Hidalgo Falls River Festival

March 20-21, 2010

Hidalgo Falls on the Brazos River
Near Navasota, Texas


The ninth annual Hidalgo Falls River Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2010, at the TRPA Hidalgo Falls property on the Brazos River near Navasota. The festival, which is the year's major fund-raising event to maintain and improve paddlers' access to the rapid, has in the past attracted more than 200 paddlers and spectators. This year's special event is the unveiling of our new bathhouse, equipped with showers, flush toilets, and lavatories, along with an external sink for cleaning cooking utensils. We hope that this facility will make the property more attractive to paddlers and their families, and encourage them to use the property often.

Also this year will see the release of Aaron Smith's Hidalgo Falls River Guide, a booklet packed with detailed information about the property and photos of features at different water levels. To see a teaser, go to the Hidalgo Falls Yahoo Group website.

Due to recent rains, water levels will be better than they have been in years. Scheduled events include:

Overall this year's event will be like our early events, where paddlers, their families, and friends come explore the property, check out the tidepool-like river features, play in the rapid, have relaxing floats up and down the river, and hang out with other boaters from around the state.

We hope that people will offer to coordinate float trips down to Hwy 105 (in addition to the one scheduled for Sunday morning), do impromptu tours of the property (e.g., identifying plants or talking about the geology of the falls) when interested people are around on Saturday and Sunday, and swap information on where to paddle in the state. This is all very informal.

This year we are asking people to donate at least $5/day/person and $10/weekend to help cover expenses (e.g., new bathhouse, electricity, property taxes).

As in years past, on Saturday there will be a 28-mile downriver race from the Koppe Bridge Landing south of College Station to Hidalgo. Recreational division paddlers will leave from the Koppe Bridge starting line at 9:00, and competition division paddlers will leave at 10:00. Registration opens at 7:30 at the put-in. Racers are required to pay $15 to register for the race in addition to their donations for the festival ($5/day, $10 weekend/person). Classes include:

Aluminum Solo Canoe Tandem Men's Canoe ICF K1 Recreational Solo
Standard Solo Unlimited Tandem Mixed Canoe Tandem Mixed Kayak Unlimited

Bruce Trainum (mad.moose@yahoo.com) is the coordinator for the race. Contact him for information about registration and the (additional) cost for race insurance.

Sunday would be a good day to share what you know about the composite formations that create the rapid or what you know about how to spot and deal with poison ivy. If you would like to do something like this, let Steve Daniel know and we will post a list of places and times for interested folks to get together.

We have electricity for those with extension cords, but you will need to bring your own food and drinks this year. As in the past, camping is available at our upper and lower campgrounds, but functioning bathrooms are available only at the lower campground. For a map of the property, click on the Hidalgo Falls website.

People will start arriving on Friday afternoon, so someone should be able to let you in the locked gate if you are not currently certified to access the property. (Opportunities to join TRPA and become certified to use the property will be available throughout the weekend.)

Here are some pictures of the festival grounds (courtesy: Andrew Stone and Skip Morris) from the 2006 festival:

alternate road campground

For pictures of the first festival in 2001, click here.

For pictures of the 2004 festival, click here.

For general information about the festival, contact Steve Daniel (sdaniel@philosophy.tamu.edu)

Information about the location of Hidalgo Falls, TRPA ownership, pictures, etc. can be found at the Hidalgo Falls website: