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Uvalde County Fun Facts

The Texas Hill Country River Region in Uvalde County is a place of simple pleasures – a land where chalk cliffs surround three crystal-clear rivers and a canopy of Cypress trees casts the perfect blanket of shade from the sunny skies overhead. Embrace that “Texas state of mind” with year-round activities and the natural beauty this special part of Texas has to offer.

Pronunciation

Uvalde (you-VAL-dee) County

Location

The River Region is the hidden gem of Texas Hill Country, located in southwest Texas.

Brief History

Uvalde County, named for Spaniard Juan de Ugalde, is in Southwest Texas midway between San Antonio and the International Amistad Reservoir on the United States-Mexico border. On January 9, 1790, Juan de Ugalde, governor of Coahuila and commandant of the Provincias Internas, led 600 men to a decisive victory over the Apaches near the site of modern Utopia. Today, Uvalde County covers 1,588 square miles. The City of Uvalde has a total area of 7.6 miles, all of it land.

The Nueces, Leona, Sabinal, Dry Frio and Frio rivers flow through Uvalde County. The three river canyons (Concan/Frio River Canyon, Nueces River Canyon and Sabinal River Canyon) were home to many Native American tribes, Spanish missions and the lost Franciscan Silver mine. Old wagon tracks are visible in the rock of the Frio River bed, and fossils and footprints of prehistoric animals can be seen in the limestone near the Sabinal River. Today, caves near the Nueces River is home to millions of bats.

Fun Facts

The largest tree in Texas is located in the River Region, measuring nearly 100 ft. tall and 438” in circumference, with a crown spread of 112 feet.

The Texas Hill Country River Region has the second largest bat population in the world open to the public.

Historically, Uvalde has been known as the Honey Capital of the World for production of huajillo honey, a mild, light-colored honey discovered in the late 1800s.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, actress Dale Evans and former Governor of Texas Dolph Briscoe (after whom the Post Office is named) were born in Uvalde. The Newton Brothers Gang was also from Uvalde County.

Garner State Park, one of the most visited state parks in Texas, is named after John Nance Garner, Vice President to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who called Uvalde home.

The Frio River is mentioned in George Strait's song “All My Ex's Live in Texas.”

Elevation

Elevations range from 2,000 feet above sea level to 700 feet above sea level.

Population

Approximately 26,926 people

Cities

Uvalde, Concan, Utopia, Sabinal, Montell, Reagan Wells and Knippa

Weather

The River Region enjoys hot, humid summers perfect for staying near the water, and generally mild to cool winters.

Transportation

The Texas Hill Country River Region is located within driving distance of Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. Hop on U.S. Highway 90 or U.S. Highway 83 from any of these four major cities’ airports, and you will be in a secluded oasis in no time.

Lodging

Whether you want to share a cabin with family, relax in a luxury vacation home, hook up an RV for the week, or simply string a hammock and sleep under the stars, the Texas Hill Country River Region has you covered.

Families can check in to Chalk Bluff Resort in Uvalde for rustic lodging surrounded by wildlife. Sitting right along the Nueces River, guests enjoy kayaking, fishing and hiking.

As a host to family reunions for more than 65 years, Criders on the Frio in Concan is a picturesque property that sits along the idyllic shores of the Frio River. Float down the lazy river in an intertube or hike along Buffalo Creek to get a look at the largest trees in Texas — the Bald Cypress Trees.

Check out two of the River Region’s best traditions – Garner State Park, equipped with campsites and cabins for those ready to sleep under the stars, and Neal’s Lodges in Concan near the Frio River. The lodge was founded in 1926 by a local rancher and has been family owned and operated ever since. Guests enjoy nightly dances, wildlife hayrides and watersports. Feed Neal’s pet giraffe, Jax, and observe the seasonal bat flights.

Dining

The Texas Hill Country River Region is the place to be for authentic barbeque, Tex-Mex and open-flame cooking.

Stop by the meat market and head back to your lodging to show off your own Texas BBQ skills. Nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal over an open fire.

Get a taste of France at The Laurel Tree. Dine in the formal dining room, or get intimate in an incredible dining space built in a 450-year-old oak tree, as seen on Treehouse Masters. Area native Chef Laurel Waters earned Le Grand Diplome in cuisine, pastry and wine from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Take a break from intertubing on the Frio River for a quick lunch at the new Hippie Chicks River Shack, where groovy guys and gals serve up wings, burgers and breakfast tacos.

