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Best Texas Kayaking & Canoeing Rivers

Texas Best Rivers for Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak fishing in TexasThis section is dedicated to the best rivers in Texas for kayaking and canoeing. Texas Streams and rivers meander through 191,000 miles of Texas landscape. These vastly important aquatic ecosystems play a major role in protecting water quality, preventing erosion, and providing nutrients and habitat for fish and wildlife. Along the way, water that eventually flows into seven major estuaries, supports over 212 reservoirs, countless riparian habitats, wetlands, and terrestrial areas. Bottom line, there are lots of places to river kayak and enjoy the water, scenery, and camaraderie. Kayak fishing is growing leaps and bounds and Texas rivers have some fish just waiting for you, so give it a try.

Kayak campingBest Kayaking & Canoeing Rivers & Streams in Texas - of the over 200 streams in Texas, here are the best, with some descriptions, for kayaking and canoeing and here is a quick summary of the best rivers to kayak or canoe in Texas:

  • Brazos River - the most popular section is below Possum Kingdom dam
  • Comal River - said to be the shortest river in Texas, this 3 mile small crystal clear river flows from large springs in New Braunfels to the Guadalupe river
  • - over 40 miles for kayaking or canoeing - see the Trails section below for more info or click on the Lower Colorado River link
  • Frio River - this is a hidden gem of a river with cool, clear water that flows from underground springs
  • Guadalupe River - this is by far the most popular river for tubing with multiple places to tube and plenty of outfitters that rent tubes, rafts, kayaks, or canoes
  • Llano River - the North and South Llano river meet in Junction and both rivers offer good kayaking and canoeing before and after they meet
  • Neches - very pretty and scenic river and popular for paddling
  • San Marcos River - this is a popular and fun place to tube with tubers usually starting in San Marcos
  • Texas Paddling Trails - this is a new program from Texas Parks & Wildlife to develop public inland and coastal paddling trails throughout the state and support these trails with maps, signage and other information
  • Rio Grande - the Rio Grande River around Big Bend and Lajitas offer some excellent kayaking, canoeing, and white water rafting opportunities. A trip through Santa Elena Canyon takes you beneath magnificent sheer limestone walls towering 1,500 feet above you and Rockslide Rapid, at times a Class IV rapid, can get your blood pumping. For some details and information or to schedule a trip, check with .

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - has some great content on Texas Kayaking rivers

Texas Paddling TrailSouthwest Paddler - a website loaded with tons of great information on paddling the Texas rivers as well as maps of various sections of the river

Texas Paddling Trails - click on the link to find some kayaking and canoeing trails in Texas.

Top Ten Paddling Spots - check out the best spots to paddle according to Woodall's Camping Life

Texas Kayak Put-in Spots - some of the best Texas kayaking and canoeing put-in spots to paddle include:

  • Guadalupe River State Park - Rebecca Creek (14 Miles) - 830 438-2656
  • Brazos River - below the Possum Kingdom dam
  • Elm Fork of the Trinity River - Hwy 12 to Sandy Lake Road in Carrollton - 972 245-7475
  • Colorado River - Tom Miller Dam to Longhorn Dam (5 miles) or Little Webberville Park to Big Webberviller Park (7 miles - 512 461-7139) in the Bastrop and Smithville area (512 677-2305)
  • San Marcos River - City Park to Westerfield Crossing in San Marcos (6 miles - 512 357-6113) or Hwy 90 to Zedler Mill in Lulling (6 miles - 512 353-3946)

Texas Lake Kayaking

Texas offers some fantastic lakes to paddle on with a wide variety of scenery and sites. Two very popular destinations are Austin's Town Lake, where paddlers paddle to Austin’s Congress Bridge which hosts one of the nation’s largest colonies of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. Inks Lake is a great destination for those who want to paddle and tour Devils Water Hole. To learn more about Texas Lakes, camping, and other good stuff, check out the Lakes section of Texas Outside.

Kayaking and Canoeing Rentals and Lessons Page

Texas Outside Kayaking Page