Brazos south of Houston?

Does anyone know if there are any areas on Brazos River south of Houston that are worthy of paddling? I’ve searched the web pretty thoroughly and haven’t come across anything other than the parts of the Brazos just south of Possum Kingdom Lake. I’m starting to wonder if the Brazos in my area (Missouri City/Sugarland) is off limits due to alligators. Brazos Bend St Park is not far from us and they have plenty of gators there. I would like to start taking my 11yr old son on some weekend trips where we can camp along the river but obviously I’m concerned about safety. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

The problem is twofold. Access is

– Last Updated: Oct-29-07 11:50 PM EST –

limited, making it a difficult to plan a trip. Second, its a big wide river in that area, often muddy, and this, year, with very high water most of the time. It has some nasty currents and the prevailing winds usually come upriver, especially all months except the winter two.

You may want to register and post on the Houston Canoe Club website. Some in the club are familiar with the river in that area. HCC does not have a forum, but does have a email listserve. You can join the listserv without being a member and post your question there. The addy is

Some of us paddle the Brazos below Waco. The first section, Waco to Hwy 7 is very isolated and not many paddle it. Its not advisable to paddle alone as is a long way to the first takeout at Hwy 7. From Hwy 7 to The Falls on the Brazos is about 6 miles. Its a nice float with camping on the sandbars if you want. Do not try to run the falls, they are shallow most of the time and dangerous. Its not a high fall, but a drop in elevation with a low water bridge.

From the Falls to High Bank is an interesting paddle, though you have to tow the kayak/canoe through some shallow areas. High Bank is about 10 miles below the Falls and is a steep bank take out. The Falls launch is also pretty steep, but there is a trail and you can slide the boat down to the water.

Upstream of Waco, the Whitney Dam down provides a good float except in hunting season, the air boats carrying duck hunters can be annoying. Not many paddle below Lake Waco, partly because its remote, partly because of the distance from any major city.

For more information, look on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. They have a section on rivers that will give you as much information as is available for the Brazos, at least in the area you are talkng about. The link is:

As for me, I'd make the drive to one of the cities along the Colorado between Austin and Columbus and paddle between cities before paddling your part of the Brazos, much nicer water and scenery.

There is good access at the new FM-2004 bridge in Lake Jackson. Large parking area, bathroom, and multiple lane powerboat launch. I never paddled the Brazos there because I prefered the San Bernard and left the area shortly after the new launch was built.

My cousins had property on the Brazos near Missouri City and paddled the Brazos there. Their descriptions were really scenic. I did not get to paddle there before they moved.

Colorad River at Wharton is a nice paddle. There is the launch in downtown Wharton and another about 6 miles downstream. It is kind of hidden in a little subdivision off of the main road. I think the map at the Wharton launch shows you how to get to it. Also check the LCRA website for more info. Nice paddle (at normal water flow) to paddle upstream from that launch to Wharton and even past downtown to the big sandbar by the US59 bridge. Then go back with the current to your launch.


I’m not sure that the Brazos in that
part of the state is good for camping with an 11 year old. The land is private, so you have to camp on sand bars. That’s not necessarily bad, assuming there are some. It also can be pretty isolated. For most of its length below Waco, the banks are high, so its not always easy to get off the river in an emergency.

I strongly urge you to get with the Houston Canoe Club if your objective is both paddling and camping. There are trips several times a year suitable for families. Find or buy a copy of Texas Rivers and Rapids, it will give you some ideas.

San Bernard…
You might try the mouth of the San Bernard,It’s bard over and provides for some pretty decent beach camping (Bring off) Paddle up river,Not to bad…

Second the Notion on HCC
I think one of the recent HCC newsletters had a report on a daytrip on the Brazos down in your general area.

For the Colorado River, you might also check with Howell’s Canoe Livery in Columbus. They have a family run business and you can paddle the Columbus Canoe Trail as a warm up for your longer trip. You could ask the Howell’s about overnight trips as well. .

The great thing about a day trip to Columbus is you can eat breakfast at Schobel’s Restaurant and a late lunch at Mikeska’s BBQ after paddling the trail. What 11 year old lad wouldn’t love that!

Forgot about Howell’s. They have
a great reputation.