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to the Hill Country River Region

Concan, Camp Wood, Leakey, Rio Frio, Rocksprings, Sabinal, Utopia, Uvalde & Vanderpool

Dining, Shopping, Events, Activities, Lodging


Dine in or pick up at our drive thru!

2020 FEATURED EVENTS Jan 23-25 Uvalde County Jr Livestock Show & Sale Feb 15 No Limits! Monster Truck Show & Bad Boys of Wrestling March 20-21 Wintergarden API Rope-N-Smoke March 24 Shrine Circus April 18 Tree City Boxing Event April 30-May 2 American Freestyle Bull Fighting May 1-2 Cactus Jack PBR Bull Riding May 9-10 TYRA Rodeo July 4 Firecracker Fest Sept 3-6 Palomino Fest & Pro Rodeo Sept 19 Donnie Crow Memorial Team Roping October 2-3 SWTJC NIRA Rodeo October (date TBD) Tractor Pull October 31 Duck’s Unlimited Banquet & Auction November 6 Uvalde Hunters Roundup December 11-12 Annual Briscoe Ranch BBQ Cook-off

www.uvaldecountyfairplex.com 215 Veterans Lane, Uvalde, TX 78801

Book Your Event Today! 830-591-9040

Home Cooking Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner


Pizza • Spaghetti • Chicken Parmesan


Schnitzel • Bratwurst


Salads • Soups • Sandwiches • Burgers • Steaks


Kolaches • Donuts • Biscuits • Omelettes • Pancakes


Strudel • Brownies w/Ice Cream • Cakes & Pies



Open Monday - Saturday 7am - 9pm

(830) 597-2284

108 North Nueces Street Camp Wood, Texas 78833

directory HILL COUNTRY RIVER REGION El Progreso Memorial Library.........................................................................7 Frio Bat Flight..................................................................................................7 Frio Family Camp.............................................................................................9 Garven Store Texas Jerky, Supplies & Much More............................................7 Hill Country RV Rental RV Rentals...................................................................7 Map of Hill Country River Region..................................................................6 Propane Depot Delivery, Service, Installation................................................46 Tales of the Frio Canyon Book by Linda Kirkpatrick......................................50 The Oral History of the Sabinal Valley Books by Greg Walton.......................46 Uvalde County Texas .......................................................................................3 RIO FRIO Indian Blanket Ranch Secluded Getaway with Pool.......................................39 Hill Country Nature Center Hill Country Nature Tours.................................39

HWY 83 & 127 Concan, TX 78838


to the Hill Country River Region Published by The Hill Country Sun Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary 1990-2020 10th Edition. Contents copyright 2020. Reproduction of any portion of this publication in any form requires written permission of the publisher

Kenzie, Julie & Luke

Julie Spell Harrington Publisher/Advertising 512-484-9716 julie@hillcountrysun.com

Melissa & John

Melissa Maxwell Ball

Editor/Design 512-569-8212 melissa@hillcountrysun.com


COVER PHOTO by J. Reed. Inset photos LEFT and CENTER by Julie Harrington, RIGHT © Texas Parks & Wildlife Department


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

LEAKEY Ash Creek Hideaway 3-Acre Country Home.....................................................8 Bent Rim Grill Burgers & More.......................................................................15 Buckhorn Bar & Grill Drive-thru Beverage Barn, Live Music, Dancehall.......15 Canyon Charm Home Decor, Apparel, Accessories, Antiques......................... 13 Catahoula Woodworks Gifts & Home Decor, Custom Woodwork................... 13 Cedar Grove Retreat Cabin with Hill Country Views......................................10 Chickin’ Earls Fried Chicken & More...............................................................15 Cypress Frio Waters Cabins on Frio River......................................................11 Frio Canyon Real Estate Shawn Streib Gray, Broker/Owner........................... 7 Frio Rentals Frio Canyon Vacation Homes......................................................32 Leakey Beverage Barn....................................................................................11 Leakey Liquors Beer, Wine, Liquor.................................................................15 Leakey Mercantile Groceries, Produce, Supplies, Beer, Wine.............................8 Leakey Springs Cabins Waterfront Cabins & Group Lodge.............................11 Oak Hill Cabins Cabins with Beautiful Views.................................................11 Pearl’s Food Trucks, Beer & Wine....................................................................15 Rio Bella Resort Cabins on the Frio ...............................................................33 River Haven Cabins on the Frio.......................................................................11 Rustic Frio River Gear, T-Shirts, Home Décor, Apparel, Jewelry, More...........22 The Loft at Owl Hollow Lodging on 320 acres..................................................8 Vinny’s Italian Restaurant Dine In or Carry Out...........................................15 CONCAN Andy’s on River Road Tubing, Kayaks, RV & Tent Camping, Boutique.......... 27 Camp Riverview Cabins, RV & Tent Sites on the Frio.....................................19 Casa Rio Rentals Pet Friendly Private Homes on & near the Frio................... 35 Cherry Creek Cabin Secluded Cabin on Ranch................................................21 Concan Pies Baked Goods.................................................................................4 Concan River Lodging Vacation homes near the Frio.....................................27 Frio Acres 9 Cabins, 5 Lodges on 51 Acres......................................................17 Frio Country Resort Cabins, Homes, RV Spots on the Frio.............................35 Frio’s Dry 50 River Gear, Gifts, More ...............................................................5 Frio Family Getaway Cabin Rentals...............................................................21 Frio Fergies Casual Summer Apparel..............................................................23 Frio Grove Rentals Houses on the Frio River..................................................25 Frio Premier Rental Homes Private homes with river access.......... Back Cover Frio River Realty Larry Roberts, Owner/Broker, Homes, Ranches .................31 Frio River Vacation Rentals Cabins, Homes...................................................31 Hippie Chic’s River Shack Unique Eatery.......................................................29 Nana’s RV Park Frio Riverfront Park..............................................................29 Neal’s Lodges Cabins and Events on the Frio..................................................19 River Oaks Resort Homes and Cabins............................................................29 River Rim Resort Cabins on the Frio River...................................... Back Cover Seven Bluff Cabins Riverfront Cabins, RV Spots............................................23 Vacation Concan Rentals Lodges near the Frio River......................................21 Whiskey Mountain Inn Houses & Cabins on 18 acres....................................35 Zuber’s River Camp Cabins, Tents, RV Sites on the Frio.................................25

UTOPIA/VANDERPOOL A Peace of Heaven Cabins and RV Hookups....................................................45 Bownds Ranches Brandon Bownds, Broker, Farms, Ranches..........................37 Clear Springs Lodging Vacation Rentals on the Sabinal River........................41 Four Sisters Ranch Cabin Secluded Vacation Cabin.......................................43 Foxfire Cabins Log Cabins on the Sabinal River..............................................41 Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.....................................................................43 Postal Brews Coffee, Bakery, Flowers and Gifts..............................................45 Propane Depot Delivery, Service, Installation................................................46 Rock ’N Utopia House on Banks of Sabinal River............................................43 Sabinal River Lodge Log Cabin Lodge.............................................................40 Sarah’s Utopia Home Decor, Gifts & More.......................................................43 The Lunchbox Eatery Soups, Salads, Sandwiches...........................................45 Utopia General Store Groceries and Supplies.................................................40

A Frio Tradition!

Our 36th Summer on the Frio!

CAMP WOOD Bear Creek Fudge Candy, Sandwiches, Soda Fountain, Apparel, Jewelry........55 Camp Wood Café Cozy Café with Home Cooking..............................................2 King’s Texas Smokehouse Cafe, Meat Market, Slow Smoked Meats..............55 Marilyn’s Jewelry, Quilts, Knives, Cowhides & Western Decor........................34 Stoner Ranch Quarter Horses Foundation Bred King P-234 Horses..............55 BANDERA/MEDINA Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch Saturday- Monday in October................52 Spirits of Texas Handcrafted Texas Products, Books.......................................52 UVALDE 501 River Retreat Spa and Retreat on 501 Ranch..........................................47 Benson Guest House Spacious Guest Rooms in Downtown Uvalde................53 Broadway 830 Artisan Pizza, Beer, Full Bar...................................................53 Chalk Bluff River Resort Cabins, Campsites, RV Sites...................................49 Lantana Realty, Gene Evans...........................................................................47 Oasis Outback BBQ & Grill, Apparel, Outfitter..............................................45 The Open Range Bakery and Café, Daily Specials...........................................53 The Riv Cabins on the Nueces River................................................................. 62 Uvalde County Fairplex Event Venue & Indoor Arena......................................2 Uvalde Grand Opera House ............................................................................5 Uvalde Memorial Hospital ............................................................................51 Vasquez Restaurant Casual, Upscale Mexican Restaurant............................. 49 ROCKSPRINGS Historic Rocksprings Hotel Quiet Respite.....................................................57 Miss Buffy’s Apparel, Hunting Supplies, Jewelry & More...............................59 Miss Buffy’s Fried Chicken............................................................................59 SWT Services Corporation Custom Homes and Cabins..................................59 Western Hill Country Realty Ranches, Hunting............................................57

Frio River & GSP T-Shirts H Shorts Flip Flops H Patagonia H Consuela Southern Tide H Chacos H Red Dirt Hat Co. Hats/Caps H River Gear H Yellow Box Pura Vida H Brighton H Resort Wear Jewelry H Gifts H and More! Snack Shack serving Hand Dipped Blue Bell H Hawaiian Shaved Ice

SABINAL Sabinal Health Clinic .....................................................................................61

Sunday-Thursday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Friday-Saturday 9:30 am - 6:30 pm

Check Us Out On Hwy 127 in Concan

830-232-6300 • friosdryfifty.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Map of Map ofthe theHill Hill Country CountryRiver RiverRegion Region


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Frio Canyon Real Estate

Hill Country RV Rentals “We Deliver & Setup, So All You Need to do is Show Up” Equipped Kitchen & All Bedding Provided

Shawn Streib Gray, Owner/Broker

230 US Highway 83 South • Leakey, Texas




El ProgrEso MEMorial library, archivEs, & MusEuM

830-278-2017 • www.elprogreso.org 301 W. Main Street, Uvalde, TX 78801

Only used books bookstore in Uvalde Wi-Fi • 3-D Printer Texas residents can get a library card through the TexShare program Allows access to electronic database E-books available Story Time for pre-schoolers every Wednesday 10:30 am

Frio Canyon & Bandera



At the intersection of Highways 83 & 41

Buck Home of Billy and the 830-640-3235 • GarvenStore.com

Frio Cave is home to 10-12 million Free-tailed bats. It is considered to be the second largest in the world!

Tales of the

Frio Canyon by Linda Kirkpatrick

Available for purchase from Linda for $22 (shipping and handing included)

Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstrations at your camp

Bat tour season: March - September

See tour calendar & make reservations at

friobatflight.com or call 888-502-9387

Call for more information.

