15 Best Things to Do in Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake
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Do you want to enjoy the cool breeze on a boating trip or explore the trail of dinosaurs from millions of years ago?

Either way, you and your family will be able to enjoy an amazing time at Canyon Lake.

Canyon Lake is the Water Recreation Capital of Texas, easily accessible from several nearby towns and only an hour out of San Antonio.

It is a reservoir on the Guadalupe River in Texas Hill Country.

Have a look at the many wonderful adventures waiting for you:

Canyon Dam Walkaway

Canyon Dam Walkaway
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Canyon Lake also happens to be well-known as one of the few lakes with a dam where the service road is open to the public.

You can walk on top of the dam and enjoy the amazing view of the water from a whole new perspective.

It was briefly closed from 2018 onwards due to concerns of the safety of the public, and particularly for people with disabilities.

However, the local people came together to make the Dam Community Alliance and fundraise in order to spruce up the service road.

It reopened in mid-2019 and has been a well-loved local hangout ever since.

Overlook Park

View from the Overlook Park
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For those of you who love hiking and adventure trails.

Overlook Park is a 1-kilometer long loop trail that is suitable for the whole family, and for hikers of all skill levels.

You can also enjoy the fantastic view as you take a slow walk.

The scenery includes the opportunity to watch birds in their natural environment, and a view of the river far below.

The best times for this trail are from April to September.

As it is a forgiving trail for people of all skill levels, including those traveling with kids, there is usually a bit of traffic although not overwhelming amounts.

Las Barcas Tex-Mex Grill

Enjoy fresh and great Tex-Mex flavors at Las Barcas.

The lakeside ambience complements the generous portions of Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.

Whether you want a simple side of fries and salsa before you go home or you’re looking for a full meal with old favorites, you’ll love what you get here.

After your full day of adventure, you deserve a nice place to put up your feet and treat your stomach.

Wimberley Zipline Adventures

Wimberley Zipline Adventures is located in the Four Winns’ Ranch, which has a long history, going back to 1883.

The ranch is just south of the Wimberley village, and a close drive from Canyon Lake.

The full course offers ten separate ziplines, between 900 and 150 ft long each.

Each amazing flying adventure where you move over 30 miles per hour will give you a gorgeous view of the hills of Texas Hill Country, meadows, and canyons.

The tours require reservations and each tour will need at least 1.5 to 2 hours of your time.

Lack of experience is not a problem at all if you want a bird’s eye view from the ziplines.

The wonderful guides at Wimberley Ziplines are trained to handle complete newcomers and the tours are preceded by a thorough training at what they call their “flight school.”

You can also relax after the zipline adventure at their Biergarten where they sell cider, beer, soda and spritzer!

Dry Comal Creek Winery & Vineyards

From noon to 6 in the evening, Thursday to Monday, you can visit the gorgeous Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, at New Braunfels, Texas and enjoy authentic Texan wine.

Founded by Franklin Houser in the 1990s, it is now owned by the Romero family, with Seth Urbanek as the winemaker.

They pride themselves on providing completely Texan wine, made 100 percent from Texan grapes.

You can reserve “Tastings” and enjoy six amazing wines along with their stories.

Or if you already know which wines you like, you can hang out at the Outdoor Lounge.

Pair their local wine with food you’ve brought in yourself or try your luck at the food trucks.

Fishing Trip on Canyon Lake

The US Army Corps of Engineers is the Reservoir Controlling Authority of Canyon Lake.

There are several guided fishing tours available for fishing enthusiasts in the area.

The fishing and angling is excellent throughout the year, but the specialty is largemouth bass angling.

Largemouth bass angling is best during the spring, fall and winter months.

Other popular fish include white bass and striped bass.

For family trips, angling for redbreast sunfish is a popular pastime!

Guided Tour in the Heritage Museum

The Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country is famous for being the site of multiple dinosaur tracks.

For two decades the museum has been working to preserve over 200 footprints from dinosaurs, and many track ways, as well as educate the public.

The footprints and trackways are about 110 million years old, part of the early Cretaceous period.

The Heritage Museum not only has trackways and hiking trails but also Cretaceous fossil digs!

The entrance fee includes a boardwalk tour where a docent will guide you through the dinosaur trackways and tell you about the amazing history of the area.

Canyon Lake Boat Parade

If you’re in the Canyon Lake area during December, add some extra fun to your holiday cheer with the boat parade.

The Canyon Lake Yacht Club's annual Parade of Lights celebrated its 38th year in 2020.

This is a local tradition of the Yacht Club, where decorated boats tour through the lake and add a dash of celebratory dazzle.

The Yacht Club’s Green Dragon traditionally starts the show, and it’s well-worth a watch.

James C. Curry Nature Centre

James C. Curry bought the pristine natural area as an investment in 1981.

He later donated the James C. Curry Nature Centre to Comal County in 2013.

The beauty of Texan Hill Country is on vivid display for the mile long looping track.

While the track is suitable for hikers of most skill levels, it has some steep ascents and is relatively unfrequented.

It is an excellent place for those who prefer to admire nature alone.

