Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail

Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail

Just a short drive from San Antonio and Austin, this wild and beautiful 5-mile paddling trail gives paddlers a chance to enjoy some time on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country.


Getting There

Put-in:

Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Road 31
Spring Branch, TX 78070
DD 29.872, -98.490
The park is located 30 miles north of downtown San Antonio at the north end of Park Road 31. To get there, travel west on State Highway 46, eight miles west of the intersection of State Highway 46 and U.S. Highway 281, or travel east on State Highway 46, 13 miles east of Boerne.

Take-out:

Nichol's Landing County Park (Specht's crossing)
DD 29.879, -98.448
This park is located on Old Spring Branch Road, just 3 miles west of Hwy 281 N, off Spring Branch Road. Access to the Nichol's Landing site is free except on weekends and during the offseason. On weekends and holidays during the summer when an attendant is on duty, parking and access costs $4 per adult and $2 per child (when parking a vehicle) and $1 per person (if dropping off without parking). Fees are used to maintain the access point.

The Upper Guadalupe-Nichol's Landing Paddling Trail continues beyond Nichol's Landing County Park for another 5-10 miles (depending on where you choose to take out).

Distance from nearest major cities:

  • San Antonio – 38 miles
  • Austin – 80 miles
  • Corpus Christi – 180 miles
  • Dallas/Fort Worth – 270 miles

Map

Area Map of Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail

Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: 5 miles (with the opportunity to extend your trip for 5-10 miles on the Upper Guadalupe-Nichol's Landing Paddling Trail downriver)
Float Time: 2-6 hours (depending on water levels and flow rates)
Please note: Once you leave the park, you won’t be able to walk or take the river back. The river does not run in a circle. Nichol’s Landing is locked after sunset. No glass, Styrofoam, or plastic containers under 5 oz. allowed on the river – please leave collect your trash before leaving the river.

This rugged Hill Country river is known for clear-flowing waters and its extremely scenic beauty. Approximately 2.5 miles below the put-in there is a low water crossing. Paddlers will need to exit to the left and then re-enter the river below this crossing (you may portage the crossing, but do not trespass further onto the land). Except during extreme droughts, there is always sufficient water for recreational use.

Fishing

This section of the river supports Guadalupe, white, striped, largemouth and smallmouth bass, gar, crappie, carp, and a variety of sunfish and catfish. Small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, spinner baits and light line are recommended.

Wildlife and Ecology

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.

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 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.

Area Attractions

For more information please see the TPWD Paddling Events calendar.

Guadalupe River State Park

Located along the boundary of Kendall and 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/state-parks/guadalupe-river

Canyon Dam

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 Verada 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

Canyon Lake Gorge

In July of 2002, Texas received almost a year's worth of rain in a two week period. Water rushed over the spillway, 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, Canyon Dam History and Fossils. There's also an open-air picnic area and the Heritage Garden Trail of native Texas plants. The museum is also the site of dinosaur tracks, perhaps the most extensive in Texas in terms of number. These tracks were made during the deposition of the upper part of the Glen Rose Formation, approximately 100 million years ago. www.theheritagemuseum.com

Partnership

This trail was made possible through a partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Guadalupe River State Park, and the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County.

Shuttles & Rentals

Guadalupe Canoe and Camping

8545 N Hwy 281
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
(830) 885-7666
www.guadalupecanoe.com
canoes, rafts, kayaks, tubes, shuttle services, camping

Guadalupe Canoe Livery

Hwy 281 at Guadalupe River
(830) 885-4671
www.Guadalupecanoelivery.com
canoes, kayaks, rafting, tubing, camping, shuttle services

Guadalupe River RV Park Campgrounds & Nature Trails, LP

7200 Spring Branch Rd.
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
(830) 885-7200
www.guadaluperv.com
canoes, tubes, shuttle services, camping (hope to add kayaks soon)

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