830-591-8177 • lkirkpatricktx@gmail.com Send check to P.O. Box 128, Leakey, Texas 78873 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020



Don’t miss the awe-inspiring

Frio Bat Flight

Ash Creek hideAwAy 3 Acre Country Home | Seasonal Creek Wildlife & Birdwatching 3 miles North of Leakey | Sleeps 14

210-842-1555 vrbo.com/1250951 On 320 Private Acres New Salt Water Swimming Pool Sleeps Up To 12

830-232-3746 • FrioCanyonRentals.com

leakey mercantile Groceries • Fresh Produce Camping Supplies Beer/Wine Meat Market We make fresh ground beef daily! Open 7 Days a week ’til 8 pm


leakeymercantile.com Highways 83 & 337 in Leakey, TX 8

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


arch through September on a ranch near Concan, you can watch in awe as 10- to 12-million Mexican freetailed bats emerge from Frio Cave at Frio Bat Flight. The beautiful and private 10,000-acre property on which the cave is located has been continuously owned by the same family since 1874. Bain and Kirstin Walker run the tours, each season hosting a whopping 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, all who come to see the second largest bat population in the world (that’s open to the public). Bain takes questions from the audience as the crowd waits for the bats to begin emerging from the cave about 30 minutes before sunset. These bats will travel up to 35 miles from the cave every night, covering several hundred miles in one evening. They are insectivores, preferring to dine on agricultural pests. “Scientists have discovered the bats eat, on average, their body weight nightly. That amounts to about 100 tons of insects a year!” says Bain. Bats emerge from Frio Cave March through September. Frio Bat Flight entry is $12; $10 for kids 10 and under; and $11 for seniors. Kids 5 and under get in free. Tour times vary by season. For more information, call 888-502-9387, email info@friobatflight.com or visit the web site at www.friobatflight.com.

Wylden Hubbard Memorial The 4th Annual Wylden Hubbard Memorial Youth Rodeo and Goat Roping is Labor Day weekend, at the Real County Junior Horse Club Arena in Leakey. Created in honor of Wylden Blain Hubbard of Leakey, the youth rodeo offers activities from youth saddle-bronc riding and mutton-busting to bull riding and goat roping. Wylden was taken to be with his Lord and Heavenly Father sooner than expected, but in his 13 years on Earth he left behind a gift to others that will never be forgotten. Proceeds from the Memorial Youth Rodeo and Goat Roping go to the Wylden Hubbard Memorial Scholarship Fund to be given to a local graduating senior who understands and exemplifies the legacy that Wylden left behind. Photo courtesy Hubbard family.

Leakey’s Festivity of Lights Don’t miss the 3rd Annual Festivity of Lights in Leakey this holiday season. The fun begins with the courthouse lighting Thanksgiving evening at sunset and runs through early to mid-January. You’ll be amazed at more than 30,000 lights on the Real County courthouse and grounds brightening the City of Leakey to kick off the holiday season. Entertainment will be provided by local musicians and photo ops abound among the beautiful lights. The annual project includes the installation of commercial lights around the top of the courthouse, lighted wreaths, and lights around beautiful oak trees on the courthouse lawn. Donations from individuals and businesses fund the project, and many volunteers and professional lighting stagers work multiple days on the installation, with downtown and community businesses participating in the lighting of buildings and property, adding to the beauty and festivity of the holiday season. The Leakey Festivity of Lights has a non-profit partnership with Downtown Leakey, Inc., a local 501(c)3 organization. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 402, Leakey, Texas 78873.


Your Home Away from Home nestled in the Frio Canyon Cabin sleeps 6 + The Cave Cabin that sleeps 2

Full kitchen • 2 bedroom/2 bath • Secluded/Private on fenced 2 acres Beautiful Hill Country views • Walking trails • Firepit/BBQ pit • Covered picnic table Near Garner State Park, tube rental & Frio River, shops & restaurants, 25 miles from Lost Maples SNA

22 Bailey Road • Leakey, TX 78873 • Instant Booking VRBO #1217302 10

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Leakey SpringS CabinS

Cabins on the Frio River Where memories can be made for a lifetime.... Open Year-Round Reservations Required Private access to a 1/2 mile of the East Frio River 3 miles north of Leakey, Texas on US 83

Waterfront Cabins Family Cabins Waterfront Group Lodge

Margie Sutherland, Manager



MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY! Hill Country Views, Wildlife, Tubing, Hiking, Star Gazing, Fishing, More

830-232-5955 • www.cypressfrio.com

EscapE to LEakEy

Enjoy Rest & Relaxation at

RiveR Haven

on 6.5 acres overlooking the Frio River (Rio Frio) Log Cabins with River Views Lodge Available for

Reunions • Weddings • Meetings

Manager: Margie Sutherland

www.riverhavencabins.com • rhc@hctc.net 830-232-5400 • 866-232-5400 (toll free)

Leakey Beverage Barn Large variety of Wine and Import & Domestic Beer

Kegs • Snacks Family Friendly Beverages Apple Scented Corn

821 S US Highway 83 • Leakey, Texas @ the flashing yellow light on Hwy 83 (830) 232-4224 • OPEN Mon-Sat 8 am- 9 pm • Noon-6 pm Sunday Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


local favorites not to be missed King’s Texas Smokehouse The perfect smokehouse makes a fine art out of flavorful smoked meats. And when Steven opened King’s Texas Smokehouse, he made it a mission to cook up a business worth the drive. Perfectly positioned in the middle of nowhere and proudly founded on Texas tradition, King’s is the place to go for a sandwich or burger you won’t forget. With meats smoked in-house, the folks at King’s go the extra mile to serve premier portions made to fill up every guest. At King’s Texas Smokehouse, they specialize in old-fashioned techniques and put only the finest meats on the menu. They even offer game processing for hunters so everyone can enjoy a freshly made meal on their own time. That’s just what makes them the Camp Wood pitstop for smokehouse flavor done right. kingstexassmokehouse.com, 830-597-4242. 1029 S. Texas Highway 55, Camp Wood, Texas. Open Monday through Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am to 8:30 pm, Sunday 11 am to 8 pm.

Oasis Outback As South Texas’ premier outfitter, Oasis Outback has everything you need to prepare for your next outdoor adventure. Oasis Outback sells hunting, fishing, and archery supplies including ammunition, targets, tree stands, fishing rods, reels, and tackle.Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or not, there’s something at this shop for everyone, from top-of-the-line hunting and camping gear to a wide selection of boutique clothing for both women and men. The barbecue and grill serves up hearty home cooking in a casual, laid-back atmosphere. You can also order online. But no matter what brings you to Oasis Outback, expect a friendly welcome and unmatched service from the team every visit. 2900 E Main Street, Uvalde, Texas 78801, 830-278-4000, oasisoutback.com. Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm. The restaurant is open Monday through from Thursday 10:30 am to 3 pm, Friday and Saturday 10:30 am to 9 pm. See LOCAL FAVORITES, page 14


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Home Decor • Apparel • Accessories • Antiques

Boutique • Antiques • Home Decor

OPEN YEAR ROUND! We appreciate our tourists/visitors

830-232-6102 1034 US Hwy 83 S • Leakey, Texas

Celebrating more than 20 years in business!


CGATAHOULA ifts Decor Custom Woodwork

Featuring 3 4 A r t is a ns OPEN YEAR ROUND

105 RR 337 West @ Highway 83 LEAKEY, TX





Photo credit Instagram @ jzbzack.

CatahoulaArtisanGallery.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Andy’s on River Road Andy’s On River Road is a hidden gem in Concan. You may just think Andy’s is a place to rent cabins and tubes, but they offer so much more, like groceries, camping gear and one of the biggest selections of Frio River souvenirs in the area. Andy’s also has a boutique full of gift items and the trendiest clothes and jewelry. Don’t miss the Man Cave, featuring Costa, Yeti, HUK and more.  Andy’s strives to be a one stop shop. Be sure to check out the Riverfront Cabins, Suites, Tent Sites and RV Sites. And visit Andy’s for all your outfitting needs- including tube rentals, kayak rentals and shuttle services.  Andy’s On River Road is open year-round. Peak season (March 1 - September 30) Sunday through Thursday 8 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 8 am to 10 pm. Off season (October 1 - February 28) open Monday and Tuesday 9 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 9 am to 2 pm. Visit the website at floatthefrio.com for more information.

Leakey Mercantile / Leakey Liquors Founded in 1949, the Leakey Mercantile is a true “Mom ‘n Pop” grocery in every sense, offering fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and cheese, a well-stocked meat market, barbecue supplies, sweets, sodas, beer and wine, groceries Leakey Liquors offers friendly service and a and much more. Stop in and say hello! 830-232-6299, 417 N. US Highway 83at great selection of wine, beer and spirits. the intersection of Highways 83 and 337, Leakey, Texas 78873. leakeymercantile.com. Next to the Leakey Mercantile. 830-232-4993.

Utopia General Store / The Lunchbox Eatery Utopia Texas; Population, “not very many.” Nestled in the Texas Hill Country you’ll find, by God’s Grace if you don’t get lost, a unique and creative eatery — The Lunchbox — located in the same building as the only general store in town. The Utopia General Store offers your everyday groceries and a fresh deli-meat market. From fresh everyday cuts to personalized orders, they are sure to take care of all your specialty needs. The Lunchbox’s eclectic combinations of ordinary things make for some extraordinary food. Heart, soul and a little bit of spice go into every element of every dish. From the special atmosphere to

the wonderful service, your stop is sure to be worthwhile. Don’t have time to stop for a bite to eat? Help yourself to groceries, grab and go items The Utopia General Store has to offer or contact The Lunchbox about hosting private parties or catering options. Come in with a empty belly and leave with a full heart, you won’t be disappointed. Utopia General Store, 406 N. Main Street in Utopia 830-966-3444. Open Monday through Saturday 6 am to 6 pm. The Lunchbox Eatery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm, Friday from 11 am to 2 pm, call ahead on Saturdays. 830-966-3040.



Check our Facebook page for hours & FUN events throughout the year like Leakey Market Days!

443 US Highway 83 South • Leakey, Texas

311 N. US Hwy 83 Leakey, Texas

830-232-4420 Dine In or Carry Out BYOB ALLOWED

Specialty Burgers, & A Variety of Menu Choices Dine-In or To-Go Clean Restrooms


657 West RR337

631 South US Highway 83

OPEN 11 am-7 pm Tuesdays & Fridays

1/2 Mile West of Hwy 83

www.BentRimGrill.com • 830-232-6649


RV Park/Campground

Ice Cold Beer, Frozen Drinks, Wine Selections Best Burgers in Town! Live Music, Karaoke, Dancing Pool Tables, Dart Board, Free Shuffleboard Free WiFi • Late Hours Watch your favorite sports on TV Fun for Whole Family • Bikers Welcome


(830) 232-4993 417 B Hwy 83 Right Next to the Leakey Mercantile


4377 S US Hwy 83, 4 miles south of Leakey Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


so much to see & do in every season Wine Tastings at Lost Maples Winery VANDERPOOL Lost Maples Winery is open for tastings Wednesday through Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm, Saturdays 11 am to 6 pm, often featuring live music in the afternoons. Sundays, the tasting room is open from 12 pm to 6 pm. Each tasting includes nine wines for $16. Private tastings area also available and recommended for large groups. Call 210-326-1185 to schedule. 34986 Farm Market 187, Vanderpool, Texas 78885.

Trail Rides at Elm Creek Stables CONCAN

Elm Creek Stables offers trail rides from 9 am to 5 pm. You can take a ride about two miles long with gorgeous trails and great scenery for only $30 per person. Pony rides are available for the younger kids for $10. Adults can also enjoy a High Trail ride (about 2.5 miles) for $45. The stables are extremely busy in summer, so remember to call ahead for a reservation. All proceeds from the trail rides and petting zoo at Elm Creek Stables go to the Frio Canyon Horse Rescue. Open every day during spring break, and weekends after spring break through Memorial Day. The stables are open daily Memorial Day through the end of summer. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm; last ride out at 5 pm. Call for reservations. Please bring cash or checks, no credit cards accepted at Elm Creek Stables. For more information, call 830-2325365 or 830-279-4051 or find them on Facebook. Photo courtesy Elm Creek Stables.

