COMAL PARK UPDATES
Beginning Saturday, May 23, 2020, the park will be limited to 75 percent capacity (300 cars) and the hours of operation will be set from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. No new entries will be allowed after 6 p.m.
For the most up to date information regarding park capacity please follow our Comal Park Facebook page.
Social distancing will be required. WORD has instituted sanitizing procedures for bathrooms and touchpoints; however, we can not guarantee that all surfaces will be sanitized at all times. Comal Park is first-come, first-served, no reservations.
Comal Park is a 116- acre park located on the South shore of Canyon Lake near Startzville. This lakefront park is currently open from April through September as a day-use only facility.
Comal Park has picnic sites, two boat ramps, a pea gravel and sand swim beach, a playground (coming soon), and restrooms throughout the park. The park has a variety of recreational activities including a sand volleyball court, soccer goals, and four washer pits.
Comal Park Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is WORD taking over the park?
A. The Corps of Engineers is experiencing budget cuts to their recreation budget for Canyon Lake. Since WORD is a Parks District, it was logical for us to pursue a lease. There was a very real possibility that Park access could have been reduced or closed if a local partner had not been found to lease the park.
Q. Will my Corps / America the Beautiful pass be honored?
A. The Corps participated in a variety of annual passes for which they received revenue or were allocated tax dollars for. WORD has not and does not receive any of those dollars. So, WORD cannot honor any passes sold through America the Beautiful, Corps annual pass, or other means.
Q. What is the park entry fee?
A. Since this is the first year of operation, WORD has set a flat rate of $10 per car. Our estimate is that this number should cover our annual operation and maintenance costs for the park. During this first year, we will be collecting data on number of visitors, age of visitors, and actual costs and revenues. For comparison, the Corps charged $5 per car but did not cover their operating costs. State Parks are $7 per person, and at least one other park at Canyon Lake has increased to $20 per car.
Q. Is there a discounted rate for locals or seniors?
A. As we go into 2021, we will evaluate and adjust our rates as needed so that we are covering all costs. WORD does not want to make a profit on the park and is committed to providing it as a recreational resource for the community and for visitors. At that time, we may be able to offer things like annual passes, senior discounts, or local discounts. Until we have real numbers to draw from, this is unfortunately not possible in year one.
Q. Will the park be open year-round?
A. We planned to be open April 1 – September, the same way the Corps has been operating. However, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, this has delayed our opening date. We will assess the need for and ability to be open for longer periods after the first year and make a decision at that time.
Q. Will there be a playground in the park?
A. The playground that was in place was removed prior to WORD taking on the lease. WORD has budgeted for a new playground and is actively working on that project. Playgrounds take time to design, build, and install, and we will provide updates on the timeline once we have them.
Q. What types of improvements is WORD making?
A. WORD has already extended and improved the swim beach area and added a sand beach section. A sand volleyball court and washer pits have been added. Courtesy docks have been repaired, drainage improved, bathrooms repaired, and the entire park has been cleaned thoroughly. Many future improvements are planned and will be announced as they are completed.
The frequency of Park trash cleanup has been tripled and crews are working to clean and trim the peninsula area. Trash bags will be handed out to all visitors and a zero tolerance policy on littering will be in place. Extra law enforcement patrols have been scheduled to keep all park visitors safe.
Q. Can I make a reservation for myself or family members? How do I reserve a picnic table?
A. Comal Park is a first-come, first-serve day-use facility. We do not take reservations for parking or picnic tables. You may not pay for someone in advance when you arrive at the park.
Q. Are propane grills allowed?
A. Yes, personal propane grills are allowed at the park, but not personal charcoal grills. You may also bring your own bag of charcoal and use one of the 60 grills on site.
Q. Can I swap items or people with someone who is in the park?
A. No. You may not exchange items with someone inside the park.
Q. If I leave the park can I come back in for free?
A. No. Once you have left the park you will need to repay the entrance fee.
Q. If I leave the park and return to a “Park Full” sign can I re-enter?
A. No. If you leave the park for any reason and we have reached capacity by the time you return, you will not be granted access to the park. Take all your belongings with you before you leave the park. Do not leave any people or items in the park.
Q. What does “Park Full” mean?
A. When we have reached capacity in the park no one will be granted access into the park. There will no longer be an option to wait. You must turn around if the park is full. This is done to avoid traffic backups on the roadways.