Whitewater Amphitheater

The quaintly named Whitewater on the Horseshoe takes advantage of being the “only venue bordered on two sides” by a permanent creek, and the seemingly unending forest of heritage trees.

The owners have created two amazing stages in a breathtaking location.

In the day, Whitewater Amphitheater offers fun water sports like tubing and rafting on the river and at night, the Creekside Stage offers a gentler mood, and soft lighting.

The Biergarten has excellent seating and a wide range of offerings.

Guadalupe River

Aerial view of tubing in Guadalupe River
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The lower Guadalupe River starts from the Canyon Lake dam, and is one of two lovely rivers making Canyon Lake the Water Recreation Capital of Texas.

Starting from Canyon Lake, up to New Braunfels, the Guadalupe is one of the state’s most popular spots for summer river tubing.

The river offers an amazing spot for water activities and sports like paddleboarding or canoeing.

The river is also popular throughout the year for fly-fishing, with rainbow trout being released annually in the New Braunfels area for fishermen.

Gennaro's Trattoria Restaurant

Top of the list in TripAdvisor’s “Best Restaurants in Canyon Lake,” Gennaro’s Trattoria restaurant is a must-visit when you’re in the area.

Always a bustling place, the ambience and excellent service make it popular as much as the great food.

It is naturally well-known for the great seafood, but is also vegetarian and vegan friendly!

Definitely do not forget to try out a drink from the excellent wine list.

Canyon Lake Marina

Canyon Lake Marina
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Conveniently located just next to Cranes Mill Marina, this offers you two different options for Marinas.

You can indulge in some of the most popular activities available in Canyon Lake by renting boats.

Whether you want to just relax on the river or try out water activities such as water skiing, you have your choice of boats here.

You can rent kayaks, ski boats, tritoons, wave runners and paddle boards!

Lakeside Golf Club

If you can’t bear to miss your round of golf during your vacation, you are in luck!

Lakeside Golf Club offers you the chance to experience golf over miles of Hill Country, with every convenience at hand.

If you're a complete beginner, the club's trained staff will offer you support, from picking your golf clubs to golf lessons that will have you swinging away in no time!

The Lakeside Golf Club also has a pool and tennis court available for

And once you’re done with your game, be sure to stop by the 19th Hole Bar & Grill to enjoy a drink and a well-earned meal.

Old Hancock Trail

Old Hancock Trail is about three and a half miles.

The trail follows the lake line, providing a scenic atmosphere all through.

It is great for hiking as well as horseback riding, and is also an excellent spot for bicyclists.

Motor vehicles are generally not allowed in the area, making it safe for horses and bicycles.

The strict rules against waste, including animal waste, and fires, keep the trail beautiful.

You can travel back year after year to find the same natural beauty.

Nature watching, including bird watching, is a very popular pastime at the Old Hancock Trail.

Italian Garden Restaurant

A great, authentic Italian restaurant that can make your evening as great as your day when you visit Canyon Lake.

The restaurant takes pride in making authentic food right from scratch and is accommodating of vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free food requirements.

A family-friendly restaurant with great service and better food where you can rest up after a busy day full of adventures.

Canyon Lake Gorge Tour

Canyon Lake Gorge Tour
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A historic flood in 2002 carved out the 64 acre Canyon Lake Gorge, a limestone gorge.

It exposed the amazing geology of the Hill Country, including limestone layers created by an ancient sea, fossils, and the dinosaur tracks that are protected by the area’s Heritage Museum.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, along with the community-based Gorge Preservation Society work together to protect this amazing historical space and guide visitors through the Gorge.

Visit to enjoy the sight of a perfectly preserved fossilized sea urchin, and to learn about the power of water!

Shade Tree Saloon & Grill

Shade Tree Saloon & Grill takes pride in being the best place to stop in Hill Country.

The outdoor seating is a wonderful place to relax in the evenings, and the Saloon always has a game of pool or shuffleboard on offer.

The food is undoubtedly counted among the best to be found in the area.

However, the main reason people love it is their wide selection of beer.

The collection starts from their very own “Shade Tree home brew drafts,” and including brews as different as coffee stout, Scottish ale and IPA.

If you appreciate a nice craft brew, you definitely have to stop here.

Camping at Potters Creek Park

For the adventure-minded who enjoy roughing it out in beautiful surroundings, Potters Creek Park is on the northern shore of Canyon Lake, providing a beautiful atmosphere and excellent weather.

Potters Creek Park has a convenient parking lot, excellent facilities with electric and water access, and scenic surroundings with oak and juniper trees.

There are plenty of adventure sports opportunities at both Canyon Lake and the River Guadalupe, or you can relax with a bit of fishing and swimming.

Potters Creek Campground also offers cabins and RV sites along with tent sites, so there’s something available for everyone!

Stahlman's Farmers Market

For fresh and organic produce, the Stahlman’s Farmer’s Market is the best place you can visit in Canyon Lake.

It is the local farmer’s market for Canyon Lake and is also great for visitors who want to try freshly smoked BBQ.

Take a jar of preserves as gifts for friends or have some fantastic grass-fed beef sandwiches, or the soup of the day for lunch.

The market is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

Visit at least once to get some gifts for the folks back home and enjoy the amazing taste of locally grown, fresh food.