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Go With the Flow

Canadian River

Difficulty: Effortless

Section North River Road, U.S. 83 to Texas Highway 70, near Canadian
Difficulty Effortless
Length and duration 22 miles of driving, 1 hour minimum
Resources None
Reward yourself Fill up on the steak and fries and famous bread pudding at the Cattle Exchange, in Canadian.


The Canadian is usually too dry to be much good for floating, but it supports a host of other sports. The duck hunting is great, and ATV riders roar around the designated areas at Lake Meredith, a bit north of Amarillo, where there are plentiful off-road trails crisscrossing the sandy riverbed. But you don’t have to get off-road to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the Canadian. Just drive this 22-mile stretch of ranch road that follows the northern bank of the river through Hemphill and Roberts counties, which have fewer than three people per square mile. That’s a lot of empty rolling grassland and limestone mesa, and, as might be expected, the bird-watching is world-class. Members of the Panhandle Bird Club come here to see eastern birds such as red-bellied woodpeckers and barred owls; in winter you might see Harris’s or American Tree sparrows.

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