Kayaking Houston: 9 Of The Best Places To Kayak In Houston

Kayaking  Around Houston

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

Most people believe that Houston is nothing more than a massive sprawl made up of motorways, oil refineries, and suburban regions. However, there is a great deal more to the city than that! Kayaking is just one of the many enjoyable outdoor activities available in and around the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area. Getting out in the fresh air and discovering some of the hidden lakes, canals, and green areas that the city of Houston offers is a lot of fun when you go kayaking in Houston.

Kayaking Houston: kayaking places we have gathered is intended to serve as a jumping-off point for you as you plan your next kayaking excursion"

The Best Kayaking Locations In And Around Houston

Top Places to Go Kayaking in Houston

Buffalo Bayou

Buffalo Bayou

  • Kayaking is entirely free. However, rentals start at $30 per hour.
  • Are rentals available? That is correct; here at Bayou City Adventures.

For an actual urban paddling experience, you can't miss Buffalo Bayou. This primary waterway is one of the most attractive and easily accessible spots for kayaking Houston, and it passes through the city's central regions and connects many neighborhoods. You can follow the bayou from Katy, a suburb in western Houston, to Galveston Bay. Another exciting piece of information about the past is that the final conflict of the Texas Revolutionary War took place near the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River.

You may paddle your canoe or kayak down Buffalo Bayou and take in sights of the Houston skyline, pass beneath industrial bridges, and go through some of the city's most vibrant green spaces. You may drive by the city's famous Buffalo Bayou Park and take in the sights as you go for miles and miles. At the brand new Lost Lake Visitor Center, Bayou City Adventures offers kayak rentals so you can get your paddle on immediately. Rentals are available by the hour or the day and provide guided kayaking trips, tours, and lessons.

  • 3422 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019 is the address.

Please consider that Bayou City Adventures is only available for rental services on the weekends, namely on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 to 5.

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe

  • Kayaking is entirely free of charge, although rentals start at $22 per hour.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, at 1097 Watersports.

Lake Conroe is Houston's most popular lakeside vacation, and it's the ideal place for a couple of hours' worth of kayaking because it's only a short drive away. We will be the first to confess that Lake Conroe is not technically inside the city borders of Houston; yet, it is a reasonably short day trip that many Houston residents enjoy doing.

The lake covers 21,000 acres and is teeming with people enjoying various watercraft, paddle boards, pontoon boats, jet skis, and more. Lake Conroe is a beautiful spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, go kayaking, and bask in the warmth of the summer sun since it features an abundance of docks and green areas along its borders.

In the vicinity of Lake Conroe, there are a few locations where you may rent a kayak if you don't already possess one. 1097 Watersports offers kayak rentals for a starting price of $22 per hour, and both single and double kayaks are offered. North Lake Conroe Paddling Co. also provides hourly kayak rentals to its customers.

Because there isn't much cover in the region, bring some sunscreen and a hat with you when you go kayaking. These are two of the most critical pieces of equipment you'll need. Take extra precautions while you're out paddling on hectic days, as there are likely to be many people zipping around on motor boats and jet skis.

  • Willis, Texas 77318 is the location of 1097 Watersports, located at 12947 Lake Conroe Hills Drive, Suite B.

The Woods Or Woodlands

The Woodlands

  • Cost: Kayaking is free, and rentals start at $15 per hour, with an extra $5 charged for each subsequent hour.
  • Are rentals available? The answer is yes at the Lakes Edge Boathouse and the Riva Row Boathouse.

The Woodlands, located in the northern suburbs of Houston, is home to a massive lake system surrounded by numerous rivers and tributaries. This makes the Woodlands an ideal place to go kayaking in Houston! The Woodlands, living up to the connotations of its name, is replete with residential communities, verdant parks, and forested open spaces. Because it is not too far from Houston, it is an excellent way to escape the city without traveling too far from civilization. It is a Houston kayaking destination that is very easy to get to.

Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
Easy to inflate

The fact that there are two locations in the neighborhood where you can rent a kayak at pricing that is more than fair is another reason why the Woodlands is such a terrific destination for kayaking. The Lakes Edge Boathouse and the Riva Row Boathouse are managed by the Woodlands park system and provide canoe and kayak rentals to adventurers looking to get out on the water. These Houston kayak rentals are among the most affordable options, with prices beginning at only $15 for an hour and increasing by $5 for each additional hour.

  • Lakes Edge Boathouse is located at the following location: 1970 Hughes Landing Blvd, The Woodlands, Texas 77380.
  • Boathouse Riva Row is at the following location: 2101 Riva Row, The Woodlands, Texas 77380.

Stream From Spring

Spring Creek

  • Kayak use is free, although there is an extra payment for rentals.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, at SouthWest Paddlesports, which is located offsite.

