The Comal River, located in New Braunfels, TX, is the state's shortest navigable river and, at around 2 miles long, one of the country's shortest boatable waterways. Affectionately called the “Longest Shortest River in the World” by locals, the river's entire length runs within the city limits.

A tributary of the Guadalupe River, the headwaters of the Comal River originate from Comal Spring inside Landal Park. Thanks to the river's water temperature holding at a refreshing 70 to 72 degrees year-round, lazily floating can be a great way to cool off on those hot summer days.

Comal River - one of the highlights of 10 Best Outdoor Adventures in San Antonio (Read all about San Antonio here)

photo by Jeff Gunn (CC BY 2.0) modified

Highlights of the Comal River

The Comal River offers tubing, kayaking, and canoeing, with equipment rental available. To enjoy the crystal-clear waters and rock bottom of the Comal River, tubers start near the Wurstfest grounds, then leisurely pass through city centre and by the Schlitterbahn Waterpark before joining with the larger Guadalupe River.

For those looking for a bit more excitement, the City Tube Chute, one of the longest waterslides of its kind and cut out by the city as an exhilarating diversion around the New Braunfels Dam, may fit your bill. For those who are not strong swimmers, there is an opportunity to walk around the City Tube Chute.

photo by gsloan (CC BY 2.0) modified

Good to know before visiting the Comal River

Floats down the river take about 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on the river’s water level. Children are welcome to tube on the river, but they must be over 4 years old and be accompanied by an adult at all times. It is recommended that all children under 8 years old wear life jackets.

Remember to plan for shuttle service, tube rental, and user fees. Food and alcoholic drinks are permitted on the river; however, there are several restrictions, including no disposable containers and no containers made of foam, styrofoam, or glass.

Comal River