November 28, 2014

Wild Texas Parks: Braunig Lake Park - San Antonio, TX

Braunig Lake Park
San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County)

About the Reservoir

Picnic beneath an old oak tree
Located on the shores of 1,350-acre Braunig Lake, the park is owned by CPS Energy and managed by Thousand Trails Management Services. Braunig Lake, like its larger neighbor Calaveras Lake, is noted for its fishing and boating opportunities. Fish species found in the lake include: blue catfish, channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass and redfish (red drum), with the latter being the most prevalent. Boat ramps, boat rentals, lighted fishing piers and a fish cleaning station are available.

The park also offers opportunities for tent camping (RV campsites are coming soon), picnicking, birding and nature study. Although there are no formal hiking trails in the park, visitors will find ample opportunities to stretch their legs and explore. Facilities include covered picnic tables and restrooms. A 75-person capacity pavilion with electricity and restrooms is available for group gatherings; call the park for reservations and availability. A children's play area is located adjacent to the pavilion.

Wildlife viewing opportunities in the park include white-tail deer, small mammals, songbirds, migratory and wading birds. Among the bird species observed in the park are: great egret, American coot, tri-colored heron, common moorhen, least grebe, American white pelican, red-winged blackbird, marsh wren, crested caracara, double-crested cormorant and and Harris' hawk. Springtime visitors to Braunig Park are treated to wildflowers such as Indian paintbrush and Texas lupine (bluebonnet).

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities* 1 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog YES
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds* 1 star
Solitude** 2 star
Trail System 0 star
Water Recreation*** 3 star
Wildlife** 2 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook

One interesting fact about Braunig and Calaveras Lakes is why they were built. In the mid-1960's, San Antonio's growing power needs coincided with a 6+ year drought. City Public Service (CPS), the local electric & gas utility, was faced with a challenge -- generate more power, while using less water from the Edwards Underground Aquifer, the city's sole source of drinking water. Sound easy? According to the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS), "producing electrical power is one of the largest uses of water in the United States."

CPS built two new electric power plants and two man-made cooling lakes (Braunig and Calaveras). The power plants are cooled with recycled water which is then released into the lakes, eliminating a significant demand on the city's fresh water resources. Today, the lakes provide cooling for five power plants while offering 4,900 acres of recreational opportunities and important fish and wildlife habitat.

Covered picnic tables with BBQ grills

For more information, read our trip reports:

  • Wildflowers and Water
  • Location

    Braunig Lake is located 15 miles southeast of downtown San Antonio off Interstate Highway 37 south; take Exit 130 (Donop Road) and follow the signs. The park entrance is located at 17500 Donop Road.

    The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, Del Rio, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston

    Maps for Braunig Lake Park

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    Coordinates for GPS Users:

    29.2494019° Latitude    -98.3939409° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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    Hours

    Open 7 days from 6 AM - 8 PM.

    Fees

    A park entrance fee is charged per day --
    $4 per person for adults 16 years of age and older, $2 per person for adults age 65 or older and children ages 6 to 15.

    NOTE: Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

    Park entrance fees paid at Braunig Lake Park are good for same-day admission to nearby Calaveras Lake Park.

    Campsite, boat access, and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

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    Official Contact Information

    The Reservoir is managed by the Thousand Trails Management Services.

    Thousand Trails Management Services Braunig Lake Park
    17500 Donop Road
    San Antonio, Texas 78223

    Telephone: (210)635-8289

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