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River parks reopen in New Braunfels

The popular spots were closed in June to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even though river access points are open, outfitter restrictions are still in place.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — The City of New Braunfels reopened river access parks Wednesday morning.

The popular spots were closed in June to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Rainstorms throughout the day couldn’t keep a few folks from making a splash.

The cold Comal took some getting used to for one Houston family spotted at the Comal River Wednesday. Once the initial shock was over, they had some fun at the tube chute.

The trio braved the rain to take a dip, enjoying every minute.

Locals also stopped by to wade in the water and stroll through Hinman Island and Prince Solms parks.

A dog owner was excited to once again have the beautiful Comal River as a backdrop on her morning walks.

“They use it for a lot more activities than just tubing,” said Stacey Dick, parks and recreation director for New Braunfels. “It's a very popular location for walkers and runners. They've missed having that section of the park. At Prince Solms Park, we have disc golf and tennis and basketball that are all back open. People have been excited to be able to get back out and enjoy those outdoor activities.”

Credit: KENS
With public access to river parks reopened Wednesday in New Braunfels, two men were spotted wading in the Comal despite a pop-up shower.

These spaces had been closed since June 26th. It was the second river parks closure during the pandemic to help mitigate COVID-19's advance through the community. The city decision coincided with an order by Gov. Greg Abbott, who required outfitters to stop tube rentals and shuttles on that same day.

Restrictions for outfitters are still in place, so the Houston family had to bring their own tubes.

“When it is raining, folks should really pay attention to the flow of the water and even sometimes the debris that's underneath the surface of the water,” Dicke said. “You may not see it right when you get in and you might find yourself in trouble if you're not paying attention. So really, just paying attention to Mother Nature is the best bet.”

Private access to the river remained open over the last few months. and water-lovers seen over the Labor Day Weekend made use of those spots to cool off.

With greater river access and public spots reopened, Dicke said it's important for locals and visitors to stay educated and safe.

“We certainly want everyone to be able to get out, enjoy the parks. It's great for your physical and your mental health,” Dicke said. “The governor still has some restrictions in place, so just be familiar with those. If you need a good reference, just go to the city's website and we have all of that information available.”