Texas Kayak & Canoe Paddling Trails

Siloam Springs

Texas has 57 paddling trials that are excellent for canoe or kayak trips, this page will list some of the Texas Paddling Trails, including the Coastal Kayaking Trails. Make sure you also check out our:

The State of Texas is has recently started "The Texas Paddling Trails which is a new program to develop public inland and coastal paddling trails throughout the state and then support these trails with maps, signage and other information. These trails provide well-mapped accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience. There are currently seven coastal paddling trails and one inland paddling trail, with several communities in the process of applying for participation in this program." Texas Parks and Wildlife now has 72 designated Texas paddling trails, Mission Reach being the newest. Learn more by visiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trails.



Central Texas Paddling Trails

Lower Colorado River - Bastrop Area
The Wilbarger Paddling Trail is wide and slow-moving 14.3 miles with a few minor rapids, but no man-made obstructions to avoid, although snags and debris should be avoided. The Trail supports a great diversity of plant and animal life along the river and beyond its banks. A class one clear, clean and safe and great for families and groups. Lots islands on every stretch for camping.
Lower Colorado River - Bastrop Area
This wide, slow-moving 6 mile trail that moves downstream, the banks of the river gradually steepen and become very scenic with high sandstone bluffs and cliffs. The river provides unique habitat for the blue sucker, a fish species that is listed as threatened in the state of Texas. A class one clear, clean and safe and great for families and groups. Lots islands on every stretch for camping.

Rising Phoenix Adventures has kayak rentals and shuttle service

San Marcos River
Located on the San Marcos River near the city of Luling, this six-mile river trail can be floated in two to four hours. Paddlers will enjoy a gentle family-friendly ride on this quiet river lined with beautiful trees and wildlife.

Martin Dies, Jr. Paddling Trail

Trail Map

Walnut Slough, Sandy Creek, & Neches River
These three trails offer a variety of experiences through and around Martin Dies, Jr. State Partk. 3-16 miles of amazing wildlife depending on which route you choose.

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park and Austin Canoe & Kayak Rentals have rentals

San Saba & South Llano Rivers
San Saba & Llano River
The 100 mile long San Saba River flows through rocky rapids, under towering oaks and pecan trees, and past wide pastures. This is not an official paddling trail.

Peacemaker River Expeditions offers rentals and guided paddles

Lady Bird Lake Paddling Trail

Lady Bird Lake
The Lake provides a tremendous recreational resource for the state’s capitol, including hike and bike trails surrounding the shoreline as well as paddling, rowing, and fishing in the lake.
Belton Lake
Three trails totaling more than 12 miles with trips ranging from 1 to 3 hours - inspiring lake vistas, rocky shorelines, and tall bluffs

Nichol's Landing Paddling Trail

Trail Map

Upper Guadalupe
This 9.9-mile trail is lined with mature trees and a spectacular mix of limestone cliffs and shelves. Paddlers will enjoy an exciting 3-6 hour ride on a variety of rapids between gentle stretches.
This 2.2-4.8 mile paddle is ideal for the beginner or novice. The two paddling trails are in the heart of downtown Waco. Enjoy a trip along the Bosque or the Brazos Rivers, each offering a unique view of the outdoors. 

Limestone Bluffs

Navasota River

This trail covers about 5.3 miles of quiet water on the Navasota River from the Confederate Reunion Grounds to Fort Parker State Park. The route is characterized by hardwood bottomlands and limestone bluffs.


East Texas Paddling Trails

Town Bluff
The water is generally calm but levels can vary on this 21 mile trail which winds past white sand beaches. The bald cypress, tupelo and other tall trees line the banks of the creek.
The trail which begins at the boat ramp in Beaumont and the trail goes up the Neches River in to Pine Island Bayou and Cooks Lake through the bald cypress and water tupelo trees to Scatterman Lake, then down the Neches River back to the boat ramp for a 4.8 mile trip.
Town Bluff
Distinguishing features of this wild & scenic River is her pristine, unspoiled scenery, Cypress/Tupelo Sloughs, Bluffs, abundant white sandbars, enjoyable wildlife and aquatic life. Distances vary from 10-40 miles.
This 1-8 mile loop trail can be navigated in 1-4 hours depending on turn around point. The river supports numerous varieties of fish and 100 species of waterfowl have been counted. Water levels can change according to rainfall so caution is advised.

Lake Palestine Gateway RV Park has kayak rentals and RV campsites on the trail


Near Jefferson, Karnack and Uncertain
Offering 10 trails and 50 miles of canoe and kayaking for visiting paddlers! Explore the mysterious maze of sloughs, swamps and bayous for which this beautiful region is known.
The trail is 11.9 miles which takes 6-8 hours along a beautiful area of the Sabine River. There is a camp 5 miles into the trail for paddlers who would want to spend a night. Make sure to check the river depth as it can fluctuate.

