Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels established a German colony on the Comal River in 1845 and named it after Braunfels, Germany, the site of his castle on the Lahn River. Prince Solms Park was once the site of an early mill and factory founded in 1850 by John F. Torrey (1821-93), a pioneer promoter of Texas industry. He operated a flour, grist and saw mill, a sash door and cotton factory, and the first woolen factory in Texas. With indomitable spirit, he rebuilt the plant after it was destroyed by both tornado and flood.
Prince Solms Park is a lot like Barton Springs with a concrete embankment and sidewalks containing the Comal River, and tall shade trees like cottonwoods, oaks and pecans, Spanish moss, and well-manicured grounds. Tropical vegetation lines the shores, and charming footbridges span the river. Prince Solms Park has lots of amenities but still has a very natural feel. The river is clear, blue-green and calm. It can be quite deep in some areas. During the peak of summer it can be very crowded, with everyone tubing the river including families with children, students, and teenagers with dogs, coolers, and radios in tow. The water is not too cold and is perfect for a leisurely float. You can rent tubes across the street from the park from several vendors. Private property lies on one side of the river. There is plenty of parking. No glass is allowed in the park, and pets must be on a leash. The park also has picnic tables with grills, bicycling, golf, hiking, tennis, and a playscape.