Guadalupe River TX Entry Points

-- Last Updated: Feb-16-08 6:27 PM EST --

If you have any experience on the upper Guadalupe river, please let me know.

We are just starting out and ready to purchase Kayaks (we have some experience - our kids do not).

I've been having trouble locating entry points for a decent day trip on the upper Guadalupe. The most likely seems to be the intersection of Ralph Fair Road (FM3351) and the Guadalupe, but the campground there is extremely protective of it's kayak rental income and will not allow you to bring your own kayaks onto the property. They have signs saying ALL of the riverfront property is privately owned.

Next to the river, there is a bridge with what looks like a small park by the bridge. The road is washed out and "closed" but I can carry my kayaks down.

Anyone have any experience with this? A resident fisherman warned us the campground will hassle us if we even try to walk down the access road (which is not on their property). FM3351 is listed as an entry point on multiple websites.

Texas Parks and Wildlife site

– Last Updated: Feb-16-08 6:37 PM EST –

Austin Canoe and Kayak in San Marcos and Austin will have plenty of information, call them:

A very good source of information is TG /Canoe Livery, give them a call:

The Guadelupe and San Marcos are probably the most paddled rivers in Texas. You should not have a problem finding current information. I would suggest, however, if your children do not have experience paddling, get them some on flat water, then maybe try the San Marcos River paddling trail or on of the other river paddling trails. The Guadelupe is not a good beginner river:

Upper Guad. Access
Access can be a problem due to the small road crossings on the upper Guad. Landownders have taken lots of abuse of their rights from people trespassing and parking illegally. Roads sometimes get blocked by parking and unloading. This can be particularly bad during the tubing season. All that said, you shouldn’t have any problem finding some trips that will work for you. An informal group of paddling friends (not a club) called the Saturday Paddlers, paddle the upper Guad. several times per month. You can probably google up contact information for some of those folks.

Marc McCord at is a helpful source of information on the Guad. I think Marc still does some guiding also.

I don’t know how old your children are, but to introduce kids to kayaks, the Medina north of Bandera can be very good. Its a small river and can get dangerous quickly in its little twisty channel. Much above 200 cfs. gets interesting with young kids in kayaks in my experience.

As yakcanfish says, TG would be a great place to check in with. They can probably hook you up with some lessons and get you outfitted right.

These Hill Country Rivers can be a delight AT THE RIGHT LEVELS. They can get nasty quickly with rains and one stretch may be easy whereas another up or down stream may be hazardous at the same water levels.

It is great that you are checking things out in advance.

TG shuttles on the San Marcos
That paddling trail has become very popular. The one in Columbus can be a very good one. Half day paddles on rivers are a great introduction. TG now owns Austin Outdoor Guidance and offers lessons at that store. There are several good clubs in Texas that have lessons, including pool sessions on kayak safety and re-entry. I’m most familiar with the Houston Canoe Club.

Thanks for the help!
I appreciate all the replies. Frankly, I was really surprised at how difficult it can be in TX to find public access to outdoor recreation areas. We just moved here from FL, and FL was a dream when it came to accessing any watersports areas. Seems like you need a bullet proof vest here just to walk along the river banks with a pole in your hand.

I will definitely give the above referenced resources a call. And I’ll try to link up with some of the weekend paddlers here.

Thanks again!


Boerne lake

– Last Updated: Feb-17-08 7:52 PM EST –

Winter is not the best time to learn the basics of kayaking on moving water. Boerne lake is a great place for you and the kids to get started. Once you have your boats and safety gear, start out on the lake first. The Guadalupe is flowing well with clear and very cold water. Once it warms up you can join the "Saturday Paddlers" for a safe river trip. Take a look at the Texas public boater access web site, very useful information from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Welcome Chris.

Unless a riverbank is within a public park, road right of way or similar area it is going to be private property and off limits without permission. Even some road rights of way have restricted access and are fenced off. Mostly a political issue, with large landowners and/or cattle owners.

Gravel bars are a question mark. I get out all the time on the banks to make brief nature calls and such but otherwise I stay in the boat or wade. I’ve not heard of anyone being arrested or shot at in a long time, but the stories came from some place, and I know at least some are true.

There are plenty of places to get to the water and have fun though. You’ll get adjusted and comfortable with water access as with other things Texan. I’m a native and thought our access was pretty good compared to some other places, such as Indiana. We are short on public land other than the National Forests in the eastern part of the state. That is just my opinion.

The vest isn’t a bad idea during hunting season if its orange :-).

Book suggestion

or if you can find the older version, “Texas Rivers and Rapids” somewhere. Very good for put-ins and take-outs on many Texas rivers.