North Texas Paddling Trails

Loyd Park on Joe Pool Lake

This 4.9-mile trail offers a spectacular outdoor experience for nature lovers, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, families, and paddlers of all skill levels. Once you reach the Hwy 360 overpass, turn around and enjoy the lazy current and prevailing southerly wind on your paddle back! Rentals are available at the Camp Store.

Loyd Park Camp Store has rentals

White Rock Lake Park

This small lake is surrounded by 9.33 mile hiking, biking and running trail. A section of the lake runs by Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Lake Ray Hubbard
Enjoy this 6.4-mile trail's beautiful scenery on Lake Ray Hubbard including views of Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and various other wildlife.

Elm Fork of the Trinity River
Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area includes 2000 acres of tallgrass prairies and riparian forest tucked into the soft rolling hills with the Elm Fork of the Trinity River running through it. One launch site for the Trinity River and a another launch site for padding the Beaver Pond area. You'll get to observe wood ducks & other water fowl, many turtles, wading birds, and amphibians.
Kayak Power Rentals offers guided tours, kayak and canoe rentals and delivery to the water

Brazos River Below Lake Granbury

Brazos River
This lower section of the Brazos River below Lake Granbury is quite scenic flowing through rolling hills covered with oak trees.

Brazos River Below Possum Kingdom Dam

Trail Map

Brazos River
Canoe enthusiasts will be rewarded with a scenic trip offering views of rugged cliffs, high bluffs, and cross-timber terrain. Fishing along this 20 mile stretch is very good.
This 10.2 mile trail offers the paddler will pass under several interesting bridges and the concrete arches of the Houston Street Viaduct which was touted as the world's longest concrete structure, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brazos Bridges/Bosque Bluffs

Trail Map

Brazos River/Bosque River
Two paddling trails in the heart of downtown Waco that offer easy access to paddling trips offering unique views of the outdoors for beginners and experienced paddlers. 2.2-4.8 mile trip depending on route taken.


On this w mile trail the paddler has great opportunities to view herons, egrets, ducks, turtles, frogs, deer, and many other wildlife species. The trail includes 12 stops at interpretive signs mounted at various locationsfor a great experience.

Lake Arlington Paddling Trail

Trail Map

Lake Arlington
Enjoy this 10.9 mile 3-6 hour trail as it is the first lake paddling trail on a beautiful lake where you can experience many varieties of fish, birds, plant and wildlife.

South Texas Paddling Traials

Victoria Paddling Trail

Trail Map

Coastal Region of the Guadalupe River

Victoria Paddling Trail - Riverside Park is the second inland trail to be developed and it's a 4.2 mile stretch of the Guadalupe River in the Coastal Region. This section of the Guadalupe River is slower moving and bordered by scenic soft banks rather than the limestone bluffs of the Hill Country. This quiet reach can be paddled in 1-3 hours depending on flow rates.


Columbus Paddling Trail

Trail Map

Colorado River
Paddling the Colorado River through the town of Columbus you have the opportunity to see wildflowers, birds, turtles and more! This 6.5 mile trail can take anywhere from two to five hours to complete, and the peaceful waters and calm rapids will give you a wonderful day on the river.

Howell Canoe Livery offers rentals and a shuttle service

Trail Map

Buffalo Bayou
This 26 mile trail with that expose a beautiful geology of sand, sandstone and red Beaumont clay.  While some sections of the bayou are straight-cut with low embankments, other sections are serpentine with high cliffs. 

Bayou City Adventures has guided tours, kayak rentals, and shuttle service

Clear Lake
The 13-mile paddling trail from Clear Lake to Horsepen Bayou passes through Armand Bayou Nature Center. It’s a great paddle with kids due to calm water and the chance to see many kinds of wildlife
San Antonio
Along the Mission Reach there will be occasional paddling chutes through restored riffles. If paddling outside the San Antonio City Limits, prepare for a river in a natural, rural condition with limited access points. Saspamco is one trail that is 5.6-12 miles

Mission Kayak have guided tours and rentals


Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail

Aransas Pass
A series of four loops ranging in length from 1.25 miles to 6.8 miles. The trails meander through an extensive black mangrove estuary, into sloughs and back lakes.

Slowride Guide Service has guided tours, rentals, and kayak delivery to the water

Corpus Christi

This trail follows the western shoreline of Mustang Island in Corpus Christi Bay. You will see the beautiful, protected waters of Shamrock Cove and then paddle through marsh and spoil islands to the Island Moorings Marina in Port Aransas. There is 20 miles of natural habitat for observing birds and other small animals.

