Section U.S. 90 to Zedler Mill, Luling
Length and duration 6 miles, 2–4 hours
Resources Boat rental and shuttle from the City of Luling, 512-227-1724; call at least a day before.
Reward yourself Save room for the barbecue at City Market or Luling Bar-B-Q—or both.
Luling’s location in the much-traveled Central Texas barbecue belt is enough to ensure the town a stream of visitors. If you want to feel virtuous, paddle down the San Marcos before you belly up to the brisket. It’s a wonderful day out for the family, since the meandering river is gentle but offers a few small riffles that will provide some excitement for novice boaters. Watch out for sunken logs and fallen trees, which rest in the river like sleeping monsters in a tangle of smaller deadwood. Cows stare down at you from their grassy pastures, and the air is sometimes thick with the smell of oil from backyard wells—Luling displays the pastoral side of the state’s two iconic industries. On April 24, the Zedler Mill, a nineteenth-century red-brick structure located on the river, plays host to the Zedler Mill Classic, offering canoe races and an arts and crafts fair. No barbecue, though, just catfish.