Summer Guide 2012
Daytrippin': The Upper Guadalupe
Published: June 20, 2012
Tubing, Lone Star beer, bad tattoos, sunburns, chicken fried steak at the Gristmill … it's a central Texas tradition. But it's good to remember the Guadalupe doesn't actually start in New Braunfels. There is something called the Upper Guadalupe. So if you're looking for a less crowded experience, that I hate to admit might coexist under the dreaded "family entertainment" banner, consider a short trip to Guadalupe River State Park (3350 Park, Spring Branch) on a Saturday morning. Why Saturday morning? At 9 a.m. free tours are led by a Master Naturalist (not a nudist) to the secret, untouched Honey Creek State Natural Area. This is the only time to see the area. It's like a living museum. On this tour/hike you'll get to hear amusing stories about the flora/fauna of the area (such as the legendary Golden-cheeked Warbler) that will make you appreciate the uniqueness of the Texas Hill Country.
A couple hours later you can head down to the Guadalupe River proper and join people fishing, tubing, reading a book, inflating small watercraft, kayaking, sitting in the middle of the river as the water rushes by ... basically a little bit of everything. You can break off for a hike. You can camp overnight. If the sun becomes too much, there's no shame in making a slow trip back home and stopping at the Dodging Duck Brewhaus (402 River Road, 830/248-3825, dodgingduck.com) in Boerne for one of their tasty and eccentric brews before calling it a wrap.
Price of Trip
$7 Entrance fee (age 12 and younger are free, so no need to sneak them in under a bed of towels, or whatever)
$5 Bottled water and light snacks (remember no alcohol allowed in state parks)
$15 Pint of beer and sandwich at the Dodging Duck.
What to pack
Tennis shoes (for the morning tour/hike)
Flotation device/water craft
Shoes/sandals for wading through the rocky Guadalupe river (not optional)
Miles round trip: 75
Threat Level: 2
There is a river involved, so, you know, if you know how to swim you should be good to go!