Day Trips: Guadalupe River

Four swimming holes on the Guadalupe River

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Guadalupe River winds through the hills above Canyon Lake with emerald water shaded by towering cypress trees. It's a beautiful setting on a summer day. Bordered by private property for much of its length, accessing the cool waters of the Guadalupe can be more challenging than navigating the numerous rapids. The best time to visit these swimming holes is early or late in the day on weekends or anytime during the week.

Nichol's Landing County Park is the only public park on the river between the lake and Guadalupe River State Park. It has a large beach, but on weekends and holidays, the only times there is a fee, the 20 parking spots fill quickly. The beginning of a 10-mile state-designated paddling trail, the day-use park is off U.S. 281 near Spring Branch.

Guadalupe Canoe Livery offers canoe and kayak rentals, but on this part of the river during the summer, paddling can mean a lot of hiking because of low river flow. This is also the access point to the river below the U.S. 281 bridge.

The FM 311 bridge provides access to the river down a drainage channel. This is a great swimming hole with lots of room. It can be a long walk from your car to the river, especially on busy weekends.

Rebecca Creek Road bridge is the kind of swimming hole you only share with your friends. You can unload your car right at the river's edge, but you'll have to park along the road.

When the water flow drops below 150 cfs, kayaking or tubing this stretch of the river can be bumpy. To get the latest river flow rate, go to

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Guadalupe River, swimming holes, Canyon Lake, Nichol's Landing County Park, Guadalupe River State Park, Guadalupe Canoe Livery, U.S. 281 bridge, FM 311 bridge, Rebecca Creek Road bridge

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