El Progreso Memorial Library UVALDE El Progreso Memorial Library was founded in 1903 by a group of Uvalde women who wished to start a new civic organization, El Progreso Club. They set three goals for themselves: self-improvement, civic improvement, and founding of a public library. Today, the library provides for the informational, reference, research and recreational reading needs of the local Uvalde City and County Area and the isolated Southwest Region of Texas in an innovative, 36,000 square foot, $5.7 million stateof-art facility that offers leading edge technology. More than 18,000 residents have library cards for El Progreso’s full range of materials — books, manuals, periodicals, audiovisual and electronic resources, E-Books — in a comprehensive facility which includes the Virginia W. Davis Archives (serving 11 counties), the Weisman Museum of Southwest Texas, a book store, and meeting rooms of various sizes. El Progreso Memorial Library is accredited by the Texas State Library. It offers a full range of TexShare electronic databases, reciprocal cards, and Interlibrary Loan through statewide programs. Internet and WiFi connection with computers for adult access are available. The Children’s Wing offers games, puzzles, and a Story Time center, plus special computers for children which are equipped with AWE software providing 70 educational programs. If you live in Texas, you can get a library card through the TexShare program. Visiting www.elprogreso.org allows library patrons to access electronic database and get E-books. The library serves all ages and demographic groups. El Progreso Memorial Library is located at 301 W. Main Street in Uvalde. For information, call 830-278-2017, find them on Facebook or visit the website at www.elprogresso.org.

Visit historic Fort Inge UVALDE Fort Inge is listed as a Historic Site In Texas and was established in 1849 by the U.S. military where it remained active for 20 years. Today, the park offers historic trails perfect for afternoon hiking and biking, fishing, and scenic views of the Leona River. Note: open on weekends only. Country Road 375 Uvalde, TX 78801 See SEE & DO, page 18


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


It’s the Place to Be! Come visit Frio Acres in Concan, Texas We have 51 beautiful and secluded acres with one acre on the Frio River. The Texas Hill Country at its best, just a few miles from Garner State Park. Cabins and Lodges at the Frio River where you can enjoy the mountains, the wildlife, the cold and relaxing refreshing waters of the Frio River, relax to the cool evening breeze and endless stars. Look no further, Frio Acres offers 9 cabins and 5 lodges that will accommodate large groups for reunions, corporate gatherings and weddings/receptions. We have lodges secluded within 2 acres with an outdoor pavilion and beautiful oak trees, family lodge with outdoor playground and fire pit, grand view lodge with spectacular views of the Frio Canyon, a lodge with a great gathering room and private bedrooms and lodges with private Frio River frontage. If your needs are not that of a large lodge, then our 2 bedroom/2 bath spacious and quaint cabins are just what you need.

1-877-635-4848 www.frioacres.com 1047 CR 350 CONCAN, TX 78838 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


so much to see & do in every season from page 16

Lone Star Motorcycle Museum VANDERPOOL The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, four miles north of Vanderpool, is open Friday through Sunday (March to November) from 10 am to 4 pm. The museum features an impressive display of machines from around the world, dating from the 1910s to modern day. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 ages 65 and up. Visitors 15 and under and 90 years and up get in free. Groups of 10 or more are $6 each; active military and spouse $5 each. Photo courtesy Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum is located at 36517 Highway 187, less than one mile south of Lost Maples State Natural Area (also on Highway 187). For more information, visit the web site at lonestarmotorcyclemuseum.com, 830-966-6103. Photo courtesy Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.

Real County Historical Museum LEAKEY Find a replicated log-cabin parlor, kitchen and bedroom, furnished with pieces donated by locals. See an ornate 1880s horse-drawn hearse and local stone dartpoints from prehistoric Native Americans. A former blacksmith shop (adjacent to the museum) houses ranch relics and there are outdoor exhibits of farm implements, a log corn crib and jail cells from the 1910s. 1/2 block north of the Real County Courthouse on Evergreen Street in Downtown Leakey, open Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (March through the first two weekends in December). The museum is closed in January and February. realcountyhistoricalmuseum.com or call 830-232-5330.

Devil’s Sinkhole SNA ROCKSPRINGS

Fly Fishing RIVER REGION Give it a try! Aaron Riggins of Pescado con Moscas Flyfishing Adventures offers guided canoe and wade fishing experiences on the Nueces, Frio and Sabinal rivers. For information, call 830-486-5629 or visit the web site at pescadoconmoscas.com.

River Oaks Mini Golf CONCAN 9-hole courses and a large practice green situated in a beautiful setting with plenty of benches. Summer season hours: Monday through Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm Please call ahead for off-season hours. ½ mile from River Road, Concan, Texas 78838. 830232-6106.

Devil’s Sinkhole may be the largest single-chamber cavern in Texas – a 50-foot wide opening gives into a 140-foot shaft that drops into a 320-foot diameter cavern with a total depth of more than 350 feet. The cavern is enormous and is home to one of Texas’s largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats. From late spring through early fall more than 3 million bats leave the sinkhole every evening. The Devil’s Sinkhole Society offers evening tours to see the massive bat colony as well as nature walks, birding walks, day tours to see the sinkhole, and motorcycle tours. I’m telling you, fall hikes and bird walks might be the way to go. All tours begin at the Rocksprings Visitors Center in Rocksprings on the square – and this is the only way to visit the sinkhole. Make reservations in advance by calling 830-683-2287. Reservations required – even if the bats have left the batcave. Photo © Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

See SEE & DO, page 20


We know you enjoy the river in the summer, but remember...we are OPEN ALL YEAR!

Neal’s is a great place


Plan your next quiet getaway for the “off season” &


Great for corporate and church retreats, family reunions, weddings & other celebrations! Check out our website for Fall and Spring events:

830-232-6118 • www.nealslodges.com 20970 TX-127, Concan, TX 78838

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


so much to see & do in every season from page 18

Wes Cooksey Park

Sabinal County Museum UTOPIA

Beautiful and serene Uvalde County park on Lake Nueces and the Nueces River. In addition to the breathtaking setting, this park offers 30 RV hookups, plus scuba, volleyball, boat ramp, basketball, showers, fishing, swimming, horseshoes, tent camping, more. Call ahead to confirm availability. $4/person for day use. 33719 TX-55, Camp Wood, Texas 78839. 830-597-3223.

Browse history exhibits at the Sabinal County Museum including pioneer farm implements, Indian artifacts,and more, plus geological exhibits, including fossils and minerals from the Sabinal River Canyon. Museum hours are Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. 726 Ranch Road 187, Utopia, Texas 78884.

Help clean up local rivers

Rio Frio Landmark Oak RIO FRIO


The Rio Frio Landmark Oak, State Champion (Texas Escarpment Live Oak Tree 1988) stands on the east side of the Frio River on Farm Road 1120. According to the marker at the site, the “mighty oak served the early settlers as a social, religious, educational and political gathering place. During the early 1870’s, a school house was built just west of the tree. It was constructed of native Cypress lumber and its walls were filled with caliche. Between 1880-1891, N.M.C. Patterson laid out the town of Rio Frio using the tree and schoolhouse mountain to the east as bearing points.” Photo by Bailey Photography,

Picking up trash has never been so fun! Gather your friends and family and help keep the local rivers clean.You need a group of six or more (ages 14 and up) to sign up to clean a section of the Frio, Sabinal or Nueces Rivers. Volunteers are awarded $10/person, per hour of approved and scheduled cleanup, which will be donated to a charity of your choice. It’s a win-win! Applications must be completed in advance and a waiver signed. Go to the website at visituvaldecounty.com and select “Volunteer River Cleanup Program,” where you’ll find all necessary forms. For information, email annabell@visituvaldecounty.com.

courtesy Women Who Wander.

Leave a lock on the Frio Love Lock Walk


Looking for a way to make memories and celebrate what you love? Head to Josh’s Frio River Outfitter’s #friolovelock walk and place a love lock on the fence to commemorate a family vacation, anniversary, friends, significant others, or as a remembrance of someone special... the possibilities are endless. Best of all, your love lock will become a time capsule you can see each time you visit the Frio River! Photos courtesy (left) Tessa Shandley, (right) TheInnBetweenTx.

The #friolovelock walk is at Josh’s Frio River Outfitters at the corner of US Highway 83 South and FM 127 in Concan, Texas. In order to maintain the aesthetic beauty, only locks purchased at Josh’s may be placed on the fence. Locks are available at the Concan location and at Josh’s Frio River Outfitters in Leakey on 615 US Highway 83 South. For more information, call 830-7190003 or email tessashandley@yahoo.com.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

so much to see & do... From page 21


Take a helicopter ride CONCAN Holt Helicopters offers helicopter rides from 2 pm to 7 pm on most Fridays and Saturdays (weather permitting). Other days are subject to availability. Check Facebook for other days helicopter rides are offered. At House Pasture Cattle Company in Concan on River Road, look for a yellow and red flag that says “Helicopter Rides.” Cost is $50/ person, 2-3 passengers can go up at a time. Rides are 8-10 minute in length, offered on a first come first serve basis. If you have a large group (20+) call ahead. Facebook.com/holtheli, 830-278-9463, holthelicopters.com. Photo courtesy Holt’s Helicopters.

Enjoy the night sky RIVER REGION At night, you can gaze up at the tranquil Hill Country sky and view globular star clusters and other astronomical sites. Uvalde County is home to one of the only night skies in America where you can still see the Milky

Rustic Riviera & Chula Vista Lodges are about a mile to the Frio River. Also near House Pasture music venue and Concan Golf Course.


Large vacation homes with pools available year round!

Cherry Creek Cabin A Hill Country Getaway

Secluded, peaceful ranch near the Frio River and Garner State Park Sleeps 8 Full Kitchen • Firepit Grill • Hiking Trail 3503 FM 1050 • Concan, Texas

512-788-4077 • cherrycreeklodging.com

Tim and Linda Hester

Visit Utopia Park

830-232-5903 Cell 830-261-0772 Fax 830-232-5801

UTOPIA Looking for a place to swim, fish, canoe, camp, picnic, ride horses or play baseball? Utopia Park is the ideal location. Located just 11 miles downstream from the headwaters of the Sabinal River and Lost Maples State Natural Area, the park is home to majestic Cypress and Oak trees that give shade to glistening clear waters. Camping areas including screened shelters with barbecue sites and tables, shaded tent areas, and multiple RV hookups offer any vacationer the perfect home away from home. Public restrooms with showers are available. The park offers a huge dance floor with stage, concession stand and picnic tables with space for the kids to run and play and a rope swing to make memories on for years to come. Check the website for fees and events. Photo courtesy Utopia Park. 241 Utopia Park Road, Utopia, Texas 78884. UtopiaPark.org.

