The Lighthouse Lakes Trails were established in 1999 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as the first paddling trail on the Texas coast. The area is located on North Harbor Island in between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas. The trails can be accessed from several launch points off State Highway 361. Highway 361 is part of the Scenic Drive around Corpus Christi Bay.
The area is named for the historic lighthouse on Lydia Ann Channel that was built in 1856. Legend says that during the Civil War, Confederate soldiers removed the lens and buried it in the nearby marsh to prevent its use by Union forces, its location was lost and it has never been recovered.
Most of the Lighthouse Lakes is very shallow, so access by powerboats is limited and it is best to explore this area during high tide.
The Lighthouse Lakes trails are unique among coastal paddling trails in that kayakers paddle through a seeming maze of head-high black mangroves that line the channels (locally called "sloughs") and open flats ("lakes").
Fishing and birdwatching are excellent in the Lighthouse Lakes. Fishing for trout and flounder can be good most of the year and the area is well-known for it's schools of "tailing" redfish.
Download a GPX file of the Lighthouse Lakes Trail marker coordinates that is compatible with many GPS units and software applications such as Google Earth.
There are 4 trails in the Lakes. The Redfish Loop is 6.8 miles long and starts at marker #1. It is best reached by launching from the Lighthouse Lakes Trails Park. The Electric Lake Loop is 1.25 miles long and branches off of the Redfish Loop between markers 3 and 6.
The South Bay Loop is 6.7 miles long and starts at marker #59. The launch is at the Crab Man Marina.
Cutters Loop is 5 miles long and starts at marker #60. It can be reached by launching about ½ mile south of the Crab Man.
More information on fishing around Redfish Bay.