Twelve-year-old you is hunched over a ratty copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, leaning up against a tree, dreaming of the day you'll get a quest of your own. And today, a slice of Texas calls out to that child, still deep in you, to visit the Blanco River near San Marcos.
This astonishing river is open to the public for swimming and floating, but it's surrounded by private property. So you're on your own if you can't stay in your lane, you little trespassers!
No, but seriously, they're really intense about not intruding on the private land. You can travel down the river without any issues, though, since the water itself is public property.
From Lindendale to San Marcos, the Blanco River stretches over 87 miles in a natural, windy fashion. Serving as the geological line between east and west Texas, you can float it and be two places at once — or nowhere at all, depending on how you look at it. Along the way and under the water, all kinds of wildlife are there to keep you company.
The most picturesque corner of the river is known as The Narrows. This little slice of paradise resembles the Grand Canyon, inside and out. And like most good things, it's difficult to find.
Because you can't park near The Narrows (remember the whole trespassing thing?), you'll have to leave your vehicle at the state park and venture the lengthy Blanco River. It's what Huck would want you to do anyway.
The tricky access to this river is what keeps it so secluded and serene, though. You have to earn its beauty. You'll even want some rain on this parade, as the best time to go is after a good rainfall when there's a better current — especially if you're wanting to paddle it.
The Blanco River State Park has several campsites with different accommodations and nightly rates ranging from $20-25.
Finding The Narrows
Address: The state park is at 101 Park Rd. 23, Blanco, TX; the river is in the Texas Hill Country
Why You Need To Go: It's time to live out your favorite adventure novel. And this time, with a major cliffhanger.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.