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23 Jan 2021

The water is a constant 72 degrees year round. The crystal-clear water of the San Marcos River bubbles out of hundreds of springs near downtown San Marcos. Prairie Lea Crossing # 1 sits at about 30.5 miles and Prairies Lea #2, at about 31.7 miles are dangerous at above normal flows, and usually should be portaged. Do not let that fool you, however, as there are some challenging areas along the way. Most of the San Marcos River is easy enough even for novice paddlers, and it is quite scenic. Squirrels like me, Jerry P. Cann, are active by nature. Hop along the public parks, beginning with San Marcos City Park for bank fishing access or take your kayak for a float. This park located along the San Marcos River is the entry point for the Luling Zedler Mill Paddling Trail. NOTE: Illegal barbed wire fences, erected without permission from the Texas General Land Office, are blocking public access on all four corners of the San Marcos River at US Highway 90A in Gonzales County. Hotel in San Marcos (3.2 miles from San Marcos River) This hotel in San Marcos, Texas is near I-35 and Texas State University. Whether it’s by kayak, paddleboard, or tube, it’s no wonder people enjoy a comforting ride down the San Marcos River. The last drop is about 1 foot, and is about thirty yards below the second drop. Scout carefully before running under Sculls Crossing, and portage on river right if there is less than 2.5 feet of air between the surface of the river and the bottom of the bridge. The San Marcos River is one of the largest spring-fed rivers in Texas, rising from the Edwards Aquifer in Spring Lake (or Aquarena Springs) and flowing through Texas State University and the city of San Marcos. If you are into marathon paddling, then enter that 260-mile gruelathon. San Marcos River House - $325 avg/night - Rio Vista - Amenities include: Internet, Air Conditioning, Fireplace, TV, Washer & Dryer, Children Welcome, Parking, No Smoking, Heater Bedrooms: 2 Sleeps: 6 Minimum stay from 2 night(s) Bookable directly online - Book vacation rental 4813220 with Vrbo. The San Marcos River is also considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the southwestern United States. No matter what water activity draws you to the San Marcos River, make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Shady Grove Campground (512-357-6113), located at FM 1979 and the San Marcos River in Guadalupe County, offers riverside tent and RV camping, restrooms with hot showers, a camp store and other amenities including water and electricity on the banks of the San Marcos River. Grab a tube and go for a float. If you are around San Marcos the second Saturday in June, then be sure to catch the start of the Texas Water Safari...the World's Toughest Boat Race. Cummings Dam (4.9 miles below Old City Park) can be portaged on the right side. Helpful. In addition to access for tubing the San Marcos River, guests can enjoy a sand volleyball court, basketball court, horseshoe pits, a playground, clubhouse with WiFi, mini golf course, and dog run. The San Marcos River connects with the Guadalupe River and flows into the Gulf of Mexico, so don't forget to get out of the river at one of San Marcos' many public access points! Contact Us. It's much like the Comal, but less crowded, and less fuss. Luling Zedler Mill Dam, at about 46.0 miles, cannot be survivably run at any flow. No life guards on duty at this park. Spencer Canoes (512-357-6113), located at FM 1979 and the San Marcos River in Caldwell County, offers canoe rentals and sales, shuttles, custom boat building and rigging (including Texas Water Safari boatworks), repairs, certified canoe instruction and other services on the San Marcos River. Several roads and streets cross the San Marcos River, within the city of San Marcos, and provide access. Hop along the public parks, beginning with San Marcos City Park for bank fishing access or take your kayak for a float. Below each drop is a nice eddy pool, and some new boulders have been placed in the river above and below the original drop. Cottonseed is a solid Class II rapid at flows over about 500 cfs, and can pin and wrap boats, especially in flows below 150 cfs. At about 11.0 miles you will pass under the FM 1979 high bridge, and Shady Grove Campground, home of Spencer Canoes, is on the right bank (Shady Grove Campground is an excellent facility owned and operated by knowledgeable and friendly people) immediately below the bridge. At about 12.25 miles the water divides around a small island that can be a hazard if not