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San Antonio River, Texas
Report by Marc W. McCord

San Antonio River in early fall

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

Forming at Blue Hole Spring on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word inside the city limits of its namesake in Bexar County, the San Antonio River rises in southcentral Texas as a coastal plains flatwater stream, then gently meanders its way southeast through Wilson, Karnes, Goliad, Victoria, Refugio and calhoun Counties some 236 miles to its confluence with the Guadalupe River near San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is fed by numerous springs, as well as inflow from the Medina River, Cibolo Creek and several lesser creeks and streams that provide a near-constant navigable level. A couple of scenic waterfalls are near Falls City between Floresville and Hobson, but other than that the river is flat without rapids of any significance. The major obstacles to paddling the San antonio River are deadfall logjams and the steep, often muddy banks that contain the river. Surprisingly, even in low-water periods the San Antonio River seems to find a way to produce a generous current that helps paddlers move downriver.

Vegetation along the channel include growths of cottonwood, sycamore, elm and willow trees, as well as natural coastal grasses, bushes and flowering plants. Animals, birds and at least 73 documented species of fish can be found along and in the San Antonio River, which is in a mostly remote, very scenic, secluded area of minimal development and few signs of civilization once the City of San Antonio fades behind. Goliad State Park is located along the banks of the river near the historic Town of Goliad, site of the famous battle for Texas Independence from Mexico, just above the Guadalupe River confluence. In San Antonio the river does not follow its natural course except during periods of heavy rain run-off because the river channel was altered to create the Riverwalk area inside the city limits. Most of the water flows through the concrete diversion channel through downtown San Antonio. Because of restrictions imposed by the City of San Antonio private recreational paddling is not allowed until below the city limits. There are, however, paddleboats for rent and group river boats that passengers can ride along the Riverwalk though the historic mission town where restaurants and shops of all sorts line the banks in stark contrast to the river below the city limits. The last few miles of Lower San Antonio River trips are on the Guadalupe River between the confluence and SH 35 near Tivoli.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the San Antonio River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Loop 1604 to Floresville ] [ Floresville to Hobson ] [ Hobson to Duke Bridge Road ] [ Duke Bridge Road to Guadalupe River confluence ]
[ Medina River ] [ Cibolo Creek ]

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Last updated December 30, 2014

Copyright © 1997-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.