The Houston Canoe Club
is a Paddlesports Risk Management Club
Sign the Waiver
Fellow members: I just got this from Tom Goynes, concerning the parking situation at Scull's. Some of you may have already, but if you don't please read it:
Your help is urgently needed to reopen the parking area at the Y at Sculls Crossing.
The Martindale City Council recently voted to close that parking area (immediately after getting title to that land). It is a long story and it is all detailed below and in the attached pdf files.
At least one of the city council members seems to think that, if the city plans to charge for parking there, she is convinced that paddlers would prefer that it be closed. In other words, we would rather have the parking lot closed and no parking allowed on County Road 103, than to be required to pay to park at that Y in the road where we had parked for years.
I think she is very wrong. I am convinced that paddlers and fly fishermen would love to be able to park again at the Y at Sculls. Sure, free would be nice, but we would rather have paid parking than no parking at all.
TPWD has already decided that there is to be no bank fishing on the land on the right side of the river and upstream of the bridge (the RACA site - see below).
And the land on the right side of the river and downstream of the bridge is private property and posted. The gradient boundary is covered by Martindale lake in this vicinity, so there is no state property available to the public to use for fishing or hanging out.
The City of Martindale plans to put up signage that explains that the land on the right side of the river is off limits except for launching or taking out canoes, kayaks and rafts. Any argument that says permitting parking will bring in people who want to use the land on the right side of the river as a park can be refuted. Police will be able to charge folks with trespassing if they are using that river access point as a park.
We need lots of people to write e-mails to the members of the Martindale City Council to tell them that we want that parking area at the Y reopened. Even if it is paid parking.
Here are the e-mail addresses for the Martindale City Council:
I added my e-mail to the bottom of this list, just so I can read your comments. Feel free to delete me if you prefer.
You should be able to copy all of the addresses above and past them into the “To” line on your e-mail.
I really appreciate your help. And please contact me if you have
questions (e-mail or text is best). I can try to talk if you want to do a voice call. I will have to make sure I have your phone number in my contacts if you want to call.
Here is some more info. And don’t forget to read through the attached pdf for more background info:
If you have ever paddled the San Marcos River, there is a good chance you have taken your canoe or kayak out at Sculls. There was a wide gravel parking area along the side of County Road 103 where we would park and then, once we arrived by river, we would drive down to the bridge to load our watercraft. We always assumed that that parking area was part of the right of way for CR 103. It was not. The land where we parked, it turns out, was privately owned, and it was recently purchased by a developer who closed it as a parking area.
Fortunately, the landowners at Sculls (on river right, just upstream of the bridge) were gracious enough to enter into an agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a new River and Conservation Access (RACA) put in and parking lot was created on their property. I had a hand in helping that to happen. And I am the lucky guy who you text to get the combination to park in their gated parking lot.
And while it is fantastic to have a free place to park in that lot, space is limited. And it is difficult to park trailers there.
So when we heard that Councilman McClabb had managed to get the developer (that owned the parking area at the Y and had closed it to the public) to donate that property to the City of Martindale, we were really happy. Thanks Mike! That parking lot gives paddlers and fly fishermen plenty of space to park (and is especially nice for trailers). It allows for overflow parking when the RACA lot on the right side of the river fills up.
It is true that Martindale has been overwhelmed by visitors (especially out of town visitors) enjoying their parks. And because they are a small town with very little budget, they have recently been establishing a pay to park system in their parks. Martindale taxpayers will still be able to park free. But out of towners will have to pay $10 per car to park.
The good news bad news story about Sculls
I’m gonna start with the most recent first:
Currently: Good news! The Martindale City Council is considering hosting a workshop to discuss Sculls Crossing! This means they might revisit their decision to close the parking area at the Y.
July 2023: Bad news! The Martindale City Council votes to close their newly acquired parking area at the Y!
June 2023: Good news! Thanks to the efforts of Martindale City Councilman Mike McClabb, Martindale is given the parking area at the Y by the developer!
Spring 2023: Good news! The landowners on the right side of the river and upstream of the road enter an agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to provide a canoe, kayak, and raft put in/take out and a parking area on their private property!
Summer 2022: Bad news! The parking area at the Y turns out to be private property and the developer who owns it closes it as a parking area.
Spring 2011: Good news! The City of Martindale passes an ordinance to always provide a loading/unloading area on the road leading from Sculls Crossing toward Martindale.
April 2011: Good news! The Texas Rivers Protection Association raises $23,000 and presents it to the city of Martindale so they can double the size of Allen Bates Park and acquire an additional 8 acres of parkland from Guadalupe County. The Martindale park system is given a real shot in the arm!