“During one week in the summer of 2002, more than 34 inches of rain fell in the upper watershed of the Guadalupe River, setting off a torrent of floodwater that carved a perfectly fascinating geological wonder – the Canyon Lake Gorge – out of the earth.
The flood roared through the Hill Country northwest of New Braunfels, tearing away soil, ripping up huge trees, crumbling houses and sending a rush of water from swollen Canyon Lake over its spillway for the first time since the reservoir was completed in 1964.
The historic flood sliced open the ground below the spillway, creating a gigantic 64-acre Gorge and exposing ancient, cretaceous limestone, fossils and even dinosaur footprints 110 million years old.” — Canyon Lake Gorge website.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA), which operates the gorge, commemorates the 20th anniversary of nature’s handiwork with a special exhibit featuring fossils, photos and news coverage from the period.
Access to the exhibit, which ends July 10, is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, at Canyon Lake Gorge, 16029 South Access Rd., Canyon Lake.
GBRA Executive Manager of Environmental Science Nathan Pence said the exhibition was well-received at a June Chamber Mixer and Reflection Exhibit in June.
“It was really well attended and a great way to reflect on the 2002 flood, the creation of the Gorge and what we have achieved to date,” he said.
Visitors also can sign up for guided tours, which cost $20 per person, by visiting CanyonGorgeTours.com or by calling 830-964-5424.
Hiking trail day passes are available for $5 per person. No advanced reservations are needed.
The Gorge Overlook Trail takes visitors on a scenic two-mile round trip hike along the north rim of the gorge. It features eight observation points overlooking some of the area’s most unique features.
The Gorge Nature Trail is a circuitous one-mile hike with a wealth of information about plant and animal species native to Canyon Lake and Central Texas.
Hiking trails are open to visitors of all ages.
Growing Up Wild
Natural Resource Specialist Jaynellen Kerr said spaces are still available for “Growing Up Wild” at the gorge, featuring classes for kids ages three to six:
July 13 or 15 — Bird Beak Buffet
July 20 or 22 — Who Lives in a Tree?
July 27 or 29 — Wildlife Water Safari Scavenger Hike
The fee is $5 per child, payable on the day of each class. Class size is limited to 15 children.
To register, click here.
About Canyon Lake Gorge
Summer Park Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hiking Trails: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Last entry at 6:30 p.m.