Hike, Canoe, and Swim with Dogs at Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park is a fantastic, dog friendly area to go hiking, canoeing, and swimming near Boerne, and San Antonio. Abbey and I visited this park recently to do some hiking along the Guadalupe River. Although there are a variety of things to do at this Texas State Park, we spent our morning on the Bald Cypress Trail. However, I plan on returning in the future to swim, and possibly canoe as well. Guadalupe River State Park is about 13 miles east of Boerne, and 30 miles north of San Antonio. The park is open from 8am – 10pm, and does charge of fee of $7 (kids are free).

Abbey on the Guadalupe River.


  • Dog friendly
  • Weekend events
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Natural and gravel hiking trails (13 miles)
  • Camping
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Discovery center
  • Tours
A view of the Guadalupe River and rock cliff from the overlook.

Bald Cypress Trail

It’s about a two mile drive from the park entrance to the Guadalupe River. There are parking lots, trails, and camping areas along the way. If you plan on doing any activity near the river, you will need to drive through all that to get there. The trail nearest the river is the Bald Cypress Trail. The gravel trail is hardly half a mile, but provides an overlook, and access to the Guadalupe River. This is where you will go if you plan on getting wet.

The shallow water is clear at Guadalupe River State Park.

The Bald Cypress Trail is not a loop, but does connect to the road at two separate points. The hike is not challenging and good for beginners. We also took the opportunity to walk along the river where several others were swimming, and fishing. Abbey is not a fan of swimming, but on this day I wished she was because of the heat. Perhaps next time! We did enjoy the Riverview as we hiked as far as we could in both directions. I was extremely surprised there was no bridge across because there are several trails north of the river. The drive to the other side of the river is greater than 10 miles! Install a bridge please.

The river area is well shaded at Guadalupe River State Park.

Things To Do

Guadalupe River State Park has many amenities and potential activities to keep you busy. There are approximately eight miles of trails south of the river. Some are loops and some are not, but they each connect to another trail or roadway. These are good for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The Painted Bunting loop crosses the road through the park at two points. North of the river there are about five miles of trails which are good for hiking and biking. However, getting to these trails is more like traveling to another park. The historic Bauer House is located in this are, but we did not see it since we were south of the river.

If you follow the park entrance road all the way to the furthest parking lot, you will have the option to swim, fish, or canoe. Prior to reaching the river, there are three parking areas near campsites. One has water and electric access, while the other two are for tents. If you would like to learn more about the features of the park, or volunteer, you can do so at the Discovery Center. The Center is directly south of the river in the final parking area, and open from 10am – 4pm on weekends.

The amphitheater next to the Discovery Center.

Next to the center is an amphitheater where they probably host school groups. Behind it there is a very short wooded loop trail. The trail is very well shaded, but does also connect to an open trail leading to another river overlook. There were many portable toilets available during our visit due to construction. They appeared to be in the process of building a public restroom area.

The portable toilets were put in a most opportune place next to the Discovery Center sign.


We did not see any wildlife during our visit, but it was a hot summer morning. There were a few people swimming and fishing, but the park was not heavily populated. We got inside using our Texas State Parks Pass, which was purchased for $70, and gets us inside any Texas State Park for one year. We do a lot of hiking with our dog and will make good use of a yearly pass. If you do not have a pass, it will cost $7 to enter Guadalupe River State Park.

The water becomes more rapid downstream.

A couple of areas were under construction, but hopefully the work will be concluded before we return. If interested in events on the weekend, keep an eye on the parks website. There appear to be weekly events such as hiking tours, archery, and geocaching. There are many things to do at Guadalupe River State Park, and not enough time in the day to do them all. We will return in the near future to do some of the things which we did not get around to doing the first visit.

Abbey would rather be in the tree than the water

If you are interested in more activities near the water check out Pedernales Falls State Park to the north, the Boerne Riverwalk to the west, or Scenic Overlook Park at Canyon Lake to the east.


I am a certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Places for Pups was created to catalog daily, dog friendly adventures. I hope you will share yours here as well.

The content and photos on this site belong to me, and may not be copied or used without permission.
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Even though I discuss places, or things, and emerge from the woods unharmed, I am not at all responsible for you, your family, your friends, or your pets. You are solely responsible for following in my footsteps and trying things described on this site.

I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

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