By Austin Cowan
Blog Content Contributor
Nobody can gain the maximum San Marcos experience without taking a visit to Five Mile Dam. With the river, the waterfall, soccer fields and the hiking trails, there is no debate about why this location is seen as a cherished refuge for San Marcans who wish to escape the craziness of life. Five Mile Dam is a wonderful place for friends to hang out, couples to spend the day together and for families to gather for reunions. The Five Mile Dam experience is unlike any other park experience around.
The most memorable part of Five Mile Dam is the dam itself. The dam is built across the Blanco River. The water pushed back by the dam appears to look like a small lake. So, upstream the dam is the best area for water activities which requires a boat or full submersion under water. On the downstream side of the dam a waterfall is formed where the river water flows slowly over the top. This waterfall is a go to place for children to play. The falling water feels soothing on one’s back especially during a hot Texas day. The waterfall is also a place many couples go to while on a romantic getaway, so guys keep this in mind when planning a day trip your girlfriend. (Boyfriends should take their girlfriends on romantic trips anyway) This park is a beautiful sight to see, so many people take pictures here. If you are in need for an epic new profile picture than stand up on top of the dam. Pictures take here will never disappoint.
Another great part of Five Mile Dam is Dudley Connolly Park. This 16.5-acre plot of land contains trails which people walk down to look at the river and the beautiful landscape adjacent to it. The trials here are ADA (American with Disabilities Act) approved, so do not expect any intense terrain. When friends and I go hiking over here we run into many animals including squirrels, rabbits, deer, possums, and occasionally hawks and owls. In order to see the most wildlife try to stay reasonably quiet, but enjoy the trails. Sometimes the best conversations with friends can happen while on a hike.
Another attraction is the Five Mile Dam Soccer Complex. The complex is 43-acres and contains a playscape, concession stand and of course soccer fields. Ten fields to be exact and four of these are lighted. Competitions and games are played frequently here. This is the time where items can be purchased from the concession stands. Pick up games are also played here when the fields are not being used for official games. For anybody not interested in playing soccer there is a track wrapping around all the fields for exercise and the playscape is always open. Sports besides soccer can be played here as well when the fields are not being used for soccer.
Randall Wade Vetter Park is another park at Five Mile Dam which is eighteen-acres big. This park contains seven BBQ grills with picnic tables and a trail which is ADA (American with Disabilities Act Approved). This great picnic spot is also a short walk from the parking lot. The short distance from the parking lot is definitely an added benefit, because those Yeti coolers can get pretty heavy.
There is many recreational activities that can be performed in or along the river. A few of these activities include: kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, picnicking, dog walking and fishing. The water is not too cold, so it feels good on a swimmer’s skin. The best place for swimming is immediately upstream of the dam. Upstream of the dam is the best area for all the recreational activities that include boats or semi-deep water. The water is not to clear so scuba diving and snorkeling can be done here, it is just a little difficult. Hiking and dog walking can be done everywhere in the park.
Five Mile Dam is a beautiful park which blesses the people of San Marcos with many outdoor recreational activities. It does not matter what you are interested in there is pretty much something for anyone to do here. Five Mile Dam holds a precious place in the heart of all who come spend their afternoons on this property. Going to Five Mile Dam is definitely a necessity for anybody who wished to achieve the maximum San Marcos experience.
Items needed to bring to the Park:
- During a soccer competition:
- Food or money for food
- Lawn chair
- Umbrella for rain/shade
- Disposable plates
- Trash Bag
- Park Recreation
- Boat, kayak, canoe or paddle board
- Life jacket
- Scuba gear
- Snorkeling gear
- Fishing equipment
- Small coat