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U.S. Highway 281 North - Comal County

U.S. Highway 281 North
The first main junction in Comal County is with FM 1863, and the town of Bulverde. Photo taken 09/01/08.
Bulverde was settled by German immigrants in the 1850s, and named for an early Mexican landowner. The town was almost a ghost town until the 1980s when San Antonio's sprawl crept in. FM 1863 runs east from here towards New Braunfels, narrowing missing IH 35. Photo taken 09/01/08.
Most of Comal County is located along the Balcones Escarpment, which separates the Edwards Plateau of the Great Plains with the flat coastal plain. The junction of the two is characterized by deep eroded valleys and hills - which paints the portrait for the motorist heading north along US 281 through here. Photo taken 09/01/08.
The next major junction for the US highway is at SH 46, which goes east/west between IH 35 and IH 10. This also marks the far northern boundary of Metro San Antonio and the beginning of the Hill Country. Canyon Lake, built in the 1950s, is a popular recreational area for people from Central Texas. Its southern shore can be reached by heading east on SH 46. Photo taken 09/01/08.
Boerne, on IH 10, and New Braunfels, on IH 35 are the control points for SH 46. Both cities were founded by German immigrants and retain their German names and identities. German was spoken widely in Comal County until World War 2, when English took over. Photo taken 09/01/08.
This view looks north along US 281 just past SH 46. Photo taken 09/01/08.
The Guadalupe River is popular among Texans for tubing and other activities, and US 281 crosses it here. The older bridge on the west side was built in the early 1930s. Photo taken 09/01/08.

After the river, US 281 goes down to one lane in each direction. Here, it approaches the community of Spring Branch. Photo taken 09/01/08.
US 281 northbound at FM 311. The FM road has a short overlap with the US highway through here, and both are signed. Photo taken 09/01/08.
The next town of any importance, Blanco, sits 16 miles north of this view. Photo taken 09/01/08.
The highway may not be busy enough north of San Antonio to warrant multi-lanes, but there are many passing lanes included in the stretch of western Comal County. Photo taken 09/01/08.
At Spring Branch, RM 306 runs east along the northern shore of Canyon Lake. Photo taken 09/01/08.
Blanco County is the next seen by northbound US 281. The county was formed in 1858 and, unlike many other nearby areas, was settled mainly be farmers from Tennessee and Alabama, although the county's population has always remained small. Photo taken 09/01/08.

Page Updated February 15, 2009.