5 Best Rivers for Family Fun in Texas

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Tony Maples Photography


River enthusiasts have infinite possibilities in Texas. Considering the options in Texas, the ideal locations, narrowing down to the widely popular Hill Country, there are still an unlimited amount of possibilities. Among the list of a few of the more prevalent spots do include state parks, and most of these are family friendly areas, so drinking is often prohibited and glass is never permitted. Here is a list of favorite locations recalled by born and raised Texan families.

1. Garner State Park

Mountain range with trees at the bottom. The river reflects the blue sky with light clouds hanging above the lush mountain


Located on the Frio River, this state run park has all the amenities that most of the state run parks offer such as cabins, equipment rentals, hiking trails, fishing, and family events. One particularly interesting family event is “The Dance”. Family nightly dancing events are held every night and the music comes from a jukebox.  An interesting fact about state parks is the Junior Ranger Program. Each park has a different “pack” that offers nature and science enhancing activities and chances at earning badges that require no previous experience.

2. Bandera City Park

A river that is lined with large green trees. In the river are several kayakers wearing life vests and paddling in a calm river.


Situated on the Medina River, this small town has self-proclaimed itself the “Cowboy Capital of the World”. There is no camping here, but there are a few RV sites and other lodging accommodations in town near the river. And, on the river here, only non-motorized watercraft and fishing are allowed.

3. Gruene Outpost Lodge

A brown lodging building with several rooms. In front of the building are picnic table, chairs, bar-b-que grills, and several trees. The picture reflects that the grounds to this location are wide and open with green grass.


There are plenty of options when considering a stay near New Braunfels for tubing the Comal River. Consider the traditional family-friendly lodge, Gruene Outpost Lodge. This lodge is reasonably priced in the city of Gruene and close to New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn, and Natural Bridge Caverns. This area is known for its historically German roots, traditional food, entertainment, and shopping is centered on this culture. Gruene is also known for having the oldest dance hall in Texas.

4. Center Point

A river that has a concrete bridge in the center of the picture. The banks get wider with more tress and more banks as you look past the bridge. Going past the bridge shows that you are moving deeper into the woods. In the front you can see that there is a dirt road very close to the banks showing easy road access to the bank as well as the bridge.


This town is located on the Guadalupe River close to Kerrville and Fredericksburg. There are a few river access places here. A popular destination for travelers is Dave’s Place, which offers a variety of activities and is also a bed and breakfast. There is an entrance to the river, which is Brinks Crossing off of Center Point Road, and it drops off at Government Crossing, which is off of FM 1350. As with any entrance, you should use caution as these trails are deemed a bit rougher and are more for an experienced outdoors enthusiasts. Another reason to visit Center Point is hunting. Buck Valley Ranch offers lodging as well as guide services with hunting.

5. Blanco State Park

A family with small children swimming in the river. One of the boys is jumping into a deeper part of the river. The mother is sitting on rocks in the water helping a young girl on to the rocks.


Named after the Blanco River, this state park has a variety of accommodations and activities. The Ranger Programs are not as vast this year as the other state parks, but there are still all of the recreational and overnight options that are typically offered at state-run locations. There are no license requirements for fishing in Texas state parks, and Blanco is the ideal location for trout fishing. At this park, boats have to have motors. And, if you are planning a trip in May, the classic car show is featured here on the third Saturday.