If water is the “soul of the earth,” then nothing better captures the untamable spirit of the Lone Star State than its largest river, the mighty Brazos River.
Home of wildlife, route of explorers, and a recreational paradise, the Brazos River serves as a central chord connecting Texas with its prickly past and fruitful future.
Originating in New Mexico, the river spans an impressive 1,280 miles, meandering throughout several major Texas regions before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
One of its famous stretches can be found near the Waco Suspension bridge, the oldest suspension bridge still standing in Texas. Built in 1870, it was the first bridge across the Brazos River, making it an opportune location for cattle drivers moving up the Chisholm Trail to bring a great deal of trade to the budding new city.
Many legends point toward the initial origins of the river’s name. By most accounts, the river got its name from early Spanish explorers whom when near death’s door, discovered the waterway, and calling the life-saving blessing “Rio de los Brazos de Dios,” meaning “River of the Arms of God.”
Today, the river’s mighty waterway has become a popular attraction for those who seeking a recreational retreat such as canoeing, fishing, or picnicking.
Whether it be heritage or the rustic beauty of the Texas landscape that calls you back to this area, don’t miss this historic hotspot the next time you are in town.
BRDG Tip: For those wanting to experience this legendary waterway in Waco, we suggest you visit our friends below for paddleboard and raft rentals as well as scenic boat tours.
Pura Vida Paddle
Waco Paddle Company
Waco River Safari & Tours