Hoping to canoe this route in a couple weeks. Maybe right after Christmas. We will see if the weather holds.
The reach from Cuero to the park in Victoria is a nice section. Not a lot of camp spots, except at the road crossings, but there is always enough water to get down there and you can easily make 447 to the park in a day. The put in at Thomaston though is a bit steep.
If I do Cuero to Victoria I will probably do it over 3 days-2 nights. It didn’t work out in December. I am eyeing the end of February now.
We are going to do the Sabine from 59 to 2517 (30mi) the 24th to the 26th (weather permitting). The White Bass should be running. It’s a nice trip. Great camp spots.
I have yet to do the Sabine. Good to know. Do you use a livery or self-shuttle?
I will be guiding a group of men and sons down the Neches that weekend (March) on an annual trip we have been doing for around 10 years.
We had a guy in Carthage that used to shuttle for us, but he stopped after Covid. We just run it ourselves and try lo leave as few cars as possible at 59. Since there is usually a lot of rain in February, we only get to do it every few years. If the river is high all the sandy camp beaches get covered and the fishing gets tough.
We have used Eastex down in Silsbee on the Neches and Village Creek for shuttles before. They have been around a long time.
Unfortunately, Eastex has gone out of business. Perry decided to sell it to one of his workers because of health issues, but the guy didn’t really know what he was doing, I guess. The good news is that the lady that owns Sheffield Ferry boat ramp bought some of his canoes and started her own service. We used her once and she did a great job.
It is getting tougher and tougher between access issues and livery owners retiring on some of these rivers, especially in East Texas where there weren’t many choices to begin with. There is a good service on the Trinity below Livingston now. Hope she does well.
fun to come across some fellow TX paddlers on this forum.
There’s a bunch on here. Lot of them are not big talkers. Mostly readers.
Texas River Safari route includes the Guad from Gonzales to Surfside. There is a good amount of information on their website IIRC. Years ago I paddled a lot on the Guadalupe above New Braunfels, I have not down river paddled below that - I have done round trips on multiple sections of the river below that, but not downstream. On my bucket list. Anyway, there also might be some websites that mention the paddling trail on the Guad (which should include the put in and take out locations). FWIW, other than an occasional person training for the Safari - I almost never see any other paddlers (at least not near Gonzales or down by Tivoli). There were spots with powerboat traffic, but those were on lakes. Both H5 above Gonzales, and the damn on Lake Dunlope have failed - so those 2 lakes are gone now. The damn in Gonzales does not make much of a lake (a few land owners might have Jon Boats, but as far as I have paddled, there is not a public launch for powerboats). The 2 public ramps above H5 are both dry now - so not much launching there either. The H4 damn is still up as far as I know, so there is a public ramp and power boats in that lake.
Just played with Google Earth. 1) while it shows that Lake Wood is dry, it still shows water at the Cost put in. I don’t know if that is accurate or not - I have not been there since about 2 weeks after the damn failed. There may or may not be kayak access to the river from there. 2). From under H5, it looks like a little more than 7 miles to the confluence with the San Marcos, and another 3 miles to the damn in Gonzales. There is a small pier on river left that I usually use for my paddling. I think the official portage of that damn is also river left, but I have never bothered - putting back in there does not look fun to me (at some point I might look at it again). Below that, there is a short paddle to Independence Park, but the take out after that is a decent paddle (Hocheim IIRC).
I am trying to get back into shape, so I might try the round trip from Gonzales to H5 in a month or 2. Gozales to Hocheim is way past my round trip range - so until I am up to doing long downriver paddles, it is not on my list.
Gonzo 183 to Hocheim183 and Cuero 236 to Victoria are both about 36 mile stretches. I have paddled both stretches and there is not much in the way of nice camp spots. Lots of high banks and no trespassing signs. Unless you are training for the Safari, its not much fun.
I have a river lot near Tivoli. There appears to be a nice paddle from the highway up to the salt water barrier (I have not paddled all of it yet, should be another 7 mile round trip). Last time I paddled on it, there were ton’s of orange tails waving in the air (either gar or rat reds) and fish popping. I know there are alligators in that stretch (I used to see one almost every time I mowed my lot), but have not seen that one in over a years - I assume they are migratory to some extent. Neighbor said he saw over 250 in one day fishing in the wildlife area below it. One note for a lot of the Guad, you might want to check stream flow. While a lot of the year I make round trips, there are also quite a few months I pass as it can easily be flowing hard (over 2k cfs) - not really inviting for round trips. Will also mention that the section between H4 and H5 has several old/broken damns in it. On a downstream paddle between the 2 I had to make a couple of easy portages (I think one I might have ran, but the other was too much of a drop and too little of flow to make me feel it was safe to run it (but that was like 25 years ago)… At that time the H5 did have boat traffic, but the damns did make for a lot of river that was not accessible to power boating. FWIW, I think I paddled H4 to Cost. I would have to make a wild guess at that being 20ish miles.
I was a Texas paddler for awhile. We lived near Houston for 8 years. Our neighborhood had Lake Houston on one side and the San Jacinto River on the other.
I built a Folbot Super for our family from a kit. We could carry 2 adults and 3 small children in it. We spent more time on the river than on the lake. I was never too impressed with either but the river was something to see at flood.
I appreciate the comments. I ended up putting off the Guadalupe trip. Your feedback helps for when I do decide to do it. This weekend I am doing my annual father/son trip down the Neches River. Only 5 dads and their sons this year, so smaller than normal, but it will be fun. I’ll try to post some pictures later.
Are you doing the upper section in the Crockett Natl. Forest or down below Steinhagen in the Big Thicket? Both are great.
Big Thicket. Sheffield Ferry (Spurger) to Evadale. 40 miles.
I did the round trip from the highway near Tivoli to the salt water barrier this evening. Was not rushing, stopped and chatted with my neighbor for a while-about 2hrs on the water (for 5.6 miles per my Garmin watch). Brisk south wind, but decent current - so it kind of balanced out. Per my neighbor, fishing has been terrible - but the gar were playing a lot on the river. Saw an incredible river monster… A huge gar rolled a couple feet from my kayak. It was about 1 foot around, probably 8’ long, could have easily weighed over 200lbs. It looked old, real old, prehistoric. Good day on the water, but have to continue working on outfitting my kayak. Managed to pinch a nerve or something - foot still feels funny (been off the water about 9hrs now).