The Garner State Park Garner State Park is a popular place for floaters to reach the Frio River. The Frio River, unlike rivers in the Texas Hill Country, is less inhabited and located in a more isolated area. However, due to its proximity to San Antonio, there is a limited number of facilities where people can get help if they need it.
The most popular place to float the Frio River is at Garner State Park. In fact, this is one of only two places where you can actually swim in the river. The other option is to go to Palo Alto Battlefield State Historic Site but you cannot jump into the water there. You have to be able to swim safely before you enter the river.
Garner State Park is about an hour and a half drive from downtown San Antonio. The park has several different areas for visitors to explore including natural areas, a museum, and even a theater. There are also many activities available for kids of all ages. For example, there is a playground, volleyball courts, and even horseshoe pits!
Floating down the Frio River is a great way to enjoy a day out in the country while getting some exercise too. The best time to go is during spring or fall when the temperatures are comfortable but not too hot or cold.
The Frio River's cold and constant flow has made it a favorite summertime getaway. Garner State Park, located on the river approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Leakey and 75 miles (121 kilometers) west of San Antonio, offers camping, fishing, and other recreational opportunities. Along the river, there are several additional privately owned campsites. The best place to enjoy the park is during its open season, which is from April through October.
There are no commercial rafting companies that operate on the Frio River. However, there are a number of non-commercial float trips that use the river as a means of transportation for hikers or campers who want to see some remote territory. These groups generally set out from either Leakey or New Braunfels and travel down the river for a few days before they reach its junction with the Guadalupe River near Seguin. From there, they turn around and head back up the river toward their starting points.
The Frio River is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful rivers in Texas. There are several small towns along its route that offer food, lodging, and entertainment for those looking for something more than just a quiet getaway.
Garner State Park is a great place to go if you're looking for solitude. Although it is only about 75 miles from the city center of San Antonio, it feels like it is far away in another world.
The banks of the Frio are private property. The river is available for everyone to swim/float up and down as far as they like. The only public entrances or exits are the public road crossings. Except in an emergency, never venture out onto the Frio's banks. The river can be very dangerous due to hidden obstacles such as rocks and fallen trees.
For more information on local regulations, visit the Frio City Environmental Regulation page.
This article was written by a member of the Community Impact's staff.
"Which is incredible, given the river levels are fairly low right now," said one Frio River user. The low levels are a result of Texas' ongoing drought, which is drying up bodies of water across the state. The lower-than-normal flow has led to concerns about the future supply of water for people and agriculture.
The Frio River flows through West Texas from south to north. It begins in Jeff Davis County and flows into San Antonio County before merging with the Guadalupe River just west of New Braunfels. On June 30, 2011, severe storms caused flooding on both the Frio and Comal Rivers. The floods damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes and businesses and killed at least six people.
Since then, efforts have been made to improve the river's flow by building dams and other structures but they haven't been enough to prevent its waters from falling below certain levels each year.
In fact, the river hasn't flowed anywhere near its original path since 1936 when it was at its highest level ever recorded - 69 feet 8 inches above sea level. Since then, its average height has dropped by nearly 10 feet due to development along its banks and need for water storage areas.
Also contributing to the low river levels are heavy use of groundwater, which is taking over where the river used to go.
Never go swimming in the Frio River while it is flooded. It is extremely hazardous and might cause major damage or death. The river is a powerful natural force. If you get caught in the current, you may be swept away from your spot on land.
There have been several deaths due to people getting caught up in floods along the Frio River. If you go into the water, you take your chances of being hit by an out-of-control vehicle or thrown into a fence.
The best thing to do is stay clear of the river during flooding conditions. If you must go into the water, go during off-peak hours and be aware of any signs of trouble such as rapidly rising waters or currents that seem too strong.
Flooding can cause unexpected problems along the river. Large trees may fall across the path of the current with no apparent reason. You may also find buildings that appear to be standing alone but are actually part of a development that has been washed away. Be careful not to drive onto any undeveloped land during flooding conditions. This area should not be crossed even when going to the grocery store a few blocks down the road.
If you go into the water and get caught in the current, try to keep calm and float with the flow.