Enjoy a Canyon Lake Memorial Day Weekend

Canyon Lake Gorge
Enjoy guided tours at Canyon Lake Gorge, a geological wonder carved out of the spillway beneath Canyon Lake Dam by over 34 inches of rain in 2002. The historic flood created the 64-acre gorge, exposing ancient, cretaceous limestone, fossils and even 110-million-year-old dinosaur footprints. Facebook image.

Thanks to ongoing, severe drought, Canyon Lake is only 57.8% full, a historic low. and only two boat ramps remain open.

Those are #18 in Canyon Park and #19 at Canyon Lake Marina, which is undergoing construction as the dock is moved another 150 feet into deeper water.

But there are still plenty of other sights to see and things to do around the lake and in New Braunfels.

The City of New Braunfels hosts a Memorial Day Ceremony starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the New Braunfels Veteran’s Memorial, 3030 West San Antonio.


Comal and Canyon parks are wide open for business. Despite some drought-related restrictions, they are still the best way to access the lake publicly and include many amenities for families.

For more information visit wordcc.com

These parks will close at capacity. Real-time updates will be posted on their Facebook pages, Canyon Park on Canyon Lake and Comal Park.

At Comal Park on the south side of the lake, Paddle Canyon Lake has reopened and vacationers can rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to get out on the water.

This weekend, kids can uncover “ancient treasure” at a dinosaur fossil dig. Kids of all ages can play at the new disc golf area, dive into relaxation at swim areas, and stroll along the walking path with breathtaking views of Canyon Lake.

Over at Canyon Park on the north side of the lake, visitors are invited to check out the new fishing pier and floating walkway.

Swim Beach #1 reopened today.

“It has been closed due to low lake levels, but we have been working to improve the beach conditions so that we can accommodate all the people expected this weekend,” an administrator posted on the park’s Facebook page yesterday.

The water could be muddy due to low lake levels. Expect a longer-than-usual walk from the parking lot.

New amenities added this year are at the end of the road, not at the beach. These are two separate parks.

The Madrone Trail also is located in Comal Park. This rocky 7.6-mile trail winds its way through the peninsula at Canyon Park. Local naturalists have added a butterfly garden. The trail is a popular mountain biking trail with lots of rocky challenges. There is no lake access from the trail.

For more information about parks operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns Canyon Lake, click here.

The Joint Base San Antonio Rec Park at Canyon Lake is for active duty and retired military personnel and their families, and it includes Sunnyside and Hancock Cove. You’ll need a Department of Defense ID. The park is located at 698 Jacobs Creek Park Rd. in Canyon Lake.

For more information about accommodations call 830-964-3576 or email jbsalodgingres@gmail.com.

Canyon Lake Gorge Park

This geological wonder was created during one week in the summer of 2002, when more than 34 inches of rain fell in the upper watershed of the Guadalupe River, setting off a torrent of floodwater that carved the Canyon Lake Gorge out of the earth.

The historic flood sliced open the ground below Canyon Lake’s spillway, creating a gigantic 64-acre gorge and exposing ancient, cretaceous limestone, fossils and even 110-million-year-old dinosaur footprints.

It’s a textbook example highlighting Hill Country geology and the exposed Trinity Aquifer. Limestone layers created from an ancient sea are visible.

Purchase a trail pass in the Visitor Center for a scenic hike along the north rim of the gorge or take a stroll on the nature trail. Reservations are not required. Fees are $5 per person. Children under the age of 12 are free.

Last trail entry is one hour prior to closing. Hikers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed.

A three-hour public tour also is available for $20 per person, a 90-minute public tour is $15 per person and private tours are $20 per person.

The gorge entrance is located off the driveway to Tye Preston Memorial Library, 16311 S. Access Rd., Canyon Lake, below Canyon Lake Dam and across from the Hidden Valley Sports Park. Once in the library’s drive visitors will take the first left and follow the gravel drive to the parking areas below the Visitors Center.

Hiking trails are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Last trail entry is 3 p.m. Guided tours are offered Wednesday-Saturday.

For more information click here.

Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country

The museum, located at 4831 FM 2673 between Startzville and Sattler (Canyon Lake), features over 350 dinosaur footprints and multiple trackways under a covered pavilion that protects them from erosion.

Created approximately 110 million years ago, the footprints and trackways are part of the early Cretaceous period in the upper Glen Rose Formation.

To learn more about current activities at the museum, including Fossil Ridge Tours, visit the museum’s Facebook page.

James C. Curry Nature Center

Enjoy the beauty of the Hill Country and see native plant species and wildlife. Drinking water is available.

The nature center is located at 1889 Skyline Drive near the intersection of FM 2673 and River Rd.

The park and trail are open from sunrise to sunset.

The one-mile loop trail is considered an easy route that takes 30 minutes to complete.

For more information visit ComalTrails.org.

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