As Donetta and I wrapped up our two sun-soaked weeks in New Braunfels and our time at Schlitterbahn, we finally achieved our goal of floating the Comal River. We've been talking about tubing a river for years and there was no better time than now!
About The Comal River
Honestly we knew nothing about the river before making our decision to go tubing, but since then I've learned it is the shortest navigable river in Texas and proclaimed the "longest shortest river in the world" by locals. It's a two mile stretch that runs through entire city limits of New Braunfels. - Wikipedia
The river is open year round to recreational activities with an average temperature of 72 degrees. So if you miss out in the summer, you can still go tubing in the winter.
Starting at Landa Falls
There are many options where you can begin floating the Comal River, including public property, but we opted for Landa Falls. It's the longest float and we wanted to get the most from it.
You can save money by going to Walmart or another store to purchase a tube, but we decided to fork over $18 each to avoid having to blow up the inflatable or find a home for it when we were done. Tubes for your coolers are also available, in addition to life vests.
Free parking is no problem for Landa Falls. They have a large gravel parking lot across the street from the main entrance and it's a short walk to the gate. Restrooms are available on the grounds in case you downed that 22 oz beer before leaving and need to pee before getting to the water. And yes, I'm speaking from experience. LOL
Floating the River
Once you park your arse in the tube the rest is easy. The river current will take you away with the only thing required beyond that point is enjoying the ride.
It's important to state to our adult beverage enthusiasts that alcohol is allowed when floating the Comal River, but you must use an approved container. Since I'm a law abiding citizen and never question authority, my choice was using a properly insulated Thermos filled with the Nectar of the Gods. The downside is you run out quickly when you're thirsty.
The river itself is less intimidating than what I envisioned.
On our floating trip, it was clear and clean, with the deepest part being about neck deep. The "rapids" sections we encountered were more like speed bumps though still fun. At times it felt like more of a journey through a large suburban creek than an expedition through the wilderness. But we did see a variety of wildlife including fish, ducks, turtles, cranes, and a small herd of deer!
There were times we'd get caught up in a horde of fellow tubers or have to listen to loud, obnoxious music but overall it was a very tranquil and peaceful experience.
Ending at South Union Avenue
After three hours or so, you'll come across the last exit for tubing and will have to haul your gear up two flights of stairs and a short distance to the shuttle pickup points. From there you can get a ride back to the main entrance before heading to your vehicle.
So was it worth it? Yes it was.
We definitely had an awesome time floating the Comal River and playing in the water. Whether you pay for the tubing experience or bring your own stuff and jump in along certain points, it's a fun way to spend your day in the heat. Donetta and I highly recommend it.