Sea Kayaking in Texas / Texas Coast???

I am going to be in Austin for about a month this winter…Late Jan - late Feb.

I am considering driving so that I can take my kayak.

Can anyone recommend some good places to paddle in the area?

How about on the coast nearby? Seems that you can get to the coast pretty quick from there, but I would have no idea where to head to.

My preference for coastal paddling would be someplace that offers rough water conditions.

Any help is appreicated! Thanks


The coast if further than you think
Austin is about 200 miles from the Gulf Coast–close enough for a weekend, but not for after work. Depending on what you want to do, there’s lots of rivers, some with respectable whitewater, near Austin.

You could always paddle on Town Lake for exercise.

Most of the paddling I’ve heard about (I canoe, not kayak) on the gulf is in the protected bays and channels. There is also a lot of fishing done there.

Search for the Austin and San Antonio paddling clubs, or review the rivers on Southwest Paddler.

I’m sure there are kayak clubs, probably in Corpus Christi is the closest to Austin. Corpus Christi Bay can have some pretty good sized waves.

We’re aways from the coast. . . .

– Last Updated: Oct-09-07 5:53 PM EST –

Here in Austin. We do have sea kayakers here, but it's at least a 4-hour drive to the coast, and longer if you want to go anywhere interesting. If you're up for a lengthy drive, probably the best place to go are the kayaking trails off Mustang Island. Here's a link:

We've got plenty of lakes here in Austin. Town Lake is the dammed part of the Colorado River that goes right through the center of the city, and upstream are Lake Austin, Lake Travis, Lake Buchanan, Lake LBJ, Inxs Lake, etc. All very beautiful and a whole lot closer.

When you get here you can check with the guys at Austin Kayak, here:

There's also an Austin Kayaking Group on, in case you want to paddle with someone else:

And we've got a great whitewater school, if you want to try that, along with some pretty good moving water, down in San Marcos, about 45 minutes south of Austin:

Warning on trails
The kayak trails around Mustang Island were designed primarily for kayak fishing (some birding also) and involve a lot of shallow water and oyster reefs. Not places I like taking my fiberglass kayak and wooden paddle. Lots of interesting deeper water places to paddle near the trails if like me you are scratch phobic.

Mustang Island is in the Corpus Christi area which is my home paddling water.

Most consistant rough water kayaking in Texas is probably the San Louis Pass area just south of Galveston Island. Nice campground right at the pass. You have very protected water on the bay inside the pass and quite rough water outside when the ebb runs against a SE wind.

Upper end of Lake Buchanon offers waterfalls and 100-200 foot canyon walls. Upper half of Lake Travis offers some good kayak camping trips with its series of primitive campgrounds.

E-mail me if you want more detailed information


Its close to a 4 hour drive

– Last Updated: Oct-10-07 11:13 AM EST –

down to Corpus. Here is a link to the Texas Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail down by Aransas Pass.

It does get windy down there in the winter,and it is pretty easy to get turned around in there without a good compass or GPS trying to follow the trail. There are tours and groups that paddle it on weekends, I would not recommend doing it alone the first time.