Location of the Comal River
Origin Comal Springs, Comal County, Texas, U.S.A Mouth Guadalupe River, Comal County, Texas, U.S.A Basin countries U.S.A Length 2.5 mi (4 km) Source elevation 600 ft (183 m) Avg. discharge 312 ft³/s (9 m³/s) Basin area 130 mi2 (337 km2)
The Comal River is the shortest navigable river in the state of Texas in the United States. Proclaimed the "longest shortest river in the world" by locals, it runs entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels in southeast Comal County. It is a tributary of the Guadalupe River. The Comal begins at Comal Springs in Landa Park and flows 2.5 miles (4.0 km) until its junction with the Guadalupe.
The Comal was originally called the Little Guadalupe in early Spanish accounts. After Spaniard Pedro de Rivera y Villalón identified the longer river as the Guadalupe in 1727, the Comal was given its current name. The name means basin or flat dish in Spanish.
Historically the Comal was used to power watermills and cotton gins by early German settlers, and later to provide hydroelectric power. The river is primarily used for water recreation today, being the location of the original Schlitterbahn water amusement park. The water is administered by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.
Mild currents, clear water, and a host of treasures left behind by tubers make the river an ideal local for scuba diving. Because the Comal maintains a temperature of approximately 72 degrees fahrenheit (approximately 22 degrees Celsius) year round, divers are present in both the summer and the winter. Thousands of people from all walks of life tube down the Comal River in the spring & summer to enjoy the river's natural beauty. Tubing on the Comal provides a less intense alternative to tubing on the nearby Guadalupe river, where one may encounter frequent rapids and boulders to paddle around. The Schlitterbahn Water Park is built along a 16-acre (65,000 m2) stretch of the river.
- Comal River from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
- Photo of Comal River near Comal Springs
- Sketch of the Comal River Ferry from A pictorial history of Texas, from the earliest visits of European adventurers, to A.D. 1879, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
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