Things to Do

New Year’s Resolution: Take a Dam Walk

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Walking in your neighborhood can be, well, BORING! For a change of scene in your exercise routine, try taking a dam walk at the Canyon Lake Dam.

Canyon Lake is beautiful.

Canyon Lake Dam Intake

Photo:  Robert C Deming

You will see sailboats and water skiers plying the clear, cool waters of Canyon Lake during your walk. White puffy clouds float overhead in an azure blue sky. There is usually a strong breeze blowing across the dam, keeping you cool even on hot days. The course from one end to the other is a scintillating 0.8 miles. This structure is where water is taken into pipes to go under the dam to the powerhouse.

The Guadalupe River flows out of the dam.

Canyon Lake Downstream View

Photo: Robert C Deming

The outflow into the Guadalupe River runs around 300 cubic feet per second; during times of high rainfall and potential flooding the lake created by the dam absorbs the excess water and releases it gradually. The 50-year-old lake hit its lowest point at 892 feet above mean sea level in 2009, and in 2002 water reached its highest recorded level and flowed over the spillway at 950 feet above mean sea level. The electrical generating facility using water released from the dam to rotate turbines began operating in 1989.

The walkway is smooth and level.

Canyon Lake Dam Walkway

Photo: Robert C Deming

The road across the top of the dam is a smooth and level asphalt surface and is great for running or walking. On a nice day, you will encounter many other people getting some outdoor exercise time in this beautiful setting. There are restrooms at the top of the hill, and other trails in the park area beside the dam leading to the water’s edge.

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