Cabin Rentals

1498 River Road Concan, Texas


River crossing by Trey Stewart, courtesy River Rim Resort. RIGHT New friends at Ox Ranch by Julie Harrington. Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


The tradition of Garner State Park


arner State Park encompasses 1,774 acres and 2.9 miles of beautiful Frio River frontage, including 11 miles of scenic trails. So, whether you’re camping overnight or visiting for the day, with swimming, fishing, biking, geocaching, dancing, hiking, picnicking and so much more, there’s always plenty to do and see. Since the ’40s, folks have been gathering for the familyfriendly jukebox dances at the Garner State Park Pavilion. Dances are Mon­day through Saturday during Spring Break, and Saturday nights ’til sum­mer. Then in summer, you can enjoy a dance every night of the week, with post-summer dances Saturday evenings. One fun diversion is putt-putt golf at Stinkin’ Sweet Candy Shop and Mini Golf (located at the Park Pavilion), with rentals $5 each ($2 for kids 3 and under) including a putter, ball and 18 holes. Want to go for round two? Play again for only $2 per per­ son — any age. You can golf 7 days a week from 10 am to 10:15 pm through the second week in August, Saturday and Sunday only during the off season (closed Decem­ber through March). The updated camp store has just about everything you See GARNER SP, page 24

Photos by Kelly Marler.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Photo by Julie Harrington.

Shop our large selection of Swimsuits * Board shorts Sandals * Custom T’s Summer Apparel & More! We have Tube Rentals!

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


The Garner State Park Song In the Western part of Texas ninety miles from San Antone, there’s a place I go each summer when I get the urge to roam. I’d stand out on the highway, if I couldn’t get a ride I’d walk to Garner State Park. There’s the cutest girls from Texas and from everywhere. They trade their city slickin’ clothes for some boots and western wear. We swam all through the day and we danced when it got dark at Garner State Park. She was the cutest girl around. We walked down to the water found a big rock, began to talk at Garner State Park. Next thing I knew it was 4 a.m. She said my mother’s surely worried about where I am and with the Texas sky above, we couldn’t help but fall in love at Garner State Park.

GARNER SP, from page 22

need—from firewood to gourmet muffins and coffee, s’mores fixin’s to candy, drinks, ice cream and more. Find snacks and supplies, and rent tubes, barbecue pits, tables, even fans and heaters at the Garner camp store. Paddle boats and boards, kayaks and canoes are also for rent. Hungry? Head over to the Garner Grill, serving up burg­ ers, fries, corn dogs and more, made fresh to order, Saturdays and Sundays April through May, dai­ly all summer and Fridays and Saturdays in the fall. Another fun tradi­tion, summer hayrides (hosted by the Friends of Garner State Park Tuesday through Friday from June to August) de­part from the Visitors Center promptly at 7 pm, so plan to arrive no later than 6:45 pm. Visit the Friends of Gar­ner Visitors’ Center or call 830-232-5999 to make res­ ervations and for more information. Garner is the most popular state park for overnight camping in Texas. Camping is available in screened shelters, cabins and campsites. Make your reservations early! The busy season is Memorial Day weekend ’til Labor Day weekend, and the park often reaches maximum capacity. For information about rentals, the Park Store, Garner Grill and much more, visit the web site at www.garnerstatepark.com. To make reservations at Garner State Park, call 830-232-6132 or visit the web site at tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/garner. You can also follow Garner State Park on Facebook, where you’ll find Brett Rimkus’ dam reports and other up-to-date news of the park.

Well, the summer it was over and we had to say goodbye. We said we’d see each other next year, as a tear fell from her eye. When I came I knew no sorrow; now I’m leaving with a broken heart at Garner State Park. Oh, but I’ll be back again next year...

The Frio River at Garner State Park.

Photo courtesy Texas Parks & Wildife Department.


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Cabins Tent Camping Sites Rv Sites with Full Hookups


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ZubersRiverCamp.com • Concan, Texas • 830-232-5205 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Did someone say

tee time?



Utopia Golf Billed as “the most beautiful nine-hole golf course in Texas,” Utopia Golf is nestled in the Sabinal Valley one mile south of Utopia on High­way 187. The course is the set­ting for the 2011 movie “Seven Days in Utopia,” based on the novel “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Uto­pia” by David L. Cook. A clubhouse, includ­ing a self-serve hospitality room, overlooks the ninth hole at Utopia Golf. Weekday rates are $18.23 for 18 holes ($16.09 for juniors and seniors); weekend rates $21.45 for 18 holes, $16.09 for nine holes. Cart rentals are $10. Photo courtesy Utopia Golf. Utopia Golf is at 20567 Ranch Road 187 in Utopia. For more information, call Utopia Golf at 830-966-5577.

Golf Club of Texas-Concan Featuring a challeng­ing Bechtol-Russell de­signed course, players enjoy picturesque scenery at The Golf Club of Texas - Concan, with gorgeous hills and val­leys and stunning rolling terrain. The par 72 championship course offers 18 holes measuring 7,333 yards from the tips. Panoramic views of the Hill Country are found on every fairway and with premium Zoysia grass underfoot, this a must-play course. Rates are $49 weekdays and $59 weekends. The twilight fee is $35. The club has a well-stocked Pro Shop, offering the latest in golf apparel and equipment for men and women. A variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and more are served up in the Patio Grille, which offers year-round dining and a full bar. Check the web site for hours. Photo courtesy Golf Club of Texas - Concan. The Golf Club of Texas - Concan is located at 520 Mountain Valley Drive. For more information, and to book your tee time, call 830-232-4471. More information is available on the web site at www.clubatconcan.com.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Uvalde Memorial Uvalde offers an 18 hole public golf course located along the Leona River at 221 East Doughty. Weekday rates are $17, weekends $22 and twilight $25-27. Photo courtesy City of Uvalde, Texas. For more information about Uvalde Memorial Golf Course, call 830-278-6155 or visit the web site at uvaldegolf.com.


(800) 591-3421 Family Owned & Operated Open Year-Round

Fully Furnished Vacation Rental Homes near the beautiful Frio River PO Box 45 • Concan, TX 78838


“Where All Your Troubles Just Float Away!” Come Stay, Shop & Float!

SHOP Groceries, Boutique Gift Shop, Volleyball, Horseshoes

STAY Cabins, Suites, Rv Sites Tent Camping 12 NEW Riverside Cabins - Riverfront! All Cabins & Suites have free Wireless internet

FLOAT Tubing, Kayaking & Shuttle Service

830-232-5444 • www.FloatTheFrio.com

info@floatthefrio.com • 21488 TX Hwy 127 • Concan, Texas Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


sweets & treats LEAKEY

CONCAN Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Concan Pies

BBGs Bakery

TX Hwys 83 & 127 713-562-8043 Ice Cream & Shaved Ice

Frio’s Dry Fifty Snack Shack Tx. Hwy. 127 830-232-6300


Look for the bus around Concan or find them on Instagram Gelato, Ice Cream & Fudge (Seasonal)

Ice Cream Shop at Garner State Park 210-722-5652 Nostalgic Candy & More

Stinkin’ Sweet Candy Shop at Garner State Park 210-722-5652

Ice Cream, Candy & More

The Frio Float


Pie & More

Nueces Canyon

CAMP WOOD Candy, Fudge & More

Bear Creek Fudge Highway 55 Downtown 830-597-6160 Donuts, Baked Goods, Desserts

Camp Wood Cafe 108 N. Nueces Street 830-597-2284





Uvalde CVB visituvalde.com

Lost Maples

State Natural Area 830-966-3413; tpwd.state.tx.us

Garner State Park 830-232-6132; tpwd.state.tx.us



Miss Buffy’s

Wash Barn

Pies & Sweets

211 W. Main Street 830-507-9171



Baked Goods

384 FM 187/Main Street 830-966-2221

Pies, Cakes, Scones, Bread, Cheesecakes, Cookies, Muffins

Ice Cream, Candies & More

Open Range Bakery & Cafe

406 North Main Street 830-966-3444

2211 East Main Street 830-261-1866

Utopia General Store


Uvalde County

Utopia and Sabinal Canyon

849 US Highway 83 S 830-232-4805

21563 TX Highway 127 830-232-5591

Lost Maples Cafe

Frio Canyon


279 Mountain Street 830-232-5703 and at Leakey Mercantile

Mill Creek Cafe

Mangonadadas — Sweet, Sour & Salty Frozen Treats

local info

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

in Leakey 1256 S. US Hwy 83 830-232-5690


in Concan 20970 Hwy 127 830-232-6118

Sonshine Laundry & Cleaners in Uvalde 104 N. 4th Street 830-278-6767


Did you know?

How Concan got its name


heodophilus Watkins first settled at Con Can and built the first log cabin with a chimney in 1862. When a Post Office was to be established in 1880, a name had to be chosen. One story of how the community of Concan got its name goes like this: “The men of the community gathered on Saturday afternoons and played dominoes and ‘coon can,’ a Texas card game. ‘Coon can’ was a variation of ‘Conquian,’ the earliest known rummy game, played since at least the 1880s. When word came that a Post Office was to be located there and a name for the town had to be decided on, the men decided that they would send in ‘Coon Can.’In Washington, no one had heard of such a game or such a word, so they thought the Texans must have misspelled the word and meant Con Can (now spelled Concan).” This story was excepted from Lora B. Garrison’s book, “Texas Pioneer Families.”

Hippie Chic’s River Shack A unique & fantastically fun eatery

Great Eats • Cold Drinks • T-Shirts BYOB • Dog Friendly

Hours Early Spring: Thurs-Sat 11-7, Sun 11-2 Memorial Day - early August: Mon- Sat 11-7, Sun 11-2

830-232-5459 • 721 River Rd, Concan

NaNa’s RV PaRk & RV ReNtals River frontage park located on Frio River, each site features a picnic table, a fire ring, 20-30-50 amp electrical, sewer & water hook-ups

Across the Frio River from Garner State Park on County Road 350

RIO FRIO, TX • 830-232-4653


Cabins & homes

on or near the Frio River in Concan, Texas 1-6 BEDROOM UNITS Pavilion Rental for Family Gatherings/ Special Events Convenience Store on Site for last minute Camping & River Gear Pet Friendly H Hot tubs H Fireplaces Cabins have fully equipped kitchens, DSS/TV/DVD, A/C & heat

reservations@frioriver.com • 1-800-800-5773 • 830-232-6106

Open Daily 9-5. Call or book online at


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


The mystery of

Dead Man’s Cave By Linda Kirkpatrick


he caves in the Texas Hill Country can be as simple as an over-hanging shelter or as complex as a wandering cavern. They have protected animals and people from bad weather and they have been the final resting place for both animal and human. This is the story of one of those caves. Growing up in the Frio Canyon I had always heard mentioned a place called Dead Man’s Cave. With a little research, a magnificent mystery emerged. It seems that many years ago the body of a Texas Ranger lay in the bottom of one of the caves. Now all stories start somewhere and I was bound and determined to find out this story. I wanted to know just who was at the bottom of Dead Man’s Cave. One story told indicates that Dead Man’s Cave is located on the old Miller Ranch about 15 miles north of Leakey, while another source puts the cave in the Dry Frio Canyon. The stories continued to grow. It seems a Texas Ranger rode into the town of Leakey, Texas, looking for an outlaw gang. Some stories said he was riding a nice looking horse. He hung around town for a few days and then just disappeared. Folks just thought that he gave up and left, but that was not what happened at all. Somewhere in Texas in the year of 1859, a boy named James W. Woods was born. Around that same time, give or take a year or two either way, two other boys named James Woods/Wood were born. It has not known for sure which one of these three would become James W. Woods, Texas Ranger. On September 1, 1883 in Colorado City, Texas, a 24-year-old

James Woods joined Company B of the Frontier Battalion under Captain Sam McMurray. Woods’ enlistment record noted that he was 24 years of age and stood 5 feet 11 inches tall. Most of the men who signed up to serve were young men who may have been from a large family struggling to survive on the frontiers of Texas. The $30 per month pay would be a great help to any household in those days. Most signed up for only a few months or so, some made a career and some finished their term, left and rejoined later. Woods served a term of about a year and a half, leaving the Rangers in May of 1884. On January 31, 1893, at the age of 34, James W. Woods joined the Texas Rangers again. One wonders, could the Rangers have recruited him because of his previous experience or did he just rejoin because he loved or needed the work? Either way he would now serve in Company E under Captain John H. Rogers in Alice, Texas. Captain Rogers sent Private Woods to the Menard area to work undercover. His focus would be to gather information against the cattle rustlers in the area. These rustlers covered a lot of territory. Woods needed to flush them out. Records indicate that about six months after rejoining the rangers, Private James W. Woods just disappeared. Exactly what happened is a true old west cold case mystery. See DEAD MAN’S CAVE, page 38


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Best Vacation Rentals in Concan!