Enjoy comfort food just like your momma made at Neal’s Dining Room. The fried chicken and chicken fried steaks have been a local favorite for 80 years, as is the restaurant’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

Curb that sweet tooth with a thick slice of pie from Concan Pies, featuring the famous Concan Meringue pie (one layer of coconut and one layer of chocolate). It’s two pies in one! Or head to the Lost Maples Cafe, which was a stop in the film “Seven Days in Utopia” starring Robert Duvall.

Rivers

The River Region is best known for three rivers that run through the area, the Frio, Nueces and Sabinal. Simply pick a river, grab an intertube and prepare to float the day away under the bright blue Texas sky.

The Frio River winds through the heart of the Texas Hill Country, running shallow and crystal clear with spring-fed waters. When you go for a dip in the Frio, you’ll love the pretty views overhead, including the tall limestone bluffs, big cypress trees and stunning birds. If you’re looking for a great place to kayak or float, this river’s for you.

Around these parts, the Nueces River is known for its clear, warmer waters – a product of the spring-fed Hill Country creeks that flow into it. It’s also known for its fish, including bass, sunfish and perch. Grab a pole, post up along the banks and drop a line for some of the finest, naturally shaded fishing this side of the border.

Beginning at the mouth of the Lost Maples Natural Area, the Sabinal River wanders down south through the Sabinal Canyon, past Utopia and toward the little town of Sabinal (its namesake). The banks of the Sabinal are great for folks looking to sit back and stay awhile, as vacation rentals, lodging and cabins are just across the way near Garner State Park.

Unique Texas Hill Country River Region Attractions

Water Adventures

Whether you like swimming, snorkeling, tubing or fishing, Uvalde County is the perfect backdrop for your splashing. Float down the lazy rivers with a cold drink in hand. Forgot your intertube? No worries! All water toys can be rented in plenty of places around the county.

Hiking

Diverse vegetation, spectacular wildflower displays, fall colors, monumental trees on the National Registry of Big Trees, abundant wildlife – see all of this and more on an afternoon of hiking in Uvalde County. With plenty of scenic trails throughout the county, there’s a route for every ability level. Head to Garner State Park for miles and miles of scenic trails.

Golf

Well-manicured greens, beautiful scenery and a lush, rolling landscape are all par for the course when golfing in Uvalde County. The Golf Club of Texas – Concan is a par 72-championship course with 18 holes measuring 7,333 yards from the tips. It offers panoramic views of the Hill Country with premium Zoysia grass underfoot.

Enjoy a beautiful 9-hole golf course in the picturesque Sabinal Canyon at Utopia Golf. Utopia Golf also regularly hosts motivational seminars led by Dr. David Cook, author of the book "Golf's Sacred Journey - Seven Days at the Links of Utopia," which has proven to be life-changing read for anyone seeking to find their game.

Hunting

This region is home to many native and exotic species of animals, perfect for year-round hunting. White tail deer are the most popular trophies. Also take advantage of the River Region’s reputation as the Dove Hunting Capital of Texas.

Fishing

Drop a line in deep waters or fly fish the gentle rapids in Texas Hill Country River Region! Full of freshwater streams, the region is home to a variety of trophy fish and even offers a certified fish refuge for endangered species.

Bird Watching

The River Region is prime birding territory. Bring along your binoculars to enjoy such delights as the Green Kingfisher and the Painted Bunting. If that weren’t enough, plan to cross off your bucket list the Long-billed Thrasher and Olive Sparrow, which are on a shortlist of specialty birds that, within the U.S., can only be found in Texas.

Weddings

The River Region is the perfect spot for your Texas wedding. Whether you dream of an intimate hilltop setting, tying the knot at the bend of a river or hosting a rustic, outdoor wedding with all of your family and friends, the River Region offers unique venues to make sure your destination wedding is truly unforgettable.

Frio Bat Tour

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, head to the Frio Bat Flight Tour. Witness as more than 10 million Mexican free-tailed bats ascend into the evening sky during sunset at the Frio Cave near Concan.

Ranches

Rope in unique adventures like a modern cowboy at one of the many ranches in Uvalde. Ranches in the region offer the finest opportunity to hunt animals, while also providing unique experiences – like the chance to drive a WWII Sherman Tank, go on an African-life wildlife safari, skeet shoot and much more.

About Texas Hill Country River Region, Inc.

The Texas Hill Country River Region, Inc. was founded in 1998 with the mission of promoting Uvalde County as an overnight year-round tourism destination and to increase off-season occupancy in the regions’ accommodations. For more information on the Texas Hill Country River Region, visit http://www.VisitUvaldeCounty.com or call (830) 232 -4310.

Media Contact

Annabell McNew| 210-863-2355 | annabell@visituvaldecounty.com

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