Six mile stretch near Columbus offers trip through nature, history
For the casual canoeist who enjoys wildlife and grassroots history, look no further than the stretch near the community of Columbus. Ample public access makes bending route an easy and convenient float. It covers a little more than six river miles. The trip may take as little as two hours, or as long as six, depending on the river flow and paddling. Historians say this area was used by Sam Houston and Santa Anna as a river crossing during the Texas War for Independence.
Put in: State Highway 71 crossing in Columbus. The site is on the north bank (left side as you float downstream) of the river, east side of the highway. The boat ramp is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Take out: The day-trip ends at Beason's Park, located on the left as you float downstream, just off U.S. Highway 90. The park has a sandy beach that allows paddlers to take out their canoes and rafts.
The earthen banks are lined with brush and native trees such as pecan, willow, oak, cottonwood and elm. Alert visitors will see beavers and other small mammlas, along with a variety of predator birds, such as osprey, hawks, great blue herons, kingfishers, and perhaps even an American bald eagle fishing in the river.
Consider paddling up the mouth of Cummins Creek. A canopy of native trees
provides a shady refuge from the sun.
During low-water periods, be alert for snags and shallow areas. Watch for rotten, splintered planks near the Great Wall of Columbus, a 40-foot high wooden structure built to divert water and control erosion. Always check the weather and river conditions before a trip.
View this aerial map (PDF) of the 6.4-mile stretch on the Colorado.