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www.frioriverrealty.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Opening May 2020

985 S. Hwy 83



Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020



Thursday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm

Camp Wood 830-597-6400

Large Selection of Anza, Case and Moore Maker Knives

Huge Selection of Cowhides, Rustic Furniture, Recliners, Sofas, Bar Stools, Mattresses


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Marilyn’s Home Furnishings



Open Year Round



Free Wi-Fi

Historic 1869 House Family Cabins & RV Sites Satellite TV in Cabins Pet Friendly 22 Acres Picnic Tables Grills/FirePits Full RV Hook-ups General Store on Site Conveniently located 3 miles south of Leakey 3.5 miles to Happy Hollow Tube Rentals & Shuttle 5 miles to Garner State Park


Cell 936-520-3683

Make your online reservations today!



1-888-9CONCAN | WWW.FRIOCOUNTRY.COM Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Lost Maples State Natural Area By Rob McCorkle Texas Parks & Wildlife Department


he Sabinal River and its several tributaries have carved limestone canyons through the nearly 3,000-acre park straddling Bandera and Real counties at the western fringes of the Edwards Plateau. Here, the canyons’ moist, cool microclimates support a remarkable diversity of plant life found few other places in Texas. The bigtooth maple tree ranks as the park’s marquee species. In late autumn most years, the stands of old-growth maples set the canyons ablaze in a riot of red, orange and gold foliage, drawing upwards of 50,000 leaf-peepers to the state natural area. The western cousin of the eastern sugar maple retained a foothold in the Hill Country canyons after vast sheets of ice advanced southward across North America almost to present-day Texas, and then retreated. (For an explanation of the park’s geological history and information about the bigtooth maple and other indigenous plant species, visit the exhibit hall in the park headquarters.) Lost Maples State Natural Area is home to the state’s largest known species of the bigtooth, also known as the Uvalde bigtooth maple and canyon maple. The 40-foot tall maple with a 45-foot crown spread stands at the head of the park’s most popular trail, the .8-mile Maple Trail, just a few steps from the day-use area parking lot. However, to really appreciate this wondrous arboretum, visitors should park their vehicle and stroll the wooded canyon trails that traverse the upland canyons of the Sabinal River, as well as Can, Hale Hollow and Lane creeks. But no matter the time of year, Lost Maples SNA makes a worthwhile destination that will not disappoint. Visitors hoping to enjoy the park under less crowded conditions of late October and early November when the maples’ color peaks should consider an early fall visit. Nights tend to cool off and during warm, sunny days, the waters of the Sabinal and spring-fed swimming holes prove tempting spots to take a soothing splash. Almost 11 miles of well-marked trails lead to scenic overlooks, spring-fed ponds populated by Texas’ state fish, the Guadalupe bass, prime birding habitat and 30 primitive backpack camping sites. Composting toilets near several backcountry campsites make the wilderness experience a bit more pleasant. The Maple Trail provides the easiest access to the park’s natural wonders, traversing mostly flat terrain through a moist, shaded Sabinal River canyon. Mature bigtooths share fertile canyon habitat with monstrous chinkapin and Lacey’s oaks, Florida basswood, pecan, black willow, green ash and American sycamore. Boulders the size of a subcompact car sit in the middle of the river and at the base of soaring limestone cliffs. Because of the canyonlands’ microclimate effect, the park contains numerous species of plants and animals of both eastern and western affinity, as well as rare species endemic to the Balcones Escarpment. Found here are the unusual Texas madrone tree, three kinds of buckeye, witch hazel (common in Mississippi), six different kinds of oaks, Texas mock orange and sycamore-leaf snowbell whose white clusters of flowers bloom in late September. The park’s birdlife reflects Lost Maples’ location in the North America’s central flyway, as well as its diversity of habitat that in-


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Photo by LeAnn Sharp.

cludes grasslands and scrublands; mixed evergreen and deciduous escarpment woodlands; and streamside woodlands. Birders from around the world visit the park to catch a glimpse of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, as well as specialty birds such as the green kingfisher and zone-tailed hawk. Water-and-electric campsites are at a premium at Lost Maples SNA. The 30 campsites, which also feature inground barbecue pits and shaded picnic tables, book up to five months in advance for the peak fall foliage period. Other times of the year, booking reservations early is recommended. In keeping with Lost Maples’ state natural area designation, the park has limited development and facilities. However, young and old alike can enjoy nature photography, hiking, camping, bird watching, backpacking, fishing and swimming. The day use-only park entry fees for persons 13 and older are $6. You can pre-pay entrance a month ahead of your date of arrival to assure entrance during busy seasons. Hike-in campsites are $10 a night and water-electric sites are $20. Lost Maples State Natural Area is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Kerrville and five miles north of Vanderpool on Ranch Road 187. Parking at Lost Maples State Natural Area is limited to 250 cars, so schedule fall trips during the weekdays, if possible. All reservations should be paid in full at the time they are made. Photo courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.


Brandon Bownds, Broker  REALTORS®

830-966-6111 BowndsRanches.com

DEAD MAN’S CAVE, from page 30

The last record found in his pay file states: “Austin, Texas March 1, 1899, Woods, J. W. Ranger Company E. Pay accts for Aug 30 & Nov 30, 1893 filed by Capt J. H. Rogers. These pay certificates were never cashed because Woods was murdered some where at Ft. McKavitt and his body was never found and never heard from.” The Texas Rangers and Captain Rogers did make every attempt to find Woods. Other rangers scouted for him, rewards went uncollected, spies planted heard nothing. One report even suggests that Woods may have deserted. Well, this is doubtful and who would want to believe that anyway. As it turned out, Ranger Woods had been hot on the trail of one Sarge Cummings, the rustler who kept escaping the Rangers. Ranger Woods heard that Sarge and his gang had been wrecking havoc all the way from south to west Texas, stealing cattle and horses along the way. The Rangers wanted Sarge. But Sarge had man-

aged to avoid the lawmen up until this one Texas Ranger rode into the town. Not long after his arrival, Ranger Woods acquired information that would lead him straight to Sarge’s ranch in the Dry Frio Canyon. This would be a deadly mistake. Word had already reached Sarge about a strange man asking about his “where-abouts.” There is no proof that Sarge and his gang put an end to this inquisitive Ranger. Stories tell that the body of the ranger and his horse were deposited in a cave located in the Dry Frio Canyon. Another source indicates that the cave is on the old Miller ranch north of Leakey, Texas. This ranch, at the time, belonged to the brotherin-law of Sarge Cummings. Another story tells that some time later, after the disappearance of Ranger Woods, the Rangers had jailed a man who claimed to

know Sarge. This man talked. He led the Rangers to a cave where bones and a few items were retrieved. The retrieved goods were taken to the county seat in Rocksprings for identification. It is said that the bones and items found were those of missing Texas Ranger James W. Woods. The courthouse, in Rocksprings, burned a couple of years later and all supporting records were lost. A search of the Rocksprings Cemetery records indicated nothing. Could he be in an unmarked grave there or could he be somewhere else. No death records were found anywhere to support a lost grave. Many people have questioned the story as to why the horse was killed. My response to that is that many people were known and remembered by the horses they rode. Rangers hot on the trail of Sarge would have recognized Woods’ horse if they came across him. So whoever left the body of Ranger Woods in the cave probably made a wise decision when they disposed of the horse as well. Some people question as to how they could have gotten the horse in the cave. If the cave was just a hole in the ground, it would have been relatively easy. Simply lead the horse next to the hole, shoot it and as it is going down push it over into the abyss. Sad to report it this way but that is what could have happened. What it all boils down to is that the Ranger at the bottom of the cave is probably Texas Ranger James W. Woods. Where his remains are now, no one knows for sure. Where the cave is located, no one knows that either. What is for sure is that the Ranger involved with the Sarge Cummings case was Private James W. Woods. What is for sure is that the pay vouchers of Texas Ranger James W. Woods were never cashed. Another sure thing is the Rangers never were able to charge Sarge Cummings with anything. He died an old man. His grave is in the Vanderpool Cemetery in Vanderpool, Texas. But surely, Sarge knows who lies in the bottom of Dead Man’s Cave and it is probably a secret he took to his grave. Photos courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick.

Hill Country Nature Center & Indian Blanket Ranch



Nature Center & Tours Nature/Birding/Hike & Mountain Bike Trails Birding for Beginners, Natural History/Big Tree Tours and Storytelling Entertainment by Lee Haile & LeAnn Sharp


t Hill Country Nature Center, you’ll find fossils, arrowheads, plus Texas snake, bird, bat, butterfly and insect displays highlighting the natural attractions of the Hill Country River Region. You can even see the happenings inside a bluebird nestbox, with the help of some cool technology. Founder LeAnn GarrisonSharp, has for years made it her mission to share the natural wonders of the area, providing a great chance to learn all about birding, bats, native plants, champion trees and the natural history of the area. Hill Country Adventures offers plenty of educational tours. With several national champion trees, including the largest tree in Texas, there’s plenty to see on the Natural History/ Big Tree tour, offered year round. Guided birding and nature tours offer participants a chance to drive to and hike on private Hill Country Ranches and State Parks along the beautiful Frio and Sabinal River Valleys. The nature trails at Indian Blanket Ranch (adjacent to the Center) provide a picturesque path for hiking, jogging and mountain biking. To hike or bike, just check in at the Nature Center. Trails hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, admission $5 per person for the day. To get an earlier start, call the office at least one day in advance; for weekend reservations, call by Friday. Another attraction at Indian Blanket Ranch is the Bluebird Trail — 30 nestboxes and six viewing stations with benches where you can see small cavity nesters including Eastern Bluebirds, Black-crested Titmouse, Bewick’s Wren, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Carolina Chickadee with nests, eggs or baby birds. Nestbox Trail Birding Tours are available March through June — advance reservations only. There’s plenty more spectacular birdwatching on the ranch with 126 species of birds sighted — you might see a Golden-cheeked Warbler, Blackcapped Vireo, Vermillion Flycatcher, Zone-tailed Hawk, Hummers and more. Bring your camera— photo opportunities abound. For information about the Hill Country Nature Center and tours—including Bluebird Nestbox Trail, Hiking and Biking, Big Tree Tours and Nature By Kayak Tours offered through Hill Country Adventures, visit www.hillcountryadventures.com or call 830-966-2134. More info on Indian Blanket Ranch at indianblanketranch.com.



