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Top 19 Best Places

To Kayak In Texas: Rivers, Lakes, And More

Published August 27, 2022

You will enjoy kayaking in Texas if you love water and can’t get enough of it. There are several places you can enjoy kayaking in Texas; however, I made this list of the top 20 best places to kayak in Texas.

I hope this list will help you explore the best places in Texas.

Top 20 Best Places To Kayak In Texas: Summary

Best Lakes to Kayak in Texas

The lakes in the state of Texas are one of the most popular places to kayak. There are many lakes to choose from, but here is a list of some of the best places for you to enjoy kayaking in Texas.

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma Texas place to kayak

Lake Texoma is the most popular lake for kayaking in Texas. The lake is located in the Oklahoma Panhandle and is home to various wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, and beavers.

The shoreline of Lake Texoma is often used by fishermen looking to catch walleye and bass. In addition to being a great place to kayak, Lake Texoma is also an excellent location for birdwatching. Lake Texoma is where you want to be if you’re interested in seeing more exotic bird species like peregrine falcons, turkey vultures, and great blue herons.

White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake in Texas

White Rock Lake is a popular place for kayaking in Texas. The lake itself is located in Dallas and is the largest freshwater lake in Texas, with an area of over 1200 acres. It’s also home to a number of parks and trails that provide great places to rent kayaks and paddle boards, as well as plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.

The water at White Rock Lake is extremely clear, making it an ideal place for paddlers who want to see fish or other aquatic life floating around them while on their boats. This area is also home to many kinds of birds, including ducks and geese, so if you’re looking for a birding adventure while you’re out on your kayak or canoe, this is a good spot for it!

Several public boat ramps are available at White Rock Lake, where you can easily launch your boat from shore or one of the docks along its perimeter.

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake Texas

Caddo Lake is a great lake to kayak in Texas. It’s located in the northeast corner of the state, and it has some of the best fishing in Texas. The lake also offers some nice views of the surrounding countryside.

The best time to visit Caddo Lake is when it’s not too hot or cold. If you come up during the summer or early autumn, you’ll see lots of people on the lake doing waterskiing, jet skiing, and boating. The lake is also popular with campers who want to spend their summer vacation at one of the state parks nearby.

If you’re going to go kayaking on Caddo Lake during fall or winter, you’ll want to ensure that your boat can handle some snowmelt from heavy rains during this time. If you don’t have a boat that can handle this weather, you may want to stay away from this area until fall leaves have fallen off trees.

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe north of Houston, Texas

If you’re looking for a perfect day on the water, look no further than Lake Conroe. The lake is located in Montgomery County, Texas, and is home to long miles of shoreline. There are plenty of spots to rent canoes and kayaks from local businesses or go out on your own and rent one from a local shop.

It’s also home to some pretty impressive water sports, including jet skiing and parasailing, so if those sound like activities you’d enjoy, then definitely consider going there.

Best Rivers to Kayak in Texas

There are also plenty of rivers in Texas, some of which are perfect for kayaking. If you’re looking for a new adventure, then consider trying out one of these rivers:

The Brazos River

The Brazos River near Houston Texas

The Brazos River is a great place to kayak in Texas, with plenty of places to explore and things to see. It’s also a pretty easy river to navigate, making it an ideal location for beginners just starting on their adventures.

The Brazos River is located in central Texas. The Brazos River begins as a small stream in the hills of central Texas, where it cuts through limestone rock formations. The river then empties into Lake Travis, one of the largest lakes in Texas. The lake has several different campsites along its shores and makes for a great spot for relaxing after a long day on the water.

Colorado River

Colorado River Texas

If you’re looking for the best rivers in Texas, look no further than the Colorado River. This river has everything from Class I to Class V rapids and is ideal for kayaking all year round. The Colorado River is also home to some of the best fly fishing in the state and offers great opportunities for camping with your family or friends.

This river is known for its clear waters and scenic views. The best time to go kayaking on the Colorado River is when it’s low water, so check with your local ranger station or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department before setting out.

Devils River

Devils River Texas

One of the best rivers to kayak in Texas is the Devils River. It’s near Fort Worth, and it’s just a few miles walk from the nearest bridge. This river is easy to get to and offers some great rapids.

The best part about this river is that it’s not too crowded, so you can explore it without having your trip interrupted by other people. The best time to go is late spring or early summer when fewer people are on the water.

Since this river is so close to Fort Worth, many restaurants and stores are nearby if you need something to do before or after your trip.

San Marcos River

San Marcos River is a great place to kayak in Texas

Regarding kayaking in Texas, the San Marcos River is one of the best rivers. It is located in San Marcos and has a wide mouth, so you can easily paddle upstream and downstream. This river also has some nice scenery, making it one of the most beautiful places to kayak in Texas.

It is also very easy to access this river since plenty of parking spaces are available at the beginning and end of the trip. You can also find food vendors along its length, making it easier to enjoy your trip.

