If you enjoy public recreational spaces that are centered around waterways, then you will love Guadalupe River State Park.
Spread across 1938-acres of breathtaking natural beauty, this Texas state park is home to the magnificent Guadalupe River. Which meanders its way across most of the northern section of this public recreational space.
Alternating between thunderous rapids and stoic waters, the river provides excellent opportunities for boating, swimming, tubing and fishing. It is also renowned for being the home of one of the best swimming holes in Hill Country.
Water based activities are not the only draw here, as the park features more than 12 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
Less than an hour from San Antonio, it is also a popular spot for birding, geocaching and camping. Of which there are plenty of overnight accommodation options available, should you want to stay at the park for a few days.
No matter what time of year you visit, the park provides guests with plenty of ways to enjoy, and make the most, of its incredible scenery.
Here is just a small selection of some of the many things you can see and do during your time there.
Water Activities at Guadalupe River State Park
As the river is the main attraction in the park many people enjoy a range of water based activities during their visit there.
This includes the likes of swimming and wading, which takes place at an area near the parking lot where the river is shallow and generally serene.
It also includes tubing in areas to the west and east, where the river flows a bit quicker.
For those who enjoy canoeing, the parking area to the west of the park boundary is where most people go for a gentle paddle.
Further out to the east, the water gets a little choppier. So this provides a great place to go to for a more challenging experience.
Fishing at Guadalupe River State Park
Fishing is a popular pastime at the park with anglers coming from all over Texas for the opportunity to cast a line in the river.
Trout is always biting here and it’s not uncommon for fly fishermen to snare 20-inch specimens that weigh up to eight pounds.
The good thing about fishing at the park is that you do not need a licence to cast a line from the shore. Also, if you didn’t bring your fishing gear with you, equipment like poles and tackle boxes are available to hire.
Hiking at Guadalupe River State Park
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park and there are plenty of trails that enable you to explore its breathtaking terrain.
One of the most popular of these is the Bald Cypress Trail, which is essentially an unpaved sidewalk that enables you to explore an area right next to the river.
Another well trodden path is the Cedar Sage Trail. This is another fairly easy route that interlinks with the Bald Cypress Trail, which enables many people to hike them one after the other.
Biking at Guadalupe River State Park
For those who are into biking, the park offers plenty of opportunities to engage in this activity.
There are several trails that you can tackle, all of which provide a unique perspective of its terrain.
These include the Barred Owl Trail which is an 0.8-mile moderate ride that takes you along a cliff that overlooks the river. As well as the half mile Oak Savannah Loop Trail which leads you through the woods.
Horseback Riding at Guadalupe River State Park
Some of the trails in the park are suitable for horseback riding, with the most popular of them being the Painted Bunting Trail.
Running for just under three miles, it is named for the songbirds that sometimes nest in the trees in the summer, that overlook the trail.
A picturesque route, it loops through the interior of the park and thus covers some rugged terrain, taking you to serene parts of the park you might otherwise not have visited.
If you would prefer a shorter trail, the half mile Oak Savannah Loop Trail, will take you to a scenic and restored oak forest.
Pets at Guadalupe River State Park
Dogs are allowed in some sections of the park, so you can bring your pooch with you if you wish.
However, some restrictions may apply. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office to clarify how they might affect you.
Camping at Guadalupe River State Park
For those who want to stay at the park for a few nights, there are several camping options available within two main sites.
At Turkey Sink, there are 48 campsites that come with hookups for 50-amp electricity and water. Each of these sites also has a picnic table, tent pad and fire ring with grill. You will also find restrooms with showers nearby too.
Over at Cedar Sage, there are 37 sites that come with hookups for 30-amp electricity as well as water. These sites also have the same amenities as Turkey Sink.
As an alternative option, you can also choose to stay at the walk-in campsite, which is situated on a river terrace above the Guadalupe River.
This is located at the Wagon Ford tent area, which you can reach by walking about 100 yards (with all your camping gear) from the car park.
These sites also come with a picnic table, tent pad, and fire ring with grill.
They do not have electricity, however, and no generators are allowed. But water is available near the walkway by the restroom.
Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Rd 31,
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Guadalupe River State Park:
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