours per trail (depending on water level, flow rate, and wind speed)

The Guadalupe River along the Come and Take It Paddling Trail is dammed in Gonzales, creating a relatively constant river level with a slow moving current. An interesting feature paddlers will experience along this trail is the confluence of the mighty Guadalupe River with the equally beautiful San Marcos River.  Tall riparian trees line the banks, and while there are not sandbars to pull over onto, paddlers can rest in the shade of the overhanging trees. 

Heavy rains upstream or in the vicinity can create dangerous flooding, and paddlers are advised to not use the trail during these times, as well as to stay away from the dam. Streamflow Data information is available to paddlers on the web.

NOTE:This trail is a long paddle and may be difficult for families with small children or for inexperienced paddlers due to the length of time on the river and lack of sandbars to stop and rest along the way. Take-out is before the hydro-electric dam, so keep alert for “Caution” sign alerting paddlers to take-out left before the dam.


There are excellent fishing opportunities along this section of the Guadalupe River, which supports several species of catfish, sunfish, and largemouth and Guadalupe bass.  Small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, and light line are recommended.

Wildlife and Ecology

The slow moving current along this stretch of the Guadalupe River allows for great fishing and birdwatching opportunities.  The large pecans, elms, sycamores, cypress and other riparian trees provide welcome shade to paddlers and great habitat for birds and other wildlife, to include a variety of songbirds, egrets, herons, hawks, squirrels, raccoons, and other wildlife.

Private Property

Respect private property by not trespassing or littering and keeping noise levels down. Use of this lake is open to the public and, if necessary, the banks/shoreline may be utilized to portage any hazard. Any other use of private 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.

Gonzales Memorial Museum
A Texas Centennial historic memorial, the Memorial Museum commemorates the “Immortal 32” who died in the Alamo. The Museum has a wonderful collection of artifacts that celebrate the nearly 200 years of Gonzales’ existence.

Come and Take It Cannon & Festival
The cannon that fired the First Shot of the Texas Revolution, October 2, 1835, is located in the North Wing of the Gonzales Memorial Museum at 414 Smith Street. Come & Take It is celebrated the 1st weekend every October in downtown Gonzales.

The Eggleston House
This ‘dog-run’ style cabin was built in 1840, shortly after the Texas Revolution, and is located on St. Louis Street east of the Memorial Museum. Listen to the story of The Eggleston House and step back in time to the early days of the Republic of Texas. The house is located on St. Louis Street, just east of the Memorial Museum.

J.B. Wells House
The James Bailey Wells House was built in 1885 of Florida long-leaf pine. This historic 15 room home still has the original wallpaper, drapes, and furnishings. Located at 829 Mitchell Street, the home, owned by The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, is under the custodianship of the Gonzales Chapter, DRT.

Old Jail Museum
Built in 1885-1887 and used as the county jail until 1975, cells and gallows occupy the 2nd floor and law-and-order artifacts are displayed on the 1st floor.

Gonzales Pioneer Village
The peaceful life of the 1800s in Texas comes alive while touring 14 homes, outbuildings and businesses. These perfectly preserved structures include a church, broom factory, school house, blacksmith shop and much more. Pioneer Village is located on Highway 183 Business, just north of Highway 90A.

First Shot Monument
The Come & Take It Battleground is the site of the first battle for Texas Independence, which took place on the banks of the Guadalupe River about seven miles southwest of Gonzales. An 11-ft granite monument erected by the State of Texas stands beside State Highway 97. The battleground is one-half mile north of the First Shot Monument, on Spur 95.

Palmetto State Park
Palmetto State Park is named for the lush green plant growing in its bogs. A favored stop on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the park offers camp sites, fishing, picnicking at shaded sites with tables and grills, water recreation, hiking and nature trails. The park, situated along the San Marcos River, can be found just off US83, eight miles north of Gonzales.

Sam Houston Oak/Braches House
The Sam Houston Oak, located eight miles east of Gonzales on CR 361, is where Gen. Houston’s Army held their first rest stop after hearing of the fall of the Alamo. All residents were ordered to evacuate and the town was burned ahead of the Mexican Army. Nearby is the McClure-Braches House, built in 1843 on the site of a log cabin used as a stage stop in early Texas.


This trail was made possible through a partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, City of Gonzales and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

Shuttles & Rentals

Paddle With Style

Martindale, Texas
Phone: (512)749-2350; Operate by reservation only. Able to accommodate large groups.