Guadalupe River

Guadalupe River Texas

The San Marcos River is a great place to kayak in Texas. The river is home to several types of wildlife, including beavers, otters, and bald eagles. The San Marcos River is perfect for you if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush!

The river is also surrounded by beautiful scenery—plenty of trees line the river banks, and there are even some small islands where you can get out of the water and relax on the sand.

Sabine River

Sabine River in Texas

The Sabine River is a gorgeous, slow-moving waterway in Texas that offers some of the most peaceful kayaking and canoeing you can find in Texas. The river cuts through the heart of the Brazos Bend State Park, home to various wildlife and undeveloped land.

The waterway is perfect for paddlers looking to escape the bustle of urban life. There are places throughout the park where you can camp or park your vehicle and set out on foot, but if you’re looking for an easy trip with plenty of amenities, head downriver from Port Lavaca into Galveston Bay.

San Saba River

San Saba River in Texas, another place to kayak or paddle in

The San Saba River is a beautiful, flowing river in Texas that offers plenty of opportunities for kayaking and rafting. The river originates in the Hill Country and flows westward through the Texas Hill Country before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The San Saba River has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The San Saba offers some fantastic whitewater runs but contains several Class II-III rapids that expert kayakers can easily navigate. Limestone cliffs surround the river on both sides, which provide excellent habitat for many types of wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, elk, deer, and more.

Pecos River

Pecos River Texas

The Pecos River is a great place to kayak in Texas. It’s got rapids, but they are not too challenging. The river is great for beginners and experienced paddlers alike, with flat sections and a lot of wildlife to spot.

There are several public access points along the Pecos River. This means you can get out and enjoy kayaking in Texas without worrying about trespassing or vandalism!

The Pecos River is classified as Class I by the International Scale of River Difficulty, which means it’s relatively easy for beginners to navigate.

Best Parks, Trails, and Other Places to Kayak in Texas

There are also many parks and trails to kayaking in Texas. Take a look at some of our favorite places to paddle:

Big Bend National Park

_Big Bend National Park Texas

Big Bend National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Texas. It has everything you could ever want, from lush forests to canyons and mesas to rolling desert landscapes. It’s an amazing place to visit with family or friends and will make your trip memorable.

The park is rich in history, with Native American and Spanish settlements and rich diversity of wildlife. The park is also known for its dramatic landscape and remote location, making it perfect for kayakers looking for a place to take advantage of its beauty.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Texas

Corpus Christi is one of the best places to kayak in Texas. The water is warm, and there aren’t any rocks or reefs to worry about. It’s also a great place for families who want to enjoy the beach without being bothered by crowds or loud noises. The best part about kayaking in Corpus Christi is that it’s not too far from the city center and requires no additional transportation.

South Bay Paddling Trail

South Bay Paddling Trail in Texas

The South Bay Paddling Trail is also a great place to kayak in Texas. It’s got beautiful views of the bay and offers plenty of places to stop along the way. The trail is perfect for beginners and experienced kayakers looking for an adventure.

The trail runs from Port Isabel to Corpus Christi and has some of the best kayaking in Texas. It is a great place to go if you want something different from the other Texas trails.


Galveston Texas

Galveston is one of the best places in Texas to kayak. The island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast, and you can set up your boat right at one of them.

The water is calm and clear, but don’t let that fool you—Galveston Bay is home to some serious waves, which means it can get rough sometimes. But with a little practice and good equipment, you’ll be able to tackle even the biggest waves without getting tossed around by them.

Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore in South Texas another place to kayak

If you’re looking for a calm yet beautiful place to kayak in Texas, head to Padre Island National Seashore. This park is located near Corpus Christi and is one of the most popular places to go for kayaking. People love getting out on the water and paddling in these gentle waves. The area is also a great place to see dolphins, so if you’re an animal lover, this could be the perfect spot.

Cherokee Neches Paddling Trail

Cherokee Neches Paddling Trail Texas

Cherokee Neches Paddling Trail is a beautiful, relatively new trail that winds through the Neches River. Not only is it a great place to kayak, but it’s also a great place to explore nature and wildlife. There are plenty of opportunities to observe birds, reptiles, and other animals as you paddle along the river. You can also stop at some of the nearby picnic areas along the way if you’re hungry.

The trail is open year-round, so whether you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon or an adventure-filled day with friends or family, there’s something here for everyone.

Beaver Pond Paddling Trail

Beaver Pond Paddling Trail Texas

Beaver Pond Paddling Trail is also a great place to kayak in Texas. It’s located near Houston, one of the most popular places to kayak in the state. The trail has over a few miles of scenic lakeshore and is highly accessible by boat or car.

An area is also a great place for bird watching and wildlife photography. You can even camp at Beaver Pond Paddling Trail if you want peace and quiet!

This trail is a great choice if you want to try something different than your usual kayaking experiences—or if you want to get out on the water with friends for a day full of fun and adventure.


So these are the top 20 best places to kayak in Texas. I hope this list will be helpful for you in planning your next kayaking adventure. You can go to any of these places but remember there are some kayaking laws in Texas that you need to know before planning your next adventure.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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