Texas is a huge state, with many rivers, people and good times to be had. The weather is relatively mild in the state, especially the southern and eastern locations where the humidity and ocean moisture provide lush, green areas, fantastic swimming holes and rivers to float. Texas river recreation is popular in the state and is a good time for all ages. If you like to plan social events with friends or your family in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the outdoors and nature, then this is for you. Learn about which river is closest to you, or read about one you would consider visiting and discover all the things you can do to have fun this summer!
The Frio River
“Frio” is Spanish for the word cold, referring to the spring-fed river and the coolness of the water that circulates in it. It can be found in south-central part of Texas, and it has a lovely blue-green tinge to the water and is surrounded by huge trees and lush vegetation, making a beautiful scene to relax in. The cooling water has made the Frio River a popular summertime destination and combined with the Garner State Park along its banks; you can camp and fish. Other campgrounds are available along the river too, so you can drink, float and relax at your campsite in the evening. The river is rated “easy” in regards to floating and tubing and is kid friendly.
The Canadian River
Yes, there is a river called the Canadian River that crosses through the northern “panhandle” area of Texas. This river is different from many others, as the water is usually low, or non-existent. Bring your ATVs to drive the riverbed or participate in some excellent duck hunting if you are an avid hunter. ATV trails crisscross all through the river, and the trails and exploration opportunities are endless. It is a great place for all ages to explore the fantastic scenery and the massive riverbed and trails.
The Guadalupe River
This river is a great place for fisherman, as it is the only river that can support trout year round. The water is released from the bottom of a lake, making it chilly and able to let fisherman fish all year. You can tube, canoe, kayak or try the whitewater rafters in the Guadalupe. The tubing and canoeing areas can be found 12 miles off of the city of New Braunfels and are considered an “easy” river to navigate and relax in. The faster part of the river is in the Texas Hill Country and the slower part New Braunfels and nearby areas. Not far from San Antonino, this is a great place to swim and have fun during the day and travel to San Antonio for some more fun and nice dinner in the evening.
San Antonio River
The San Antonio River is fed by a cluster of springs, starting in the city of San Antonio. It travels southeasterly through the state and is also a main attraction of the city, as the famous Riverwalk was built around the river in the downtown area. The Riverwalk is the primary tourist destination and has shops, music, restaurants, boat rides and much more to see. Lovely garden areas and walking and running paths are available too. Out of the downtown area, you can use the river to kayak, tube, canoe, and camp. Green woodland areas and lush vegetation provide scenic views as you travel down the river for your day of fun in the sun. It is considered an “easy” trip down the river and the floating and canoeing can last for up to 4 hours, depending on how far you want to go. Head back to the River Walk for some delicious food and shopping when you’re done on the San Antonio River.
San Marcos River
The river can be found in San Marcos, Texas and is a fun and popular recreation area for locals and visitors. Parts of the river are crystal clear, and you can see the smooth rocks that line the shallow bottom in some areas. Several scenic campgrounds litter the downstream area, making the perfect place to spend the night. The river is a steady 72 degrees, and the calm waters make it a hotspot for floating during the intense Texas summer heat. Tube the river for about a mile and up to an hour downstream. In deeper waters, you can snorkel, swim, scuba dive, kayak and canoe in the clear waters of the San Marcos.
South Llano River
The Llano River has a north and south component, but to have the most fun try the waters between the South Llano River State Park to Schreiner Park, located in Junction, Texas. Tall cypress trees line the banks, giving the water an outdoor park kind of feel. Parts of the riverbanks have massive sandstone bluffs, while others have flat fields filled with cattle. Float, tube, kayak, or swim for up to 5 miles in the calm waters in the hot summer. Camp overnight and bring the kids because this is a great place to vacation or have a get-together.
The Brazos River is the 11th longest river in the U.S. and starts in the northern part and heads towards the Gulf of Mexico. This is a “moderate” river, meaning you can bring your family, but they will need to be watched and helped along the way. You can canoe, tube and kayak for an astounding 20 miles and up to approximately three days along the river if you want an extended trip or have some camping fun along the way. Wooded slopes, deep valleys and the scenic areas of the North Texas Hill Country will leave you gazing in wonder at the beauty around you. Consider a canoe trip in the summer or fall to enjoy the colors and lush vegetation as you go on your river safari.
Texas Fun and Relaxation
Texans love their water and their tubing. Texas river recreation consists of a fun, relaxing atmosphere filled with happy people and the smells of barbeque or cookouts. Camping can be found along many of the rivers used in Texas water recreation, and there are several beautiful state parks along the banks of some of the rivers. Fishing is allowed in a few rivers with the proper permits, and the famous Riverwalk of San Antonio is conveniently at your fingertips in the San Antonio River. You can stop there to eat, drink, shop and enjoy the city. Every river has its unique features and scenery for you to appreciate and enjoy with a smile on your face. Put some sunscreen on and get your float or canoe ready and step into the fresh, clear waters of a Texas river and enjoy your summer!