Indian Blanket Ranch Beautiful Ranch Wedding Destination Secluded 250-acre Ranch Getaway Private Pool • Hot Tub Star Gazing Birdwatching Nature Trails • Hiking Mountain Biking Fireplace • Campfire Wi-Fi • TV • Ping Pong Play Area for Kids

Sleeps Up to 20! 5 minutes to Garner State Park 25 minutes to Lost Maples State Natural Area

Bluebird Hill & Star Suite


830-966-2134 • IndianBlanketRanch.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020



YEAR ‘ROUND FUN in the River Region

Meat Market • Groceries Fresh Produce • Ice • Firewood Fishing/Camping Supplies T-Shirts

OPEN Monday thru Saturday from 6 am to 6 pm

Summertime fun. Photo by Ana Lisa Glass.

830-966-3444 406 N. Main • Utopia, TX

Sabinal River Lodge • Sabinal River frontage • Near Lost Maples Natural Area, Garner State Park & Concan-Frio River • Fully furnished cabins with two queen beds. • Perfect for weekend getaways & reunions!

Highway 187 South • Utopia, Texas


SabinalRiverLodge.com 40

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Exploring on horseback. Photo courtesy WomenWhoWanderTexas.com.


Fly fishing. Photo by David Joseph Sikes, courtesy Rio Frio Lodging.

Year-Round Vacation Rentals on the River 830-966-2164




Log Cabin & Vacation Home Rentals in Vanderpool

info@foxfirecabins.com 830-966-2200 • 877-966-8200 Pure relaxation on the river. Photo by Ana Lisa Glass.

www.FoxFireCabins.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Please check the business website and/or call ahead to confirm performers, dates & times. Many businesses operate seasonally.

Joe Jimmy’s (Concan)

Open most nights Memorial Day through Labor Day (occasionally during off season). Family friendly with dancing, concession stand and more. Live music most Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Karaoke most Wednesdays. 20970 TX-127, Concan, TX 78838. nealslodges.com/joe-jimmys, 830-232-6118.

House Pasture (Concan)

Thursday Steak night with live music. Live music Friday and Saturday nights spring break and summer through Labor Day. Check website. 3064 CR 348, Concan, TX 78838. housepasture.com, 830-232-6580.

Hippie Chic’s River Shack (Concan) 721 River Road, Concan, Texas 78838. 830-232-5459, Facebook.com/hippiechicsconcan

Buckhorn Bar & Grill (Leakey)

Food, pool tables, shuffleboard, games. Drive through beverage barn. Family/biker friendly. 4377 US-83, Leakey, TX 78873. Find them on Facebook or call 830-232-4755.

The Back Porch (Leakey)

At the Historic Leakey Inn. Enjoy sandwiches, beer, wine and margaritas. Fridays at 7 pm. 527 S. Highway 83,Leakey, Texas 78873. leakeyinn.com, 830-232-5246.

Ironwood Bar(Sabinal)

Wednesday-Thursday 5 pm-12 am, Friday-Saturday 5 pm-1 am, 312 N. Center, Sabinal, Texas 78881. 830-988-5050. Facebook.com/ironwoodbar19

Lone Star Saloon (Uvalde) Dancehall featuring Country and Tejano music in a friendly atmosphere. 2429 N, Milam, Uvalde, Texas 78801. 830-591-9191, lonestarsaloon-uvalde.com

The Grand Opera House (Uvalde)

Enjoy a wide variety of productions at the historic Grand Opera House. 104 W. North Street, Uvalde, Texas 78801. uvaldeoperahouse.org.

Pickin’ on the Porch (Utopia)


Gospel music at Utopia Methodist Church, 7 pm. Third Wednesdays. 571 Cypress Street, Utopia, Texas 78884. Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Lone Star Motorcycle Museum

“Wonderful Machines from the Past”

A world-class collection of Classic motorcycles on display. Located in the Heart of the Hill Country on Hwy. 187 one mile south of Lost Maples State Park. Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 am-5 pm March - November

(830) 966-6103 • www.LoneStarMotorcycleMuseum.com

Four Sisters Ranch Cabin

Secluded. Picturesque. One of a kind. A true Utopia.

1848 LeMond Road • Utopia, TX • 830-426-1602

Rock ’N Utopia A Spanish style home that sleeps 10 Sleeps 6 in main house and 4 in the cabana.

On the banks of Sabinal River on 1.6 acres of private land with a dock just minutes from Main Street in Utopia.

Covered porch facing the river

Fishing • Swimming • Canoeing • Free Wi-Fi Abundant wildlife & bird watching

830-966-2164 clearspringslodgingutopia.com/lodging/rockn_utopia.html Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Riding the Three Sisters

by Tom Wiley


lthough the list of Hill Country roads is long, many motorcyclists claim The Three Sisters as their favorite ride. This trio of Ranch Roads—337, 336, and 335—is located in the southern portion of the Edwards Plateau.Whether you travel on two wheels or four, you should make it a point to get out and experience this amazing drive. As Ranch Road 337 departs Medina, it becomes a roller coaster ride. Shallow creeks tell long-forgotten tales of times when they carved through now-exposed limestone bluffs. Stately ranch houses cling to mountain tops, commanding some of the best views in Texas. The hills become dotted with maple trees as the road approaches Vanderpool. These and other deciduous trees make nearby Lost Maples State Natural Area a “must see” destination in the fall. The highway makes a long, steep climb out of Vanderpool. For the next few miles, the road narrows and weaves through sheer canyon cuts, offering slow curves with dramatic drop-offs to the valleys below.This is the “real” Texas Hill Country. The approach to Leakey crosses the Frio River. Motorcyclists congregate at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop and Bent Rim Grill, but the hangout is open to all visitors. Some travelers may turn south in Leakey on US Highway 83, toward Garner State Park and Concan. North of the courthouse in Leakey, Ranch Road 336 splits off and parallels the upper Frio River. This beautiful road makes sharp curves and steep mountain climbs before breaking onto a dry plateau near its terminus with Texas Highway 41. A favorite stop in the area is the Garven Store, just north of Highway 41 on US 83. There, you can load up on several varieties of jerky; sample one of their home-recipe sausage wraps; or sit out on the deck with a cold beverage. You can continue on Ranch Road 337 west


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

from Leakey towards the small communities of Camp Wood and Barksdale. From Barksdale, Ranch Road 335 travels 30 miles north, tracing an upper arm of the Nueces River. This route sees little traffic and, yet, offers some incredible views before also “T-ing” into Highway 41. Hill Country travelers who have never visited this part of the state are always amazed at the scenery they have been missing. The remoteness of this area makes the winding roads and distant vistas even more special. Other highways tap into The Three Sisters and provide access to Bandera, Utopia, Concan, Rocksprings, and other popular tourist destinations. B&Bs, country cabins, and quaint inns provide opportunities to escape the work week and dangle toes in chilled streams or hike hills teeming with wildlife. And if the question comes up about where to eat, just follow the motorcycles!

A view from Ranch Road 337. Photo by Tom Wiley.


Lost Maples State Natural Area Get up-to-date

Fall Foliage


tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lost-maples/foliage-reports for updates on the changing fall colors at Lost Maples!

Serving Classic American food with a twist Soups, Salad Bar & More

Your Texas Hill Country Escape

A Peace of Heaven Cabins & RV

Located inside Utopia General Store 406 N. Main Street, Utopia • (830) 966-4030

info@apeaceofheaven.org • www.apeaceofheaven.org

1856 Evans Creek Rd • Vanderpool• 830-966-5198

local churches CAMP WOOD Nueces Canyon Church of Christ 1656 N. Hwy 55 • 830-597-4131

LEAKEY Church of Christ 3rd Street • 830-232-6933

First Baptist Church 813 South Nueces • 830-597-5150

Church in the Valley 724 Hwy 83. • 830-232-6841

Hill Country Church of Christ Hwy. 55 N. • 830-597-6175 St. Mary Magdalene Catholic 311 E. 3rd. • 830-597-5165 CONCAN Church of Christ Hwy. 83 at the Y • 830-232-4058 Concan Baptist Mission 32711 Hwy 83 • 830-232-4411 Emmanuel Lutheran 2561 Co. Rd 350 830-232-4006


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

First Baptist Church Hwy. 83 N. • 830-232-5344 Frio Canyon Baptist Church 919 Hwy. 83 S. • 830-232-5883 Réal County Church of Christ 121 Oak Hill • 830-275-9661 St. Raymond Catholic 2nd Ave.• 830-232-5852 Trinity Fellowship E. on 337 • 830-232-6770 Leakey United Methodist 410 N. Market • 830-232-6266

RIO FRIO New Beginning 5749 RR 1120 830-232-5221 UTOPIA Gospel Tabernacle 371 Main St. • 830-966-2440 Living Waters Church FM 1050 • 830-966-2426 United Methodist 200 Cypress • 830-966-3400 Utopia Baptist Church 241 Johnson St. • 830-966-3688 Utopia Church of Christ Main Street • 830-966-3629 VANDERPOOL St. Mary’s Catholic Hwy 187 • 830-966-6268

Hill Country - River Region - San Antonio

Come see us in Utopia to fill your cylinder or RV today!

(830) 510 - 4777 1334 Main St. Utopia, TX 78884

Open Tuesday - Saturday, 9am - 4pm www.propanedepot.net

Delivery Service Installations Sales Repairs Cylinders & RVs 46

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


The 501 River Retreat is located on the 501 Ranch in Uvalde, Texas. The spa and retreat area is nestled on the property near the Nueces River. It’s the perfect destination for a luxurious weekend retreat! We also offer fitness classes onsite.


Gene Evans, Realtor® Here to help with all your real estate needs!


direct 830-486-9682 email gde1975@aol.com 131 E. Nopal, Uvalde, TX 78801 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Frio River

Photo by Kathy Tise Miska, courtesy River Rim Resort.

Where did the river get its name? By Greg Walton


he rivers of Southwest Texas are its most unique natural feature. Emanating from a thousand springs spread over a 50-mile band of rugged Balcones Escarpment terrain, they have carved countless cliffs, canyons and valleys on their inevitable journey to the sea. Each of these rivers originates in the rough and jagged canyon country, commonly called the fault zone, between the Edwards Plateau and the Coastal Plains. The early history of these rivers, and how each got its name, is an interesting aspect of the history of the larger region itself. The Edwards Plateau is like a giant sponge sitting on a tilted dinner plate. Rainwater enters the ground through various cracks and crevices, caves and sinkholes, until it percolates down to a solid layer of limestone. The water then flows south and eastward underground until it emerges at a spring along the Balcones Escarpment. This Escarpment was created 15 million years ago, when the lower Coastal Plains broke away from the higher Plateau, leaving a highly erodible edge. Springs occur all along the edge of the Escarpment, with particularly large springs at Del Rio, Brackettville, San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Austin. In the River Region, these springs are smaller but more numerous, and they form hundreds of small canyons and creeks. These tributaries eventually form into notable three rivers. Spanish explorers first came to this region in the 1600s, moving from Mexico in the south and west toward the north and east. As they did elsewhere, they named each of the natural features as they discovered them. See RIVER NAMES, page 50

Nueces River. Photo courtesy The Riv.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Uvalde’s oldest and only casual upscale Mexican restaurant

Open Year Round

Chalk Bluff River Resort

World-Famous Enchiladas! Family-Owned Since 1935 We use premium ingredients and make our food fresh throughout the day so we can provide you with the best tasting and highest quality selections!

