Where to hike in New Braunfels?
My first experience with the Comal Trails Alliance was at Landa Park in New Braunfels, TX. By the way, there’s no second ‘S’ in Braunfels. Ok- where was I? Oh yeah- Land park and the Panther Canyon Trailhead.
Panther Canyon is one of three trails/parks that the Comal Trails Alliance helps maintain along with the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation department. The other two are Dry Comal Creek and the Madrone Trail.
Panther Canyon begins just after the headwaters for Comal Springs. There are a few spots where you can walk down and sit by the water rushing out of the ground, and on my last visit I saw people filling up their water bottles as they got back on their bikes to cruise around the park.
The canyon is really like walking in sections of a dry creek bed. I can’t imagine what it’s like after a rain, but despite that, it was really shaded with plenty of different plants to enjoy along the mostly flat hike.
There are some sections where you’re crossing over rocks, so be mindful of your footwear. And know that there aren’t any restrooms along the way.
The trail is 1.2 miles in one direction, but the land it’s on is 49 acres, so plenty of room to move around. At the end you’re pretty much walking next to a neighborhood, so be mindful of your surroundings before you loop on back.
Dry Comal Creek
This trail is a bit longer at 2.25 miles roundtrip. This trail is suitable for hiking at mountain biking as well. The only one in town where bikes are allowed actually.
The plant life and landscape are similar to what you’ll find around town, but be on the lookout for prickly pear cacti and mesquite trees!
There are plenty of benches along the way, and just note there is a side trail along the way to venture off and see more exciting things.
Madrone Trail is actually close to Canyon Lake than it is to New Braunfels. It’s 7.6 miles of winding trails that are suitable for hiking and bike riding as well.
The interesting thing about this place is it is a partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers. If you’ve been paying attention then you’ll know that they offer some amazing places near water to spend time outdoors.
The map has two different pathways; one for trail and one for road, and so just know you can cross over between the two. There are three different, unnamed, trails that exist, but because it’s a Army Corps park, there’s always water!