Native Americans were familiar with the Central Texas landscape for centuries before the first European settlers arrived. The region, then, as today, was heavy with trade and social activity. Prominent tribes such as the Lipans, Tonkawas, Huecos, and Karankawas would leave their mark on the future community of New Braunfels.
The trails that cross Texas originated as Indian trails, marked by the ruts created by teepee poles being dragged as tribes traversed the area. Spanish and French explorers used these same trails as they entered the region. Their expeditions around New Braunfels were based on the ability to cross rivers in the area. On the whole, Spaniards populated a very small portion of Texas, mostly confined to a few settlements near San Antonio de Bexar. Spaniards likely walked the ground of what would become New Braunfels years before any German settlers arrived, yet there are no permanent Spanish structures in the area.
Once Texas opened to Anglo immigration, very few North Americans came. A handful of residents on the Central Texas frontier hailed from Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.