negotiated properly. There are plenty of wide easy stretches to the river, and the clarity is great. The rapids and drops at Rio Vista Falls, for instance, are not for the faint of heart. @j_medrano25 The Texas heat can be brutal. The midsection runs from Cummings Dam, where the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers converge, to Staples Dam. There is at least one other commercial campground available along the San Marcos River at Martindale. Fishermen have placed drop lines along the river in many places, so take care to avoid getting tangled and hooked in them. Pack a lunch, rent a kayak, and head downstream! It is noted for many small dams, some of which are runnable and others that require safe portage. River Access Points There is no cost to use the San Marcos River or the Blanco River. At about 10.8 miles there is another low-water bridge that is very dangerous at moderately high water levels, and should be portaged on the right, or run if flows are adequate after scouting to find the best line. A post shared by Ashley Landis (@ashphotog) on Jun 10, 2017 at 11:04pm PDT. Author: Drew Knight The San Marcos River winds through over 130 acres of parkland. Similar fences are restructing public access at the Slayden Cemetery Road bridge and at some locations near Luling. The park next to … There are several small rapids and low-water bridges that either will or may required portages at flows near or above about 500 feet on average (the actual level depends upon the bridge), as well as some dams that MUST be portaged at any flow if you want to survive the trip. Ask Clarke H about Olympic Outdoor Center. Access to the San Marcos River is easy and you will be able to experience one of the cleanest and free flowing rivers in Texas. Recently, some paddlers have cleaned up and partially repaired Cape Falls, the small waterfall drop above Thompson's Island, making it runnable for competent boaters who can maneuver into, drop over the waterfall, then steer past the small island and tree in the middle of the stream on river right. San Marcos River Toobing. It is fed from the Edwards Aquifer near San Marcos, and flows through Luling and merges with the Guadalupe river near Gonzalez. Online Registration. Read more. You can access the river for free at several locations, including City Park, Plaza Park, Bicentennial Park, and Rio Vista Park. At Pecan Park Riverside RV Park, you can be as active or relaxed as you like! A post shared by Ashley Landis (@ashphotog) on Jun 10, 2017 at 11:07pm PDT. The San Marcos River is a tree-lined, beautiful river that is rich in aquatic life including birds, turtles and numerous species of fish. The San Marcos River The San Marcos River bubbles to life from hundreds of springs right in the City's center. This park located along the San Marcos River is the entry point for the Luling Zedler Mill Paddling Trail. Share. You will have a blast. Date of experience: July 2016. The San Marcos is not as seasonal as most Texas rivers, and can generally be enjoyed anytime of year. The 3750 sqft. The San Marcos River bursts forth from the Edwards Aquifer through 200 spring openings at the bottom of Spring Lake in the heart of San Marcos, Texas. Read more. The San Marcos River is one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in the area, so it is always a good idea to start your day early to find a parking place and to avoid the crowds on the river. 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath, Family Vacation Paradise - $296 avg/night - Martindale - Amenities include: Internet, Air Conditioning, Hot Tub, TV, Satellite or cable, Washer & Dryer, Children Welcome, Parking, No Smoking, Heater Bedrooms: 3 Sleeps: 6 Minimum stay from 2 night(s) Bookable directly online - Book vacation rental 7277061 with Vrbo. The San Marcos River in central Texas is a welcome oasis for recreation. Both dams can be easily portaged on river right, and the water behind each dam is backed up so there is no fast-moving current except when the river is high. While the river is generally shallow it will get deep in front of most dams. Since the river is spring-fed and begins in San Marcos, the water is clear which allows you to view to the bottom of the river. San Marcos is located between San Antonio and Austin, Texas, perfect for commuting. It joins the Blanco River about four miles south of town, passes through Luling and Palmetto State Park, then joins the Guadalupe River 75 miles downstream. Access to much of the headwaters is restricted because of the delicate ecosystem and numerous rare species. TG Canoe & Kayak - Austin (512-473-2644) offers canoe and kayak sales, accessories and gear sales, and custom outfitting. The river provides a refreshing playground for swimming, canoeing, and tubing. They also will pick you up after your ride for a small fee. There is also a public park with playscape and shallow river access (great for young kids) about 3/4 mile down the road. Extreme caution should be exercised to avoid going over either Cummings or Martindale Dams. IH 35 crossing - in San Marcos. We advertise in other city's and states that we have a great and clean water to come check out and play in from tubing, kayaking and canoeing. The upper river flows through San Marcos, and is a popular recreational area. Waterway features and distance between each are as follows: San Marcos City Park - a public boat ramp is located at this point. Staples Dam, at 16.4 miles below Old City Park, requires a mandatory portage on the left or right, though the right side portage is across private property. Strong hydraulic currents are at the bottoms of most drops over dams, and these should generally be avoided. We advertise in other city's and states that we have a great and clean water to come check out and play in from tubing, kayaking and canoeing. Concrete walkway adjacent to the Lions Club tube rental facility (N 29° 53' 11.48" / W 097° 56' 08.13") in Old City Park on river left at 0.0 miles; Rio Vista Dam (N 29° 52' 43.27" / W 097䓷' 57.53") on either side at about 0.64 miles; Cape Road (N 29° 52' 07.67" / W 097° 55' 41.61") on river right at about 1.75 miles; Cape Road alternate access (N 29° 52' 10.20" W 097° 55' 49.45") on concrete bypass channel on river right at about 1.75 miles (access the river via small creek); CR 295 / Old Bastrop Highway (N 29° 51' 25.72" / W 097° 53' 48.86") on river right at 5.5 miles; San Marcos River Retreat Retreat (N 29° 51' 31.00" / W 097° 53' 15.09") on river left at 6.2 miles; Sculls Crossing (N 29° 50' 58.54" / W 097° 51' 24.85") off CR 103 on river right at 9.25 miles; Deviney Road low-water bridge (N 29° 50' 22.57" / W 097䓲' 43.69") on river right at about 10.46 miles; FM 1979 bridge on river left at 11.0 miles; Shady Grove Campground (N 29° 49' 54.65" / W 097° 50' 31.02") on river right just below FM 1979 at about 11.1 miles; FM 1977 bridge (N 29° 46' 59.00" / W 097° 49' 53.30") just above Staples Dam on river left at 16.4 miles - this is the usual end of trips for less experienced paddlers; SH 130 Bridge (N 29° 46' 05.68" / W 097° 48' 21.68") on river right at about 21.9 miles; SH 20 Bridge (N 29° 45' 09.43" / W 097° 46' 51. San Marcos River Ranch is an exclusive, gated, private ski lake community located on the banks of the San Marcos River in Texas. If you water ski, love the river or just love being around great people in a wonderful community, San Marcos River Ranch is the private ski lake community for you. These public access points allow you to get in and out of the water without trampling some of the much-needed flora on the river banks. Reservations must be made with San Marcos River Retreat before visiting. Currently, part of a washed out tree is blocking the channel in the middle of the natural flow. Read more. Activity Guide. Good access points and an absolutely gorgeous river make this a great paddling destination. Though never far from major roads, one gets the sensation of wilderness paddling because of a dirth of development along the river corridor. Three covered picnic tables and swimming access are available at this 3/8 mile river frontage park. I grew up 2 blocks from the river and spent practically every free day there. Summer temperatures should be considered a hazard if proper precautions are not taken. © San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau. Always a refreshing 72 degrees, the river is enjoyed year ‘round. Several roads and streets cross the San Marcos River, within the city of San Marcos, and provide access. Protected from development, it’s a nature preserve of sorts. It is not a crowded river, though it does get some traffic during summer months. Several campgrounds with improved facilities are located along the river for those who prefer not to camp on the river banks, most of which are private property anyway and should be avoided. 630 E Hopkins San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: 512-393-8000 Fax: 855-246-9100 Electric Emergency: 512-393-8313 Water/Wastewater Emergency: 512-393-8010 Huge elephant ears and native wild rice line the banks of the river. Yesterday brought back fantastic memories! 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