San Antonio River
Enjoy quiet pools and several small riffles on the first inland paddling trail to include a State Park. Located on the San Antonio River near the town of Goliad, this 6.6-mile river trail can be floated in two and a half to four hours

Stephen F. Austin Paddling Trail

Brazoria County
This is the longest continuous stretch of river trails with four segments from 6.9 miles to 10.4 miles (total of 35.4 miles) through majestic Brazos River bottomland forests of the coastal prairie

Gonzales Paddling Trails

Independence Paddling Trail

Come & Take It Paddling Trail

Guadalupe River
The 2.6 mile Independence Trail is a family friendly paddle and no shuttle is required while the11 mile Come & Take It Trail is more challenging and includes the scenic confluence of the Guadalupe River and the San Marcos River
South Bay
You will find a shallow, oyster-encrusted estuary paddling paradise at the southernmost end of the lower Laguna Madre. A few miles west of the main bay is San Martin Lake. Both of these locations are great for paddling, fishing, and birding.

Texas Coastal Kayaking Trails

Texas has over 3300 miles of tidal shoreline and a large portion of it is excellent for kayaking to explore the coast or bayous, to saltwater fish, or for eco tours. Texas Parks and Wildlife is continually adding trails, site assessments, and map. If you need more information on these paddling trails, please contact the Nature Tourism Coordinator. Thanks to TP&W, here is some information on the coastal trails from their website:

  • South Bay Paddling Trail - The South Bay Paddling Trail follows the shores of South Bay in a loop of about eight miles. This shallow, subtropical body of water consists of approximately 3,500 surface acres, bounded on the south by the riparian edge of the Rio Grande, on the north by the Brownsville Ship Channel and associated spoil banks, and on the east by Brazos Island. It is located in Cameron County
  • Christmas Bay Paddling Trail - The Christmas Bay Paddling Trail is a 19.1-mile circumnavigation of this pristine minor bay on the western end of the Galveston Bay complex. This small bay is unique since it supports the largest stand of seagrass (over 200 acres) on the upper Texas coast.
  • Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail - The Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail was the very first Texas Paddling Trail and is actually a series of four loops ranging in length from 1.25 miles to 6.8 miles. The trails meander through an extensive black mangrove estuary, into sloughs and back lakes near the historic 1857 Lydia Ann Lighthouse on North Harbor Island. Paddlers can glide through mangroves and seagrass flats that provide outstanding bird watching and fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder in the maze of tidal channels and flats. See a Lighthouse Trail photomap.
  • Galveston Island State Park Paddling Trail - Galveston Island State Park hosts three paddling trails, the 2.6-mile Dana Cove (Lake Como) trail, the 4.8-mile Oak Bayou trail and the 2.8-mile Jenkins Bayou trail. The Jenkins Bayou trail begins at the western end of Clapper Rail Road and takes paddlers along the bayou and out to the marsh restoration terrace field. The Oak Bayou Trail is accessed along the main park road and also highlights the terrace field, as well as areas of natural high marsh where laughing gulls, various tern species and oystercatchers may be found nesting each spring. The Dana Cove (Lake Como) trail begins at the end of the main park and continues through the seagrass beds that have recolonized behind constructed geo-textile breakwaters.
  • Mustang Island Paddling Trail - The Mustang Island Paddling Trail consists of the North Trail (8.5 miles), the Shamrock Loop (5.24 miles) and the Ashum Trail (6.8 miles). All of the trails follow the western shoreline of Mustang Island in Corpus Christi Bay, and cover some of the best shallow-water fishing areas in Texas. The Ashum Trail follows the shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay over a firm sand bottom and allows for outstanding bird watching as well as sight-casting opportunities. The Shamrock Loop skirts the beautiful, protected waters of Shamrock Cove, where it connects with the North Trail, which follows the shoreline to East Flats and then meanders through marsh and spoil islands to the Island Moorings marina in Port Aransas.
  • Port O’Connor Paddling Trail - The Port O’Connor Paddling Trail consists of three trails totaling a little more than 25 miles. The Fishpond trail (12.3 miles) begins in Port O’Connor and travels through a number of bayous and cuts along the edge of Espiritu Santo Bay to Saluria Bayou, where it joins the 8.28-mile South Loop trail. From Mule Slough, the Fish Pond and North Loop (4.82 miles) trails continue east toward Sunday Beach on the Gulf of Mexico and to Lighthouse Cove, near the historic Matagorda Island Lighthouse. The scene of fighting during the Civil War (Confederate trench lines) still may be seen here. Camping is permitted


Texas Kayaking Conditions

Before you head out for a paddling trip, make sure that you check the conditions. Here are some sites to help you:

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