Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
Hours: 9:30 AM - 5 PM daily
Fees: Glass-bottom Boat Tours (30 min) Children 2 and under Free; Children (3-12) $6; Adults: $9.75; Seniors (65+) $8.00; Children (3-12): $6.00, 2 and Under FREE, Texas State University Faculty, Staff, and Students $5 with Valid ID; Extended Boat Tours, Guided Wetlands Tours, and Discovery Hall Tours available on weekends ($2- $3.50).
Parking: Parking lot on-site. ($3 parking permit paid for at kiosk)
Rules: Pets on leash. Scoop the Poop. No campfires, glass containers, motor vehicles, weapons, horses, or camping. Take only photos, leave only footprints. Refrain from biking on muddy trails. Stay on trails.
Latest Explorer Observation
Texas State University purchased the land where the Meadows Center now stands, transforming what was once a theme park into an environmental education center around Spring Lake, Texas' largest spring and headwaters of the 260-mile long San Marcos River.
Eight federally listed Endangered and Threatened species make their home in Spring Lake the 3.8 mile-long upper section of the San Marcos River. Salamanders, fish, and other aquatic fauna, as well as unique plants such as Texas Wild Rice, rely on the flow of this clear, clean, constant temperature water from the Edwards Aquifer for survival.
Archaeological evidence suggests that Native Americans lived in this area over 11,000 years ago and considered the springs to be sacred. The White Shaman Panel, a 4,000 year-old cave painting (considered the earliest map of Texas) depicts a pilgrimage route to Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, San Pedro Springs, and Yanaguana. Several creation stories are tied to these places. To this day, they hold great meaning and preserve Native American heritage.