Guide to Texas Hill Country Waterways

Texas is known for rugged landscapes, rich history and expansive ranches. Many of Central Texas’s rivers and creeks cut through thousands of years of limestone deposits, making for some gorgeous colors when the sun’s rays turn the chalky bluffs pink or gold in the evening light. 

The Texas Hill Country’s waterways in particular offer an array of activities, visual appeal, and much more to visitors and locals alike. Splashing in the Comal River to cool off, fishing in the Frio or kayaking down the Colorado are just a few of the many activities available on Hill Country’s waterways. There is no shortage of fun to be had on the water, and summers are instantly cooler around one of the area’s many rivers and creeks! 

The Hill Country’s waterways snake through many sought-after communities, including:

  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • San Marcos
  • New Braunfels
  • Wimberley

The rivers that wind their way through the Texas Hill Country don’t just offer wet fun. There’s plenty to do nearby as well. You can also find hunting, wineries, restaurants, and other attractions for the entire family within a short distance.  

Below, we’ve compiled some of the most popular destinations, as well as the attractions that keep us coming back for more.  

Best Rivers in the Texas Hill Country

Through the natural beauty of the Hill Country flow some beautiful rivers. Here are some of the rivers that make amazing destinations:

  • The Comal River in New Braunfels provides opportunities for a host of family-friendly activities. Families come to Comal County from all around to cool off during the summer months and enjoy the sun. One of its most famous activities is tubing in the calm waters of the river. 
  • The Colorado River runs through Austin and several other cities in the Hill Country. Sometimes called the American Nile, it is more than 800 miles long and is one of the most well-known rivers in the United States. Along its winding path, you can find great places to kayak, paddle board or fish. 
  • The Frio River in Uvalde County has beach-like banks and plenty of areas to enjoy nature’s beauty, picnic or fish. It’s known for its clear, spring-fed waters. The river sits within the Hill Country’s stunning rising hills, adding to the relaxing atmosphere. Staying in a nearby cabin is also a wonderful way to visit the river and get a feel for the area. 
  • The Concho River, flowing through San Angelo, is the perfect destination for those who love water sports. Both locals and tourists enjoy whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. This is the perfect place for beginner whitewater rafters. Various nearby campgrounds make it easy to immerse yourself in the outdoors.
  • The San Marcos River in Rio Vista Park is known for being gentle enough to paddle with or against the lazy current. While some prefer to sit and cool off in the shallow waters, other popular options on this river include sunbathing and kayaking, as well as strolling along its banks. Of course, you can also tube down the river while basking in its tranquility. If you’re looking for more of an adventure, many people surf the rapids in the faster-flowing areas of the river. 
  • The Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country runs from Kerr County, passes through New Braunfels, and ends in San Antonio Bay. With crystal waters that invite you to wade right in, the river is known for its waterfront attractions, including fine and casual dining, and lovely views of the lake. The Guadalupe River has many secluded banks and mini-falls along its path for those who want to do more than enjoy the view from a distance. Unique to this river is the paddling trail that attracts both novice and experienced paddlers.
  • The Blanco River is only an hour outside of San Antonio and Austin. Natural springs in Kendall County feed the river its fresh currents. The Blanco provides water to the city of Blanco, as well as surrounding ranches. Halifax Hole draws in those wanting to relax in the river’s transparent pool. 
  • The San Saba River is located north of Edwards Plateau. Kayakers come to sightsee the limestone bluffs framing the water’s edge. Old tales of hidden gold and silver bring many to the river to treasure hunt while they explore the waterfront. 
  • The Nueces River or the “nuts” river, is lined by pecan trees along the water’s edge. There are 315 miles to this warm river’s trail. Bass, sunfish, and perch are common catches for fisherman who visit the banks. The Nueces flows through Uvalde County, where you can do nature tours, horseback riding, and more. 

These are only a few of the best rivers in Texas Hill Country. There are more than 15 waterways nestled in the Hill Countryside, providing ample options to relish outdoor living. Whether you’re simply looking to enjoy the soothing views, go for a dip, or be active on the water, Texas Hill Country’s waterways offer something for everyone. 

Enjoying Creeks in the Texas Hill Country

While rivers are well known attractions for Hill Country residents and visitors alike, creeks can offer an exclusive waterway experience, particularly for those with private residences abutting such local waterways. Kick back with a view of the spring-fed waters of Turtle Creek, a short distance outside of Kerrville in Kerr County. Verde Creek also offers waterfront properties, including cabins and ranches in Medina County. Cibolo Creek, Sandy Creek, and Cypress Creek all offer the opportunity to own a private residence within close proximity to natural springs, dammed swimming areas, or even waterfalls. If you’re interested in creekside property, our agents are a great resource for learning about the best creekside properties in the Texas Hill Country.

Fishing in the Texas Hill Country 

With such a variety of creeks and rivers, fishing is a major sport in the Texas Hill Country. There’s an array of fish species residing throughout the waterways in the region. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department monitors fish populations to keep a healthy balance.  

Ranches like The Shonto Ranch feature up to three acres of fishing territory. Here visitors can catch largemouth bass and catfish. Conservation policies are in place to ensure all fisherman have the opportunity to catch the fish of their dreams. Their catch and release program keeps the waters stocked and the fish domain stable. 

Fishing fans in the south can find rainbow trout in several rivers such as the Colorado River and the Guadalupe River. Fly fishers often visit the Blanco River to catch perch and smallmouth bass. Blanco State Park does not require a license to fish within the park boundaries. Here you can borrow fishing equipment including rods and reels and a trout stocking schedule. Throughout the Hill Country waterways you can catch: 

  • Sunfish trout
  • Guadalupe bass
  • Striped bass
  • Channel catfish
  • And many more!

Regardless of which river you choose to visit, you can find a relaxing time fishing and taking in the peaceful river atmosphere. 

Real Estate Opportunities from TexasLand 

Owning a piece of land with water access, a river view, or your own private creek is an incomparable way to enjoy the waterways of the Texas Hill Country. Local real estate agents with on-the-ground expertise will provide you a personal and tailored experience, whether you’re buying or selling your property. Contact us today to talk with an agent. 

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