There is no better late spring to early summer activity than getting good float down one of the rivers of Texas. While there are plenty of put in spots, many do not have access to a campground which offers as many options as the Guadalupe River State Park.
Under the supervision of the Texas State Park system the facilities for both day use and overnight stay are well maintained. Currently undergoing an overhaul which will offer new restrooms in one of the camping loops, they are constantly striving to better accommodate guests and provide a fun and relaxed get away for a day, week or weekend.
Taking a trip through the camping loops I noticed each were well shaded and positioned in a way that the sun could trickle through the leaves to provide warmth on a cool morning but not so much that it would make the sweltering summer days more intense. Large parking spaces could easily accommodate two vehicles at each camp and amenities ranged depending on the location of the site you choose.
In the improved camping loops, sites came standard with electricity and water connections, with posts being positioned at the front of the site. You would need to provide your own hose or cord to source this toward the rear of the site if desired. Camping sites each provide a large picnic table and lantern hook in addition to a tent pad which is constructed and elevated slighting from the ground around.
In addition, to the loop camp sites, there is another section designed for tent campers wanting to walk in. While this area is well maintained, it is subject to closures with rains unlike the other areas. When I visited, the recent downpour had forced closure of all trails and also this campsite as a part of the conservation effort for keeping the natural lands. While I do appreciate this as a person who wants to protect our spaces so we can continue to enjoy them for years to come, I could easily see how it could also disappoint a camper who is having change their location to an improved site.
Throughout the park there are a series of trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. A full map is provided at the front gate and can come in handy if you are wanting to find more than just the river trail while at camp. But something also to consider when looking at this map is the trail system located across the road from what most consider to be the park. This section is less populated with hikers and provides some of the most interesting hiking you will find at Guadalupe River State Park.
But let’s get down to what everyone really wants to hear about … THE RIVER!
The river can be a source of a lot of fun and also traffic. Being open for day use as well as for those staying at the park, the area provides a cool retreat to dive into the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. There are picnic tables lining the shoreline, some off the river and in shaded areas while others are in full sun. There is a no alcohol policy which is enforced on busy days, so warning if you are a person looking to float and drink, this might not be the right place to put in.
A trail runs alongside the riverfront providing great views of the river’s path. A nature center and amphitheater are located across the parking lot from the river highlighting educational materials for the entire family but with exhibits geared toward the kiddos. In this area currently there are only port a potty restrooms.
If you are planning on floating, make sure to read the guidelines by the parking lot. Remember the river is not a loop so where you put in is not where you will end up.
Book In Advance! This park is very popular and quickly fills up on weekend, if you are planning a trip make sure you book well in advance to ensure you will have a site.
Check the Weather! The river’s flow is directly effected by the amount of rainfall. If you are planning a trip pull up the weather to make sure it will not make for unsafe conditions.
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