Things to Do

Rio Vista Falls Dam: A Crown Jewel of San Marcos

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A crown jewel of San Marcos, Texas is the Rio Vista Falls Dam located in Rio Vista Park. It is a gem of a place for swimming, tubing, canoeing, and kayaking. According to Wikipedia, the dam was damaged during the flood of 1998. “Following a $2.1 million USD project, Recreation Engineering and Planning (REP) was commissioned to reconstruct the failing dam to enhance existing usage for recreational visitors and tourists alike while improving a stimulant of the local economy.” The enhancements you see today included grading the banks down to the water, and the addition of artificial rapids. It’s a 13-acre oasis to cool off during the hot summer months as you can see in the Emily Brown’s YouTube video below.

There are plenty of fun and activities along the dam. You can rent a tube from the Lions Club Tube Rental within the park and float down the rapids all day. If shooting the rapids isn’t for you there is the Olympic Outdoor Center. The Olympic Outdoor Center was founded in 2001 and offers year-round service to provide you with everything you need to kayak or paddle your way down the river. One visitor on had this to say, “If you have not seen down river from the Rio Vista Whitewater Park via a kayak, you are missing out on some of the best the Hill Country has to offer.”

It’s not unusual to see visitors surfing the rapids, sunbathers along its banks, or folks just swimming in its deep watering hole. Surrounding amenities include restrooms, tennis courts, a half basketball court, picnic tables, benches, a pavilion, city swimming pool, hike/bike trails, and trash cans as shared on

Have you experienced this gem? Tell us about your adventures on Rio Vista Falls. Rio Vista Falls Dam, 555 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, TX, 78666.

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