60 Furnished Cabins • 103 Campsites • 32 Full Service RV Sites • 14 RV Sites w/ Water & Electricity Only Day Use • Camping Fishing • Hiking • Tubing Kayaking • Bird Watching Exotic Petting Zoo • Hay Rides • Jump Pillows • Play Ground • Summer Dances • Pet Friendly • Historical Marker Butterfly Migration • On Site Store, Gift Shop and Laundry • Pavilion Rental • Family Reunions • Weddings • Field Trips

(830) 278-5112

601 W. Main • Uvalde, TX 78801

1108 Chalk Bluff Road Uvalde, Texas


chalkbluffriverresort.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


New Hill Country River Region Visitor Center opens in Concan


Sabinal River. Photo courtesy Utopia Springs. RIVER NAMES, from page 48

The Nueces River is the largest of these three rivers, and was the first to be encountered. Indeed the Frio and Sabinal can be considered tributaries of the Nueces. The entire region is sometimes known as the Nueces River basin. The first explorers, finding the river’s mouth in Corpus Christi Bay somewhat hidden, named it the Rio Escondido, or Hidden River. Other Spanish explorers, further inland and coming from the arid southwest, were relieved to see permanent water, abundant grass and large trees. The trees in particular provided a welcome respite from the desert sun, and the nuts they produced were tasty and plentiful. Therefore they named the river the Pecan River, or Rio Nueces in Spanish. In 1762 they established two missions here in the upper Nueces Canyon, Mission San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz, and Mission Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria del Canon, as well as a presidio, a short distance away. Continuing to the east, the Spanish explorers next encountered a river which, because of the large and frequent springs along it, produced very cold water. Unlike the Nueces River, the predominant tree along the Frio is not the pecan but the cypress. The Spanish christened this river the Cold River — Rio Frio in Spanish.The Spanish apparently made no attempt to settle the Frio Canyon, but they did take note of the abundant water, tree cover and other resources. It is this cold and plentiful water which makes the Frio such a great river for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming. Moving still eastward, they next came to a river lined with very large cypress trees. This stream they named the Cypress River. In Spanish, the word for a single cypress is “Sabino”. But in the Spanish language if you want to describe a large group of trees rather than a single specimen you add the suffix “al.” Thus a large group of cypress trees is not a sabino but a sabinal. In this way the Sabinal River was named. Again, the Spaniards made no permanent settlements in the Sabinal Canyon, but General Juan Ugalde, for whom Uvalde County was named, fought a significant battle here against the Apaches in 1790. This canyon has also been known as Arroyo de la Soledad (Stream of Solitude) and Canon de Ugalde (Uvalde Canyon).


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

he new Texas Hill Country River Region Visitor Center — opened in December, 2019 — was built to support Uvalde County tourism year-round and enhance the visitor experience. In addition to providing helpful tourist information, the Visitor Center boasts a conference space that will be available for groups and businesses who want to host a meeting or event, as well as an artist exhibit that features local art from the region. There is also a designated kids’ area where children can leave a memory of their time in the River Region. To showcase the community spirit in Uvalde County, the Visitor Center will be home to a special Turquoise Table in the summer months for guests and residents to enjoy. 21170 TX-127, Concan, Texas 78838. Find more information at VisitUvalde.com. Photo courtesy VisitUvaldeCounty.com.


Bear Meat ‘N’ Honey Volume II Coyote Songs

Volume I

The history, folklore, legends and natural history of the Southern Hill Country is a rough blend of frontier hardship, country wisdom and tough personal experience. These volumes are based on numerous interviews of the area’s elders and presented in their own words, along with photos, maps and sketches. The story of this region is worth knowing, for it illustrates much of what makes Texas a special place.

“These books of interviews with old-timers of the Sabinal Canyon are models of what such works should be.” — John Graves, The Rivers of Texas (2002)


Available thru Onion Creek Press PO Box 545 • Utopia, Texas 78884

Uvalde Memorial Hospital

Better Health Begins Here. You can count on us for the specialized care you need, with the local convenience you deserve. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

24-Hr. Emergency Service Hospice Respiratory Care Laboratory Outpatient Specialty Clinic Rehabilitation Center Inpatient & Outpatient Surgery Hyperbaric Therapy & Wound Care Cardiac Rehabilitation Medical & Surgical Services Intensive Care Unit Women’s & Newborns’ Center Radiology/Diagnostic Imaging Women’s Imaging Center Social Services Senior Behavioral Health Services Sleep Center Air Transport Capability 1025 Garner Field Road • Uvalde, TX 78801 • (830) 278-6251 • www.umhtx.org

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020



The Great Hill Country

Pumpkin Patch



aple trees, cooler weather and bright orange pumpkins are a sure sign fall is near, and nobody celebrates the season better than the folks at Love Creek Orchards, home of the Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch. The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch is designed to both entertain and educate children, and has been consistently voted one of the top Pumpkin Patches in Texas. Love Creek Orchards — pioneers of the Texas Apple industry — has been hosting the Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch each October for 26 years. Nestled in the heart of the Hill Country in Medina on Highway 16 North, Love Creek is the perfect setting for a children’s festival. The event includes hayrides, scarecrow building, pumpkin painting, pony rides, games and photo opportunities, plus a petting zoo, apple orchard tours, cider making and processing apples on the apple line and more. “We want children to experience a day on the farm and fun, says owner Bryan Hutzler. “But we want to make it a learning experience as well. What a great way to learn about agriculture and how apples are grown and harvested.” See PUMPKIN PATCH, page 53

Selling Unique and One of a Kind Hand-Crafted Texas Products Books all about Texas People, Places, History & Etc. Carrying a Selection of TEXAS Made Beer, Wine & Spirits!!!

Now Carrying Kinky Friedman’s Cigars. The Willie, Rabbi & Kosher Cowboy

Featuring Hand-Crafted Domino Sets made from Exotic & Local Woods.

Hand Turned Wooden Baskets

Unique Metal Art

Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm

1 1 0 7 C y p r e s s S t. B a n d e r a 52

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


It’s truly pure family fun, featuring pig races, storytelling and playing an instrument in the Great Hill Country Symphony. You can bring a picnic lunch or enjoy food from onsite vendors, offering hot dogs, hamburgers, apple pie, pumpkin pie, apple ice cream and of course, fresh squeezed apple cider. You’ll also find a huge largest variety of pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, corn stalks and squash available to purchase. The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch opens on October 5 and is open every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in October from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $6, and includes free hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin painting (you buy the pumpkin and paint is provided), tours and entertainment (with dditional charge for pony rides, face painting and barrel train ride). Also open Thursdays and Fridays in October for scheduled school tours. For more information, including school tours, call 830-200-0302 or visit www.lovecreekorchards.com. Special birthday parties can also be accommodated. Photo by Melissa Ball.

Three spacious guest rooms in the Heart of Downtown Uvalde. 20 Min from Concan. BensonGuestHouse.com | 830-900-3279

Local & Family-Owned • Cozy Atmosphere

Hand-Crafted Artisan Pizzas & Pastas Craft & Domestic Beers Creative Cocktails Premium Wine

Coffee • Daily Specials • Homestyle Cooking Burgers • Sandwiches • Soups • Salads Pie • Cake • Bread • Cheesecake • Cookies • Muffins • Scones

Breakfast 7-10:30 am Thurs & Fri • Saturday Brunch 7 am-2 pm Lunch served 11 am-2 pm Tue-Fri

100 East Main St. Uvalde TX 830-900-7076 • broadway830.com

Tues-Wed 9 am-3 pm • Thurs-Sat 7 am-3 pm

2211 E Main Street, Uvalde • 830-261-1866 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Events Third Wednesdays Pickin’ on the Porch Utopia

Gospel music at Utopia United Methodist Church. 7 pm.

Second Fridays Foursquare Friday Uvalde

Shopping, food, music, art. 6 pm to 9 pm. visituvalde.com.

MARCH 11-15 Rio Frio Fest Concan

This annual country music series at House Pasture is right where Willie Nelson himself has graced the stage. The Frio River Fest is the perfect event for country music lovers to enjoy live entertainment, create unforgettable memories and listen to some of country music’s most popular up-and-coming stars. riofriofest.com.

MARCH 27-29 Sabinal Wild Hog Festival & Craft Fair Sabinal

The 29th Annual Sabinal Wild Hog Festival & Craft Fair is a celebration that brings together the best of the region in three short days. The event offers a mix of fun and entertainment for all ages, including wild hog chasing, kid-friendly games, delicious food and so much more. sabinalwildhogfestival.com.

MARCH 27-29 Women Who Wander Outdoor Retreat Concan

This one-of-a-kind women’s retreat will give you a true taste of all the region offers, including outdoor hikes and yoga, empowerment workshops, wine and whiskey tastings, and even an intimate concert with country legend Tanya Tucker. Learn more and register at WomenWhoWanderTexas.com.

MARCH 28 Spring Arts and Crafts Fair Utopia

Arts, crafts, handmade gifts, homemade jams and jellies, artist, food, and fun! Utopia Town Square, Highway 187. 9 am to 4 pm. fairsatutopia@gmail.com

APRIL 2-4 Sweet Party! Utopia

Sweet Party! is an extra intimate, family reunion campout at and music festival at Four Sisters Ranch. Family friendly, no pets allowed. See the lineup and events plus get advance tickets at utopiafest.com/sweetparty.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

The legendary Tanya Tucker performs at House Pasture Cattle Co. March 28, in conjunction with the Women Who Wander Outdoor Retreat. Photo courtesy Tanya Tucker.

APRIL 11 Fenders & Food Trucks on the Frio Concan

This family-friendly event is a perfect addition to your Easter festivities. Guests will be able to indulge in authentic Texas food, shop from local vendors, see a selection of unique cars, win prizes and even take part in a fun Easter egg hunt. This year, visitors can enjoy a live music after party at Andy’s Rockin’ River Sound Stage. More info at visituvaldecounty.com.

APRIL 18 Uvalde Corks & Kegs Queso Fest

Enjoy Texas Hill Country wine, craft beer and queso at Uvalde City Park. Kid and pet-friendly. uvalde.org/CorksandKegs.

APRIL 24-25 Koinonia Christian Music Festival Utopia

48 hours of worship, camping and fellowship at Four Sisters Ranch. Leaders and worshippers from churches across Texas, and the nations, will gather to camp, sing, eat, pray, and rest. Communal meals will be held, and attendees encouraged to explore the Four Sisters Ranch, hike, bike, and play disc golf, all set to praise. koinoniafestival.com. See EVENTS, page 56


Bear Creek Fudge ALL THINGS


Now serving Chicken Salad sandwiches! Delicious hand made chocolates, an old-fashioned Soda Fountain, cute clothing and gift items 830-597-6160 • bearcreekfudge.net 118 S. Nueces St. • Camp Wood, Texas 78833

Cafe Meat market homemade Sausages Slow smoked meats small batch jerky

A True Texas Smokehouse

Indoor & Outdoor Seating • Worth the drive! 1029 S. TX Hwy 55 • Camp Wood, TX 78333

830-597-4242 • kingtexassmokehouse.com

Stoner Ranch Quarter Horses

Foundation Bred King P-234 Horses

Great roping and cutting prospects with bloodlines going back to Hollywood Gold, Poco Bueno, Doc Bar, Poco Lena, Stampede Dude, Poco Tivio, Commander King

Tom Stoner • 830-591-8973

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Events MARCH – OCTOBER River Region

“Don’t Trash Where You Splash” River Cleanup To keep the rivers of Texas Hill Country River Region pristine, groups of travelers with 6+ people (ages 14+) can sign up to clean a section of the Frio, Sabinal and Nueces Rivers. Volunteers will be awarded $10/person, per hour of approved scheduled cleanup, which will be donated to a charity of their choice. Groups must fill out an application in advance and sign a waiver. To sign up, email info@visituvaldecounty.com. MAY 7 Rocksprings Texas Iron Motorcycle Rally Live music, bike show, bike run, games, vendors, swimming, free primitive camping, more. TexasIronRally.com. MAY 22-25 Rocksprings Spread Your Wings Adventure Race Bring the whole family and stay for the weekend, with water activities, a zip line, Family Adventure Race, Murder Mystery Night Nav Race, Too Cool Game Show and Happy Hour, and of course one crazy adventure race. campeagle.org/races/spread-your-wings.

