Things to Do

Find Recreation at the Rio Frio

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Tony Maples Photography


If you’re up for some recreation, travel West 83 miles from San Antonio and head North for another 30 minutes. You’ll find yourself at the Rio Frio. In 1866 Watkins F. Smith and Newman Patterson formed the Lombardy Trading Company to dig irrigation ditches. The town was actually known as “The Ditch” until 1875 when it was renamed Rio Frio. Uniquely, the irrigation company created a schoolhouse for the surrounding area children that had several uses including church and political events. That building was located behind a Texas live oak which is now a Texas state landmark.

life-oak-landmark-2Photo: Facebook/Jeanne Shepherd Harford

The area around the Rio Frio was originally used as an agricultural territory but that faded with the boll weevil infestation. Presently, the area supports the ranching of Angora goats. Though lots of four-legged furry friends can be found, don’t expect a lot of 2-legged folks. The town’s population was reported as 50 in 2000 and has never been known to exceed 75. But, you won’t be short on activities. The mild weather is the perfect backdrop for bird-watching, fishing, or mountain biking. There are vacation homes and cabins available for staying overnight.  Whatever you decide on for recreation, the Rio Frio is the place to go.