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Explore Spring Lake

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

Explore Spring Lake

Spring Lake gives life to the San Marcos River, to San Marcos and downstream communities, and to The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Two hundred springs bubble up to form one of the largest aquifer-driven spring systems in the world. Human history here stretches back 12,000 years - making his possibly the longest continually inhabited settlement in North America.

The lake is also home to 8 threatened and endangered species, one of which - Texas Wild Rice - is found nowhere else on earth. Meanwhile, Spring Lake is a vibrant center and beloved resource for our community. We are honored to be the entrusted stewards of this place. It is at the heart of all we do. We are dedicated to understanding, protecting, and sharing it.

TxDOT Loop 82 lane closures on Aquarena Springs Dr will begin on Feb. 28, at which time the City of San Marcos plans to close Charles Austin Dr to through traffic at the intersection of Aquarena Springs Dr. For access to facilities, parking lots, and driveways on Charles Austin Drive, between Aquarena Springs Dr and Hopkins St, please use Hopkins St. Check our construction updates page for alternative routes that will help you get here with minimal delay.

Glass-Bottom Boats Run Daily.

There is construction on Aquarena Springs Drive, but our entrance is still accessible. Since 1945, these historic Glass-bottom boats have given people of all ages an in-depth look at the natural beauty of Spring Lake, where thousands of springs bubble up from the Edwards Aquifer.
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Dec. 21st-25th, Jan. 1st & 31st, and Jan. 4th-8th. Tours last for 30 minutes. The last boat leaves at 4:30 p.m. For more information click here

Scuba Dive Spring Lake

Our diving program partners with select scuba divers to protect and preserve Spring Lake's abundant natural, historical, and cultural resources. We train citizen scientist divers and, in return, they volunteer their time to one of the most unique habitat restoration projects in the country. For more information click here

Paddling Tours & Educational Events

Visitors can explore Spring Lake while enjoying one of the most popular outdoor activities in the country: Paddling. We have partnered with the REI Outdoor School to offer interpretive tours and educational activities aboard kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUPs). For more information, click here

Due to flooding, the Wetlands Boardwalk is not currently accessible.

Wetlands provide many ecological benefits including: habitat for a diverse community of plants and wildlife; water purification; erosion and sediment control; and diminished flooding. Come explore this diverse habitat along our .1 mile boardwalk on the edge of the newly restored peninsula meadow. For more information click here

Visit our Discovery Hall and Aquarium Exhibit

Featuring a 1,000 gallon aquarium of native fish found in Spring Lake, an endangered species exhibit where you will see Texas Blind Salamanders, San Marcos Salamanders and Fountain darters, a baby turtle aquarium, a multiscreen video wall and interactive exhibit about the Edwards Aquifer and the Water Systems of Texas. For more information click here

Book a Customized Field Trip or Interpreter-led Tour

We offer a variety of educational opportunities for all ages and types of groups. We specialize in interpreter led field trips, customized to meet specific grade levels and classroom learning goals. Tours are customized for: Pre-School, Elementary, Junior High, High School, college, adults, senior citizens, birthday parties, and scouts. For more information click here