MAY 24 Utopia

Utopia Ranch Rodeo At the Utopia Park Arena at 7:30 pm. Concessions available, with a live band and dance immediately following. This event promises to be an action packed night that will keep you at the edge of your seat! lawatersquarterhorses.com.

July Jubilee in Leakey. Photo by Nancy Feeley.

JUNE 12-13 Uvalde

Honey Festival From a hometown bake-off to a magical street dance under the stars, the festival will be full of great food, music, dance, crafts, bee and honey conservation education, fellowship, and celebration of our town heritage as the Honey Capital of the World! At Uvalde Downtown Plaza. uvaldehoneyfestival.com.

JUNE 26-27 Utopia Utopia Park CPRA Rodeo 2020

Saturday, enjoy the 2nd Annual Cornhole Tournament and Utopia EMS BBQ Fundraiser. Concessions will also be available during the rodeo and dance both nights, and Brett Mullins Band will perform both nights following the Rodeo.Vendors are invited to partcipate: contact reservations@utopiapark.org for more information. utopiapark.org.

JULY 4 Utopia Fourth of July in Utopia.

Fabulous fireworks show celebrates Independence Day at Utopia Park at dark.UtopiaPark.org.

JULY 4-5 Leakey 44th Annual July Jubilee in Leakey Don’t Trash Where You Splash river cleanup crew.

Photo courtesy VisitUvaldeCounty.com.

Enjoy a rodeo Friday and Saturday nights at the RCJHC Rodeo Arena, plus a Saturday morning parade downtown. FrioCanyonChamber.com. See EVENTS, page 58


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


A quiet respite on “Top of the World” for more than 100 years.

200 West Austin Street • Rocksprings, Texas 78880

713-515-2780 • 830-683-4212 • historicrockspringshotel.com

Western Hill Country Realty Quality Ranches • Year-Round Hunting


www.WesternHillCountryRealty.com Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Events AUGUST Camp Wood Old Settlers’ Reunion

Held the first Saturday of August every year since 1961. A fun event for the whole family.

SEPTEMBER 5 Leakey 3rd Annual Wylden Hubbard Memorial Youth Rodeo and Goat Roping.

Youth saddle-bronc riding, mutton-busting, bull riding and goat roping. Real County Junior Horse Club Arena in Leakey. Facebook.com/wyldenhubbardmemorial.

SEPTEMBER 17-20 Concan 1st Annual River Road Rally

The first annual Road Rally is here for motorcycle-enthusiasts. Enjoy a guided tour through Twisted Sisters, dance to live music, try your hand at poker and even pick a dish from one of the local food trucks that will be onsite. VisitUvaldeCounty.com.

OCTOBER 23-25 Concan

Frio Family Camp Fall Retreat A family experience in the Texas Hill Country River Region! Kayaking, arts and crafts, rock climbing, nature and birding walks, fishing, market fest, hiking, tubing, hayrides, and more. friofamilycamp.com.

Utopia Arts and Crafts Fall Fair. Photo by LeAnn Sharp.


39th Annual Hunters Roundup 30-gun raffle, UTV raffle, live music, wild game dinner, vendors. 5 pm to 10 pm. Uvalde County Fairplex Center. Uvalde.org/ HuntersRoundup.

NOVEMBER 1 Utopia Arts and Crafts Fall Fair

More than 80 vendors of handmade arts and crafts, silent auction, food and music. Utopia Town Square, Highway 187. 9 am to 4 pm. utopiafallfair@gmail.com, 830-966-4159.

NOVEMBER 9-11 Leakey

Band of Runners Trail Camp Multiple trail runs with instruction from elite trail runners covering training, running, form, strength training, nutrition, and more. Nutritious meals, campfires, storytelling, and fellowship included. Open to all. bandofrunners.org. NOVEMBER 28 - JANUARY 1 Leakey Festivity of Lights More than 30,000 lights on the Real County courthouse and grounds, plus seasonally-decorated businesses and homes throughout the town. Find Leakey Festivity of Lights on Facebook.com. NOVEMBER 28 Leakey Christmas on the Square Arts & Crafts show, visits from Santa Claus and more on the Leakey Square. FrioCanyonChamber.com.

Holidays in Leakey. Photo courtesy Frio Canyon Chamber.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

DECEMBER 5 Leakey Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce Gala 3rd Annual Casino Royale Gala themed event features silent auction and live auctions, food and drinks. Frio Pecan Farm. FrioCanyonChamber.com.

YEAR ‘ROUND FUN in the River Region

Jumpin’ in! Photo by Ana Lisa Glass.


SWT Services Corporation Custom Homes & Cabins

Head over heels in love with the river.

Photo by Blue Ryan Photography, courtesy WomenWhoWanderTexas.com.

New Homes - Turn Key, Dry-Ins Repairs and Remodels Decks • Covers • Pole Barns Kevin Tackett 830-683-6437

www.swtservicescorp.com A One of a Kind Boutique!

Miss Buffy’s

Women’s, Men’s & Children’s Apparel • Home Goods Hunting Supplies Mouth Watering Tasty Treats

Call (830) 507-9171

211 West Main Street • Rocksprings, TX 78880

Fried Chicken • Catfish • Shrimp Fresh Hot Salsa • Pies & Sweets • Jerky

Darla and her kayak. Photo courtesy Chalk Bluff.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


Easy day trips worth the drive By Suzy Moehring Mallard Fall in the Hill Country River Region is one of the best times for you and yours to get out and about — with amazing views, birding, museums, golf, helicopter rides, hiking and much more. And if you’re up for a little driving, here are a few of the many fun family day trips you can easily make from the River Region. Just a short drive from the River Region, you will find Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel, proudly owned and operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The biggest casino in Texas with 24-hour gaming excitement features more than 3,300 slots including an all-new High Limit Room, a private poker room and live bingo. Guests can dine at one of the six restaurants and enjoy live entertainment at ¿Qué Pasa? The full-service hotel offers 249 spacious suites and guest rooms with views of the Rio Grande and surrounding South Texas landscape. Lucky Eagle Casino is at 749 Lucky Eagle Drive, Eagle Pass, Texas 78852. Military, AARP and extended stay discounts available. Call 830-773-2255, or visit www.luckyeagletexas.com for information. Photo courtesy Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino.


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020

Hondo is the home to the South Texas Maize – get it? A corn maze. Open weekends in the fall, there is so much more to do than try to find your way out of a 7-acre maze, although that could keep kids and grownups occupied for a while. You can also pick out pumpkins, jump on giant pillows, slide down a corn mountain, take a hayride, ride a cattle train, sit by a campfire. This huge corn maze is part of the 7A Ranch, a working cattle ranch where Ken and Laurie Graff are the fifth generation to live and work on the ranch. The corn maze is really sorghum that grows about 12 feet high. The South Texas Maize at Graff 7A Ranch is at 911 U.S. Highway 90 East in Hondo. Bring your own food, or buy food at the Maize. And your well behaved dog on a leash is welcome. Pluswhich, the maze is wheelchair friendly. Ticket info and events at southtexasmaize.com or 830-741-3968. In the fall, y’all. Photo courtesy South Texas Maize. Uvalde’s Grand Opera House on North West Street, built in 1891, is the oldest theater in Texas. The Grand Opera House is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The two-story Romanesque style theater quickly became a social center in Uvalde and a leading venue in the area for plays and musicals and cultural events. Uvalde Grand Opera House was renovated in 1982 and is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Call 830-278-4184 for more information. Photo courtesy Grand Opera House.

where to get connected find wifi CAMP WOOD


The Camp Wood Public Library 106 S. Nueces 830-597-3208

Real County Public Library Main at Evergreen 830-232-5199


Bent Rim Grill 657 W. Ranch Rd. 337 830-232-6649

Uvalde Co. Visitor’s Center 21170 Texas Hwy. 127 830-232-4310



Hill Country Nature Center on FM 1050 830-966-2320

Local Fix Coffee Shop 2001 E. Main Street 830-900-7183

UTOPIA Lost Maples Cafe 384 FM 187 (Main Street) 830-966-2221

El Progreso Memorial Library 301 W. Main Street 830-278-2017


517 N. Center St. • Sabinal, TX 78881 • (830) 988-2582 • www.umhtx.org

Care For Minor Injuries and Illnesses. James A. Kelly, MD

Board Certified in Family Medicine

ElizaBeth J. Sparkman, APRN, FNP-BC Family Nurse Practitioner






Call or walk-in to schedule your appointment. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To advertise in the 2021 issue of WELCOME to the Hill Country River Region

email julie@hillcountrysun.com or call 512-484-9716 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020



Come stay at the Riv Resort on the Nueces River for a unique vacation experience. It will feel like a retreat and a true get-a-way from it all as you stay in one of our beautiful river front houses! Take a dip in the clear turquoise water or just enjoy nature as you take in the serenity of the Texas Hill Country

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Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2020


OASIS OUTBACK 2900 East Main Street, Uvalde oasisoutback.com (830) 278 - 4000

Chicken Fried Steak • “Big-O” Burgers Fried Catfish • Brisket • Smoked Turkey Sausage • Ribeye Steaks • Daily Specials

Lor Pink Panache • Natural Life Montana West • Swig Drinkware Circle E Candles • Crazy Train • Karma L&B Apparel • Christian Art Gifts

Apparel • Shoes Handbags • Accessories Fashion Jewelry • Gifts Store Hours

Mon - Thur: 9 - 6 Fri - Sat: 9 - 9 *Sun: - 10 - 3 (Sept. 1 - Jan. 1)

Grill Hours

Mon - Thur: 10:30 - 3 Fri - Sat: 10:30 - 9 Sun: 10:30 - 3 (Sept. 1 - Jan. 1)

Check out our NEW online store


River Rim Resort

Frio’s North Star

Oasis at River’s Edge

Indian Springs Lodges

Lost Canyon Retreat

North Village

1204 CR 350

1586 CR 348

CR 350

2785 RR 1050

2039 CR 350

24295 US 83 North

830-232-5758 • riverrimresort@yahoo.com • RiverRimResort.com

Concan’s finest vacation homes

Corona del Rio

Elevate your experience in the majestic Frio Canyon with Frio Premier Rentals

These lovely private homes offer the utmost in comfort so you can make unforgettable memories. All offer private swimming pools and many have river access.

Strait Up on the Frio

Profile for Julie Harrington

2020 Hill Country River Region Guide  

Dining, shopping, events, activities, lodging and more in the beautiful Texas Hill Country River Region, including Concan, Camp Wood, Leake...

2020 Hill Country River Region Guide  

Dining, shopping, events, activities, lodging and more in the beautiful Texas Hill Country River Region, including Concan, Camp Wood, Leake...