Texas South Gulf Coast questions

having never been there:

  1. Are there good estuaries, inlets, river deltas, etc for paddling exploration, or is it just sandy wide open beaches?

    If there is, are there a lot of them for several monthes worth of paddling?

  2. Are there good lakes, Rivers and swamps to explore that would be close proximity to the coast?

  3. Are there many state parks close to the coast?

  4. What would the winter time temperatures be on the Texas south Gulf coast?

    Thanks in advance


Yes to
1-3, 4 varies from balmy to frigid, depending on mother nature’s whims…Mark, aka mjamja (see mishaps with the new Argosy) here, can give you lots of details (I’m sure he will reply as well)

As you can tell we have many rivers that flow to the sea, there are NWR all along the coast starting with the border with Mexico (also fine birding and butterflies)most with some access to water. Moving up the coast there are bays and estuaries much worth exploration. Laguna Madre, stretches for many miles. Galveston Island north toward Houston has wonderful bay areas (Christmas Bay, West Bay etc). There’s much more…Google Texas Parks and Wildiife for details of state parks, and National Wildlife Refuge System for those. There are several other Texans on Pnet that will add more info I’m sure.

Texas Parks and Wildlife
State parks agency has developed a number of paddling trails on the coast. At this time, most are short day trips. But they can be extended in some areas. Here’s the link. You can also find the state parks on the site:



– Last Updated: Apr-16-08 1:14 PM EST –

Click the link below for the TKF website and forum. Many of the active members live on or near the Texas coast and would probably be more than willing to help you with your inquiries.


I personally enjoy reading (and sometimes sharing in) their "off topic" section. This group is one massive collection of creative, humerous, helpful, and friendly folks that you will ever find.


You mean next winter, right?
I went there for a couple of weeks in late January-early February. At that time, the sea water temps were in the high 50s and the air temps varied from 50 to 80.

#1 and #2 I don’t know about.

#3: there are some nice state parks near the coast. I stayed at Goose Island State Park in the Rockport-Fulton area, and at Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi. Between those two there is Mustang Island State Park, south of Aransas Pass (ferry). There are also quite a few county park campgrounds and private RV parks. The State of Texas publishes a good state parks guide that they will mail to you. But request it way ahead of time, because though I requested mine 2 wks prior to leaving, I only received it about a month after getting BACK!

A fellow named mjamja who posts here may see your thread and reply. I paddled with him while down there and he was most helpful.

No, I am thinking of the following…

We already have next winter taken up down in the Keys and South Florida.



Spring Break. South Padre Island. Paddlers Gone Wild…


-Frank in Miami

Plenty of Paddling
Hi Jack,

I grew up near Corpus Christi and lived in Victoria for a few years. How far south are you calling south along the Texas Coast? From Corpus Christi South to Brownsville there are no lakes of any size and only smallish creeks that feed into Baffin Bay or the Laguna Madre, until you get to the Rio Grande. The Nueces River flows into Nueces Bay there at Corpus Christi. Lake Corpus Christi is a reservoir on the Nueces River about an hour or so from Corpus Christi. Lots of nice paddling in estuary/back bay type areas from Corpus northward. Lakes up that way would include Choke Canyon, Texana, and Coleto Creek. Some good exploring at all of these, particularly the upper ends. I really love the Rockport area. I haven’t paddled much around Port Lavaca. There used to be a Ferry that ran from Port O’connor to Matagorda Island that would transport your paddle craft over there. I don’t think the ferry runs now but outfitters might be doing similar trips.

Texas Kayaking
Here’s a link to an article about the central coast you might find interesting. http://www.quintanna.com/mtnsports/seakayaker/cstkyk.html I’ve never paddled the TX coast south of Christmas Bay, but it’s on my long list of “must do.”

If you come through Houston (you most likely will if you’re going to be driving), be sure to visit Charles and Bruce at Canoesport (www.canoesport.com). They’re very friendly and they might be able to help you locate launch points and interesting routes up and down the coast.

In my humble opinion, the biggest winter issue here is wind. Stil, be mindful of the tide. Tidal currents aren’t much of a factor, but the bays and estuaries are very shallow. Even our small one foot or so tidal range can leave you knuckle walking your boat out of the back areas if you’re not careful.

Hope you like Texas!