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Guadalupe River

Length: 230 miles (370 kilometers)

The Guadalupe River runs from Kerr County, Texas to San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. It is a popular destination for rafting, fly fishing, and canoeing. Larger cities along it include Kerrville, New Braunfels, Seguin, Gonzales, Cuero, and Victoria. It has several dams along its length, the most notable of which, Canyon Dam, forms Canyon Lake northwest of New Braunfels.

The upper part, in the Texas Hill Country, is a smaller, faster stream with limestone banks and shaded by pecan and bald cypress trees. It is formed by two main tributary forks, the North Fork and South Fork Guadalupe Rivers. It is popular as a tubing destination where recreational users often float down it on inflated tire inner tubes during the spring and summer months. East of Boerne, on the border of Kendall County and Comal County, it flows through Guadalupe River State Park, one of the more popular tubing areas along it.

The lower part begins at the outlet of Canyon Lake, near New Braunfels. The section between Canyon Dam and New Braunfels is the most heavily used in terms of recreation. It is a popular destination for whitewater rafters, canoeists, kayakers, and tubing. When the water is flowing at less than 1,000 cu ft/s there could be hundreds if not thousands of tubes on this stretch of it. At flows greater than 1,000 cu ft/s, there should be very few tubes on the water. Flows greater than 1,000 cu ft/s and less than 2,500 cu ft/s are ideal for rafting and paddling. The flow is controlled by Canyon Dam, and by the amount of rainfall the area has received. It is joined by the Comal River in New Braunfels and the San Marcos River about two miles west of Gonzales. The part below the San Marcos River, as well as the latter, is part of the course for the Texas Water Safari.

The San Antonio River flows into it just north of Tivoli. Ahead of the entry into the San Antonio Bay estuary, it forms a delta and splits into two distributaries referred respectively as the North and South parts. Each distributary flows into the San Antonio Bay estuary at Guadalupe Bay.

The river was first called after Nuestra Se?ora de Guadalupe by Alonso de Le?n in 1689. It was renamed the San Augustin by Domingo Ter?n de los R?os who maintained a colony on it, but the name Guadalupe persisted. Many explorers referred to the current Guadalupe as the San Yb?n above its confluence with the Comal, and instead the Comal was called the Guadalupe. Evidence indicates that it has been home to humans for several thousand years, including the Karankawa, Tonkawa, and Huaco (pronounced like Waco) Indians.

Being led by Prince Solms, 228 pioneer immigrants from Germany traveled overland from Indianola to the site chosen to be the first German settlement in Texas, New Braunfels. Upon reaching the river, the pioneers found it too high to cross due to the winter rains. Prince Solms, perhaps wishing to impress the others with his bravado, plunged into the raging waters and crossed the swollen river on horseback. Not to be outdone by anyone, Betty Holekamp immediately followed and successfully crossed the river. Thus Betty Holekamp is known as the first white woman to cross the Guadalupe on horseback.

It gained national attention in July 1987 when a sudden flash flood on it near Comfort swept a bus away at a flood crossing. At the time, the Pot O' Gold Ranch was hosting a church camp, which over 300 children were attending. On the night of July 16 and into the morning of the 17th, heavy rains quickly caused it to overflow its banks. The children's supervisors decided to evacuate them before it rose too high. While most of the buses managed to make it across, one bus and one van, both from the Seagoville Road Baptist Church/Balch Springs Christian Academy in Balch Springs were swept away, along with Pastor Richard Koons, his wife, Lavonda, chaperons Allen and Deborah Coalson, and 39 children. Rescuers managed to save all four adults and 29 of the children, but the other ten, four boys and six girls, ages 13 to 17, drowned. The body of John Bankston Jr., the oldest of the victims, was never found. In the summer of 1988, near the edge of the river and at the foot of the driveway to the ranch, a memorial plaque was dedicated to the children who died as well as those who survived. On April 18, 1989, the story of the deaths and rescues was aired on the pilot episode of Rescue 911 and it was later made into a television movie called The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children?.

The river is listed as one of the 100 top trout streams in the United States. In addition to fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout on the tail-waters of it below Canyon Lake, anglers can catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Guadalupe bass, white bass, and the Rio Grande.

Lake Dunlap is a reservoir on the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels, Texas. The reservoir was formed by the construction of a dam in 1931, providing hydroelectric power to the area. Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority manages the dam and lake. Lake Dunlap also serves as a venue for outdoor recreation, like fishing and boating. Lake Dunlap has bee...
    Full Pool: 575.8 MSL     Area: 410 Acres

Lake McQueeney is a reservoir located on the Guadalupe River, west of Seguin, Texas. The reservoir was formed by the construction of a dam in 1928, providing hydroelectric power to the area. Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority manages the dam and lake. Lake McQueeney is a hot spot for outdoor recreation, including fishing, boating, and swimming. L...
        Area: 396 Acres