San Angelo Concho River Walk: San Angelo, Texas
San Angelo has long been an economic and social hub for West Texas. Even so, in the mid-2000s, planners had the passion and the vision to harness one of the city's greatest assets, the North Concho River, to increase accessibility to both sides of the water, create a deepened sense of community and place, draw tourists, and spark commercial activity.
Founded along the North Concho River, San Angelo, Texas, has long depended upon the waterway for sustaining life and for commercial purposes. In 2004, residents decided to support planners' ambitious proposal to renovate the riverbank. Voters approved a sales tax that generated $15 million dedicated solely to riverfront improvements and beautification projects.
This collective investment, supplemented by private grant funding, created a breathtaking public space that has enhanced daily life in San Angelo and the surrounding region. The four-mile stretch runs through the middle of the community, passing through and adjacent to downtown, connecting multiple neighborhoods, parks, schools, and other city amenities.
The Concho River Walk promotes year-round social and physical activity with walking trails along the route's non-linear bridges, mimicking the meandering river that it crosses. There is never a shortage of activities, especially with the recent addition of The Bosque, an activity area that features mini-golf, paddle boats, food concessions, and more.
San Angelo residents' investment in themselves has paid off tenfold. The beauty of the Concho River Walk has increased social activity and activated a sense of pride among residents for having played a role in creating this public space for the community. With plans to expand the Concho River Walk even further, the story of San Angelo's reinvention may have just begun.
Defining Characteristics and Features
- The park is illuminated at night with changing color and monument lighting, providing a sense of identity and enhancing safety features during evening hours.
- Rock gardens, benches, and picnic tables provide areas to congregate and socialize.
- The annual River Fest celebration brings some 12,000 people to the river for performances, games, crafts, fishing, concerts, and more. River Fest is one of dozens of events held along the Concho River Walk each year.
- Cultural institutions connected to the Concho River Walk include Love Municipal Pool, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, and the RiverStage — a three-acre outdoor amphitheater.
- Nearby Fort Concho National Historic Landmark is connected by a grand public plaza known as El Paseo.
By the Numbers
- 3 million Christmas lights adorn 2.5 miles of the scenic River Walk during the annual Concho Christmas Celebration's "Tour of Lights"
- 5 additional miles of Concho River Walk are planned from 14th Street to Kirby Park, and from Bell Street to Glenmore Park and Paint Rock Road
- Approximately 50 annual events along the Concho River Walk
- 12,000 people annually attend River Fest
- 30,000 annually attend the July 3 Pops Concert at the RiverStage and along the Concho River Walk
The San Angelo Concho River Walk snakes along roughly four miles of the North Concho River, bookended by West 14th Street to the northwest and Rio Concho Drive to the southeast.