Archive for the ‘Cold Canyon’ Tag

Texas Cold Canyon Lake   Leave a comment

Headed north out of New Braunfels, TX, my head is full of ideas and warm feelings about the past four days.  I carry with me some great story ideas gleaned from meetings of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association annual conference.  The warmth of the people of New Braunfels area inspires me to take a closer look at the recreational opportunities of the area.   The local website is nbcham.org.

The Cold Canyon Lake and the tailwaters below the dam are my chief interests in this trip.  I am not prepared for what I find. 

The road seems to rise as I head out of New Braunfels.  Suddenly I drop down into canyon country as the blacktop road falls away.  I am in the lowland below the dam.  My first stop is the tailwaters below it where trout live in the farthest south location for natural reproduction of rainbow trout.  In addition, the location from which a ten-pound plus trout came holds the state record. 

It is intimidating fishing so far below the surface of the lake.  That is one high dam from this position.  A couple of hours fishing produces no bites and I decide to explore the area. 

Headed east along the dam I find the Overlook Park operated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and head up hill again.  I am not expecting for the sweeping vista that is presented from the lookout points in the park.  On a sunny day such as this, the lake is an emerald green with the white sandstone bluffs and beaches providing a setting for this jewel.  

A bit of a surprise is the number of people using the facilities for hiking, running, biking, fishing, photography and picnicking.  This is after all a weekday.  There is another park at the opposite end of the dam and a steady stream of people moving back and forth across the dam on a paved path. 

With a few hours left before I have to set off for my appointments in Kerrville tomorrow, it seems like a good idea to check out the parks to the west on the lake.  First among them is Joint Base San Antonio Canyon Lake Recreation Park.  Driving into the park the first thing encountered is The Challenge Course.  It is an obstacle course.  A stop at the park office and I discover that this park is the property of the Department of Defense for the use of military and DOD personnel.  It is not open to the general public unless accompanied by military (active or retired) or DOD personnel.  Information is available at www.randolphfss.com

The park is well located for use of military stationed at any of the military reservations in either the San Antonio or Austin areas.  It is about half way between the two communities.  Although I cannot go beyond the office location, a pamphlet they have shows a variety of recreational activities available.  A marina provides both fishing and recreational craft.  A number of cabins provide housing for guests.  All  services are available at a very nominal cost when compared with other location on recreational properties. 

Just down the road from Canyon Lake Recreational Park is the Jacobs Creek Park, a Corps of Engineers park that provides the usual recreational amenities including horseback riding, swimming beaches, hiking and biking trails as well as a full service marina, launch ramps and restaurant. 

The drought that this area has endured the past year is obvious in the park.  Vegetation is dry and faded.  Beaches are much wider than intended.  One has to walk long distances from parking lots that were once closer to the water.  Some of the boat ramps are high and dry. 

Still is it nice and peaceful in this park.  Too soon I have to move on.  I will be back.

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