NEW BRAUNFELS — Landa Park, 164 Landa Park Drive in New Braunfels, is the perfect place to spend some quality time outdoors with friends and family. With wading pools, playgrounds, paddleboats, fishing piers, walking and hiking trails, a mini-golf course and even a train, Landa Park is sure to provide countless hours of fun.

Historically, the land the park now encompasses belonged to Joseph Landa, for which the park is named. Landa originally purchased the land, which houses the Comal Springs (one of the largest springs in Texas) in 1859. The land had many uses before it was a park, from a brewery to a saltpeter plant. The park became a tourist destination in the early 1900s, when railroads started running weekend excursions to the site. For a period of time the land belonged to an investment group, after being sold by the family. Eventually, the city of New Braunfels purchased the land and reopened the park to the public.

Today there are numerous activities to enjoy at the park, but the favorite of children will surely be the playgrounds and swimming spots. The park has three different playgrounds (for different age groups) and two sets of swings.

A neat feature is a swing that either a parent or older sibling can swing on with an infant or toddler, in tandem. For younger children a playground themed as a firetruck is sure to bring joy and entertainment. A Little Free Library is also set up near the playground, so bring an old book with you and swap it out for something new.

Another very popular spot is Panther Canyon, a walking trail that is approximately one and a half miles round trip. While walking through the canyon, visitors will notice the rocky terrain, as well as several types of native trees flanking both sides of the walking trail. Squirrels and deer are in abundance here, along with the occasional snake, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you venture off the trail. Something children will enjoy is a small cave-like opening in the face of a cliff, about halfway through the trail. Hunting for fossils or arrowheads on your walk will likely be fruitful, as the whole park area was once home to Native American tribes.

A visit to Landa Park during the hotter months wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the wading area. It is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day, with crystal-clear spring-fed waters that are shallow enough for younger children to enjoy. The Landa Park Miniature Train overlooks this wading pool, and is another great activity for the family to enjoy together. Tickets cost $4 per person, with children under one being free. Concessions are also sold at the train station.

The Founders Oak, a tree that has been a pinnacle to the history of New Braunfels, dates back to around 1700. Standing under the tree’s shade, it is easy to feel the history of the place and gain a bit of perspective. Landa Park can be visited during any season, but spring and fall months are best to beat the heat and take in a multitude of colors in nature.

The park’s address is 164 Landa Park Drive in New Braunfels. For information visit https://www.nbtexas.org/2595/Landa-Park.