The Best New Trails at Guadalupe River State Park

Discover a 2,000 acre park split by the Guadalupe River, just north of San Antonio. A Texas State Park full of hiking trails, and potential activities for you and your family. Follow its river on foot, or in a canoe as Hill Country wildlife wanders round. This place is Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, Texas. Four miles of river is completely accessible, and waiting to be part of your adventure.

One of two new trails at Guadalupe River State Park, this is Curry Creek Overlook Trail and it's dog friendly.
Curry Creek Overlook Trail

More Dog Friendly Trails at Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park is dog friendly, and (now) has more than 13 miles of hiking trails. We recently visited the north side of the park and noticed two new trails have appeared. These may now be the best trails at Guadalupe River State Park, and will be discussed below.

Fishing, swimming and canoeing along the Guadalupe River are allowed. Horseback riding is allowed on three trails near the HQ, which total 4.5 miles. Campsites are located near the river on the east side of the park. A few things make Guadalupe River State Park unique in comparison to other Texas State Parks.

  • The park is split by the river
  • The river has a paddling trail
  • You may make an armored friend
The Guadalupe River can be seen from the Golden-cheeked Warbler Trail.
The Guadalupe River from an unmarked overlook

The Guadalupe River Paddling Trail

This river runs through the park in dramatic fashion. It enters the west side of the park near its center, turns north, turns south, and finally turns north again. It can hardly make up its mind. Many state parks in Texas contain a river, but the opposite side is often private property. Guadalupe River State Park is different. You can hike south of the river, north of the river, or travel through it.

One of the largest, and only paddling trails, in Texas Hill Country runs through this park. It’s frequent starting point begins from the parking area, and the trail heads five miles downstream. The potential paddling distance runs for at least 15 miles to Rebecca Creek Road. However, I noticed another drop-in point a few miles west of Guadalupe River State Park at Edge Falls. This is one trail we look forward to trying in the near future!

Little Blue Stem Loop

Little Armored Companions (AKA Armadillos)

To our surprise, we noticed several armadillos in the canyons on the north side of the park. It was a fairly sunny afternoon with plenty of daylight left. However, the little armored ones were out-and-about searching the ground. We made our way toward the Guadalupe and one armadillo came very close. I had to order Abbey to “Leave it!” as we passed because she would love nothing more than to chase them.

Eventually we returned to that very spot on the trail and the armadillo was still there. I was able to get close enough to make a new armored friend. Either the little guy did not know I was there, or he realized there was nothing to fear. I took the opportunity to record the encounter as we met in the middle of the trail. The meeting drove Abbey crazy! I can’t guarantee you will meet this armadillo at Guadalupe River State Park, but there’s a chance you might.

The Best Hiking Trails and Points of Interest

There are currently 16 miles of dog friendly hiking trails at this park. The south side previously had the most, but the north has caught up with the addition of two new trails. The Curry Creek Overlook Trail, and the Hofheinz Connector – both natural trails with plenty of shade. On the trail map display, I noticed someone drew them in with a marker. Last years map did not have those trails marked, but this years does.

The trail map is a bit misleading. Several trails on the north side turned out to be more road-like than trail. The Bauer, Bamberger and Golden-cheeked Warbler Trails each fall into this category. They contain gravel and dirt which vehicles most likely use to get to the river. The trails themselves are unspectacular, but they do lead to some fascinating sights.

There is a fairly steep section near the center of the Golden-cheeked Warbler Trail which is not marked. You may also be interested in the overlook between points of interest four and five along the same trail. It’s a great view of the Guadalupe River, and the picnic area from the top of a cliff. It’s not marked on the map, but difficult to miss while hiking.

I suggest calling this the Trail of Many Skulls

A few of the trails on the north side are labeled “moderate to challenging”. However, they are fairly easy to hike. The steep section is probably the only concerning spot. Rocks can move under your feet along the road if you aren’t careful.

Curry Creek Overlook Trail

This is one of the best trails on the north side of Guadalupe River State Park. It’s about one mile long, but feels longer as it winds through the woods, and along canyon ridges. Several armadillos were scrounging around at the bottom of the canyons. The natural trail has some slight changes in elevation as you head toward the creek.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a very good view of Curry Creek. The waters ran in the distance, but the woods are fairly dense along the trail. I could only make out a property surrounded by open fields in the distance. The Curry Creek Overlook Trail is a longer route to the Golden-cheeked Warbler from Bamberger, but much more pleasing.

The Guadalupe River up close from Little Blue Stem Loop.
The Guadalupe River

Hofheinz Connector Trail

This trail is near the parking area and does exactly what its name implies. The Hofheinz Connecter is a short natural trail which allows you to bypass the gravel road. The trail winds through the woods ever-so-slightly for less than one mile, and takes hikers to the mile-long Hofheinz Trail.

Little Blue Stem Loop

We were able to hike the majority of trails on the north side. We took Bamberger to Curry Creek, and then followed that to Golden-cheeked Warbler, which runs into Little Blue Stem Loop. This is a very nice loop trail which follows the shape of the Guadalupe River. I noticed off-shooting trails leading to the water in some spots. It was peaceful and full of natural beauty. Armadillos were moving through the tall grass in this area as well.

As Above, so Below

The north side of Guadalupe River State Park now has at least eight miles of hiking trails. The south side has close to eight, but the north side has more with the addition of the two new trails. The Little Blue Stem Loop is worth the short hike from the parking area. The Hofheinz Trails, and Curry Creek Overlook are also worth the trip. The other trails are simply access roads which will get you from trail to trail.

Looking upstream from the river access trail at Guadalupe River State Park.
The Guadalupe River – looking directly upstream

How to Get to Guadalupe River State Park North

There is no bridge to get across the Guadalupe River. Unfortunately, you must drive more than 10 additional miles to reach the parking area on the north side. A path over the water would be advantageous for hikers, but the park lacks this feature.

To get to the north side you must stop at the HQ to check-in. From there you will backtrack to Hwy 46, and head west to FM 3351. Turn north at Edge Falls Road, and head East at Acker Road. The gate will be closed, but you can open it using the keypad on the drivers side. Simply enter the passcode from the sign and the gate will open.

There is plenty to do while inside, but only so much time in one day. Have fun on the best trails at Guadalupe River State Park. May your journey through Texas Hill Country be as adventurous as ours. Oh, and if you do see any of those armadillos along the trails, come back and let us know.

I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.

We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.

Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.


David Earley


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