The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: South Llano River State Park, Junction

By Gerald E. McLeod, July 30, 2021, Columns

South Llano River State Park outside of Junction is a recreation area for all seasons. With two miles of access to the spring-fed river, it is especially refreshing in the summer months.

The river twists and turns through the park alternating between shallow rapids and deep pools. Bring an inner tube, because this is a great place for a lazy float trip within the park boundaries.

The more adventuresome will want to tackle a kayaking trip beginning upstream from the park near the ghost town of Telegraph and going as far as the city park in Junction. Check with the state park staff for river conditions before launching your watercraft, especially after recent rains. There are outfitters in Junction who can supply equipment and shuttle service. Keep in mind that most of the river banks outside of the state park are jealously guarded private property.

If fishing is your recreation, you've come to the right place. This stretch of the river is known for largemouth and Guadalupe bass. You don't need a fishing license to drop a hook within the park.

With more than 22 miles of hiking and biking trails it's easy to find a trek that is just right for you. One trail not to miss is the 1.2-mile hike to the overlook behind the campground. From the top of the hill you get a panoramic view of the river valley.

South Llano River State Park celebrates its 31st anniversary this year. South of Junction, about 145 miles west of Austin, it remains one of the most popular parks in the state. Reservations are a must, and can be obtained at 512/389-8900 or at

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