Kayaking
and Canoeing
in South Texas

Paddling offers a more personal way to connect with nature, it allows paddlers to experience a closer view of wildlife and scenery. Its a great way to sneak up on a school of tailing redfish, to capture the perfect wildlife photo or to just relax.

Coastal Paddling Trails

A number of kayak trails have been established along the shallow bays of the South Texas Coast. The first and most well-known is the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail in Redfish Bay.

Due to the success of Lighthouse Lakes, other coastal trails have been created. These include:
• The Mustang Island Paddling Trail
• The South Bay Paddling Trail
• The Port O'Connor Paddling Trail
• The Alamo/Indianola/Magnolia Beach Kayak Trails

Inland Paddling Trails

There are also a couple of inland paddling trails, including the Goliad Paddling Trail on the San Antonio River and the Victoria Paddling Trail on the Guadalupe River. Additional trails are being established and will be added to this list as soon as possible.

Beyond the Breakers

An extreme version of kayak fishing that should only be attempted by the most experienced paddlers. Kayaks can be launched from any Gulf Beach.

Traveling offshore to chase large gamefish in a kayak can be very exciting but also very risky. Even experienced kayakers can be thrown from their kayaks when navigating through the pounding surf.

Coastal Launch Sites

Launch sites around Corpus Christi are located on the Upper Laguna Madre and Corpus Christi Bay. Around Rockport and Port Aransas, you can launch in Redfish Bay, Aransas Bay and Copano Bay.

In the Port Lavaca and Port O'Connor area, sites are located on Matagorda Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay and San Antonio Bay. Further north, there are launch sites around Palacios and on East Matagorda Bay.

Launch sites on the lower portion of the coast can be found on Baffin Bay, in Port Mansfield and near South Padre Island.

Inland Launch Sites

Popular river launch spots include the Aransas River Rd and the Mission River Rd sites near Bayside. The Nueces River launch site near Corpus Christi and the Carl Park site on the Tres Palacios River near Palacios. More sites will be added as they become available.

Safety First

Be safe on the water! Rivers, bays and the gulf are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers.

State and federal laws require paddlers to have:
• A personal flotation device for each person
• An efficient sound-signaling device such as a whistle
• A white-light source visible from 360 degrees if paddling in reduced visibility or from sunset to sunrise

Recommended Safety Tips:
• Never paddle alone
• Check weather forecasts
• Carry a map of the stream or chart of the bay
• Carry a cell phone or a handheld VHF radio
• Carry a handheld GPS
• Let someone know where you are going and when you are expected to return
• Wear protective footgear and carry drinking water, sunscreen and insect repellent


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Early Morning Paddle on the Lighthouse Lakes

Photo by Dean Thomas of Slowride Guide Services

 

Canoeing on the San Antonio River near Goliad

 

Shark fishing in a kayak

You never know
what you’ll catch

 

Redfish Bay Redfish

Photo by Dean Thomas of Slowride Guide Services

 

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