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GC: Fall Flotilla offers peaceful trip down the San Antonio River

Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.


Interested in floating in Fall Flotilla?

All paddlers must supply their own boat and safety equipment. No paddler will be allowed to participate without proper flotation devices. For your comfort it is advised you bring water, bug spray. Event and shuttle service are subject to cancellation through 8 a.m. on event day due to weather and/or flow conditions. In the event of inclement weather or high/low flows, contact Goliad State Park at 361-645-3405 for event status.

Source: canoetrailgoliad.com

by Jessica Rodrigo

jrodrigo@vicad.com

This fall, it's possible that more than 200 paddlers could make their way to the Goliad Paddle Trail for the Fall Flotilla.

The event, hosted by a partnership between the San Antonio River Authority, Texas Park and Wildlife, Texas Department of Transportation and the Canoe Trail Goliad group, will give canoers and kayakers from the state and beyond a chance to float the San Antonio River.

Avid canoer, chairperson of the Canoe Trail Goliad group and park manager for the Coleto Creek Reservoir, Wilfred Korth, said the Fall Flotilla, on the first Saturday in November, is an event for families and beginners.

"We get quite a few families that come out, because it is such a calm smooth river, so you can safely do it, even with young kids," he said.

The flotilla is 6 1/2 miles long, and the shorter version of trail is two miles long if you put it in at Ferry Street and paddle to the state park.

The group has worked with the other agencies to create what they call "hardened" locations, which have room for parking and provide an area for outdoorsmen to get in and out of the river. But with the high temperatures and drought, the water may be very low in November.

"In June, no one had any problems, but there were already areas where the river was getting fairly shallow," he said. "If we continue to not get any rain, we could get to the point where the river could get so shallow, you would have to literally drag your boat across certain areas."

Korth, who is in his mid-50s, said there was a drought year when there were sections of the river where there were about three inches of water.

"The San Antonio River itself, like many of the rivers on this end, is a nice, calm, just relaxing float," he said. "The unique thing about this river, unlike the Guadalupe, is that most of our river, even running through Goliad, is undeveloped. So, you can paddle almost the whole stretch and rarely see anybody, other than who is on the river."

During his experiences paddling the river, he said he has seen deer and other wildlife along the river.

The Goliad Paddle Trail was started by a group of interested residents who wanted to generate interest in using the river, he said.

For more information about the Goliad Paddle Trail, visit canoetrailgoliad.com.

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