New Braunfels is one of the places that is distinguished by being one of the first towns in Central Texas to ban disposable drink containers. This ban was brought about due to excessive trash and unruly behavior.
The Comal River is the shortest navigable river in Texas. It originates at a spring and runs 2.5 miles where it joins the Guadalupe River. It runs entirely in the city of New Braunfels. The water is clear and cold (72F) year round.
The highlight of swimming in the Comal is undoubtedly “the tube chute”. The best part is the part that runs from the calm part to the rapids below. The chute is mossy on the bottom, and you are faced with a choice to run it with or without a tube.
If you run the chute without a tube you can actually stand and surf for a bit until you are unceremoniously dumped at the bottom. At the bottom you can shoot off to the right as quick as you can swim and as hard as you can pull. Then, grab the rusty banister to the stairs. If you stay left or fail to exit right you will be engulfed in the plume of the discharge and it will pull you under. After being pulled under, you’ll be looking up at the world going by through the clear water above and thinking you’ve taken your last breath and what a good (or bad) life it has been. Just about the time you’ve come to accept your mortality, you get spit out sputtering breathless and grateful you are still alive.
Most people take the tube chute on a tube, which makes the lower part of the falls easier and less frightening.
The lower part of the river is surrounded by a public park complete with barbeque grills and picnic tables. The water here is slower moving and provides better access for children and those who need less adrenaline in their lives.