CONCAN, TEXAS: YOUR FRIO RIVER GETAWAY
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The scenic Frio River carves its path through the southern section of the picturesque Texas Hill Country, and the little town of Concan was settled right next to it—not only for utility, but to share with their visitors the views and wildlife the river offers.
Though Concan had been settled up to 40 years earlier, its official origins are traced back to its being issued a post office in 1880. According to local lore, its name is based upon an old Mexican card game called Conquian, which was Anglicized to “coon can,” from which Concan was derived. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country in north-central Uvalde County, Concan's history—like many communities in the area—is centered around farming and ranching. However, its location on the sparkling Frio River has helped to make Concan a tourist hot spot, as well. This comfortable little village boasts a population of about 300 residents.
Concan, though a small town, is big on scenery and attractions for its welcomed guests. Backroads Reservations offers potential visitors this outline of what there is to see and do in and around Concan.
Garner State Park, perched on the Frio River, showcases all the best of nature's beauty in the area. No matter your interests, your day will be full here; there's hiking, swimming, river tubing, miniature golf, geo-caching sites, and prime bird-watching terrain here, just to name some of the park's highlights. Towering 1900 feet above the park is Mount Old Baldy—a perfect backdrop for photos, as well as a challenging hike to its summit. During the summer, their 1930s-era pavilion hosts nightly dances, and nearby there's the Garner Grill and ice cream shop. Ranger lectures are also offered; they'll fill you in on the park's history, wildlife, and plant life. Grilling, boating, and tubing equipment are all available for rental on-site.
Nearby Frio Cave offers visitors a look at the second-largest bat population in the world that's open to the public, at the Frio Bat Flight Tours. 10 to 12 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from the cave at sunset, when the mosquito buffet opens. Guides will lead you to the best viewing areas near the cave, and keep in mind: the bats migrate south for the winter, so they're only around from March to September. For the full circle-of-life experience, several hawks, falcons, and kestrels are often seen during the sunset flights, because bats are a delicacy to them. Be sure to call ahead; reservations are required.
Guests who are equestrian fans will want to pay a visit to Elm Creek Stables. All proceeds earned here go to the Frio Canyon Horse Rescue, also housed on-site. The stables are open year-round, and they offer trail rides, pony rides, and even a petting zoo. Please call ahead for reservations.
The Frio River is well-known by many locals and repeat visitors for casual and relaxing tube rides down the river. Josh's Frio River Outfitters provides tubes, kayaks, and shuttles to your starting point—and they also have a gelato and coffee shop on-site. They're more than happy to help equip you for your float, but first-time visitors should be aware of a couple important pre-trip items: all tubers should wear shoes on the river, and glass containers of any kind are not allowed.
Got an appetite? The House Pasture Cattle Company is a steakhouse and music venue where you can get your fill! Their summer season runs from May to September, and they feature hearty steak and chicken entrees and appetizing starters. They're also home to one of the most popular live music venues in the area; past headliners have included Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Tanya Tucker, and they showcase the best of local talent, too!
Concan has other satisfying food favorites for their guests! Neal's Dining Room is famous for their catfish and chicken fried steak, and it's a local favorite choice for down-home stick-to-your-ribs fare. For a menu that focuses on comfort foods such as garlic grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, check out the riverside favorite, Hippie Chic's River Shack, right alongside the Frio. Top off your culinary visit to Concan and stop by Frio Farm. This family-run artisinal farm is famous for their homemade pies, but they also feature baking extracts and cocktail mixes to give that added zip and character to your favorite recipes.
Savor the vistas and relaxing surroundings of Concan, and the Frio River, in a rental from Backroads Reservations! There's no reason to plop down in a generic hotel room, when beautiful locations with rock-star amenities are available. Get in touch with us when you're planning your visit to the area, and we'll set you up with a top-notch rental. Whether you've got a full schedule during your stay, or you'd like to just kick back and unwind, we'll help make your visit to Concan the best it can be!