South Texas on a Tank of Gas: Canyon Lake

Next in our series of places to visit on a tank of gas is Canyon Lake.  Located just about an hour north of downtown San Antonio, one of the most scenic and beautiful lakes in the entire state waits to greet visitors.  Boasting 80 miles of shore, Canyon Lake is created from the waters from another of the Hill Country’s natural landmarks, the Guadalupe River.

Whatever their preference, visitors to the lake will find almost any outdoor activity available that one could hope for.  In addition to the lake itself, eight parks are located on its shores, including:

· Canyon Park & Canyon Beach Swim Area
· Comal Park
· Crane’s Mill Park
· Guadalupe Park
· Jacob’s Creek Park
· North Park
· Overlook Park
· Potter’s Creek Park

The lake is perfect for water sports of all sorts, including fishing, swimming, boating, skiing, and more.  The clear water and depth of the lake (43 foot average) also make it a great place for SCUBA diving.  Anyone who has their own diving equipment can come to Canyon Lake and enjoy exploring the unique underwater environment that it has to offer.  For other outdoors enthusiasts, camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing can all be taken advantage of in the surrounding parks.  Whitewater aficionados will find the waters of the Upper Guadalupe a great place to put in their raft, canoe, or kayak, and get their adrenaline pumping as they speed downstream.  The Lower Guadalupe is perfect for lazing down the calmer waters in a tube or canoe.

Fishermen will find the waters teeming with a variety of fish species native to the area.  Anglers can test their skills trying to reel in Guadalupe, Largemouth, Smallmouth, and White Bass; Blue, Channel, and Flathead Catfish, Black and White Crappie, Bluegills, Walleyes, and more.

Canyon Lake is located about 20 miles north of New Braunfels, and can be reached by taking 281 N to the Boerne/New Braunfels Exit (46), then heading left on FM 3159 to Startz Rd.  The parks are usually open from 7 AM to 10 PM, and fees vary from free entrance to a few dollars per car.