When the water levels are high enough, the tranquil, forested region along Spring Creek, widespread among the neighborhood residents, is open to canoeists, kayakers, and paddleboarders. Several parks, woodlands, and even a few different species of wildlife along Spring Creek. You can get started on your kayaking adventure in Pundt Park, which is a lovely green location that is situated along Spring Creek. It then joins the San Jacinto River, which, in turn, eventually empties into Lake Houston, which is located nearby.

Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak
Light weight
Easy to inflate

SouthWest Paddlesports is located close by and is an excellent place to rent a kayak if you need one. They provide automobile transport racks and daily rental prices, which you can see on their website.

  • The address of Southwest Paddlesports is 26322 Interstate 45, Spring, Texas 77386.
  • Pundt Park may be found at the following location: 4129 Spring Creek Dr, Spring, Texas 77373.

Clear Lake/Kemah Boardwalk

Clear Lake/Kemah Boardwalk

  • Kayaking is entirely free. However, rentals start at $25 per hour.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, at Kayak Shack

Kemah is located on the eastern tip of Houston and is most well-known for its lively boardwalk, which features a wide variety of attractions, shops, and restaurants. It is a waterfront entertainment zone perfect for a day trip or a weekend break (without really leaving the city!). It is located on the bay and it is on the waterfront.

Kemah is a great site to go kayaking in Houston, but the locals aren't aware of this fact, which is surprising because it's a well-known spot. It is a heaven for paddlers since there are various bay areas to explore, and there is more than enough to see and do there to spend a whole day.

You may hire a kayak in Kemah from the Kayak Shack, which is located nearby and charges a starting rate of $25 per hour for its services. They also provide guided tours around the neighborhood, of which their sunset tour and their tour of the Friday night fireworks are two of the most entertaining options.

  • Address: 622 Marina Bay Dr, Kemah, TX 77565

The Seabrook And Taylor Lake Area

Seabrook/Taylor Lake

  • Kayaking is entirely free. However, rentals start at $25 per hour.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, at Pinky's Kayak Rentals

Seabrook is located not too far from Kemah and close to NASA, the bay, and a lovely neighborhood known as Taylor Lake. You may enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable day kayaking around Taylor Lake in Houston by putting in at one of the nearby lakes and paddling for as long as your heart wishes. You'll see views of some lovely residences, the bay regions, and some manicured green spots in the neighborhood. It's a lot of fun to combine a trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston with an outing kayaking around the Houston area.

Pinky's Kayak Rentals is next to Taylor Lake and offers kayaks for hire so you can paddle about the lake or the nearby bay area. Rentals begin at $25 per hour, although the price drops as the amount of time rented increases. In addition, Pinky's provides several intriguing guided trips to local landmarks such as Big Island and Horsepen Bayou.

  • Address: 4106 E NASA Pkwy #1, El Lago, TX 77586

The Island Of Galveston

Galveston Island

  • The distance from Houston is 51 miles, which will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Cost: There is no fee to use the kayaks, and day rentals start at $45 per kayak.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, at Galveston Kayak Outfitter

When Houston residents want to spend a day or weekend somewhere closer to the ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico, they frequently travel to the Galveston Island, located just off the coast of Texas in the gulf. You may be familiar with Galveston as a place with a history of being ravaged by hurricanes or deeply affected by oil spills (both of which are true to some extent). Still, the area has been cleaned up significantly in recent years, and it is a lovely change of scene from Houston's massive highways and buildings.

Sevylor Fiji 2-Person Kayak , Blue, 10' 4" x 2' 9"
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Value for money

Galveston, located close to Houston, is an excellent place to go kayaking due to the abundance of rivers in the region. The most obvious place to go is to a beach because there is a great deal of open water for paddling. Check the forecast before you go out paddling on the open ocean because it can be a challenging workout if there is a lot of wind. Suppose you want to get the most out of your training and paddle when there is less wind. In addition, there are many spots to go kayaking in Galveston, thanks to the city's many inlets and channels, which most often have more calm water and are better suited for novice paddlers.
There are a few different options available when renting a kayak. Galveston Kayak Outfitter provides day rentals for kayaks at pricing that are pretty affordable.

Martin Dies Jr. State Park

 Martin Dies Jr. State Park

  • One hundred twenty-three miles (about 2 hours) separate you from Houston.
  • Kayak use is free, although there is an extra payment for rentals.
  • Are rentals available? Indeed, in the Administration Building of the Park.

Martin Dies Jr. State Park is one of the best spots to kayaking in the Houston area if you want to feel like you are in the middle of the natural world. The park is close to the border of Louisiana and covers the confluence of two rivers; as a result, it features a wide variety of topography and is home to a plethora of animal species. Hiking paths, camping areas, and a vast lake that is excellent for canoeing and observing local flora and fauna may be found in this area.

Martin Dies Jr. State Park can be reached from Houston in about two hours, making it an ideal destination for either a day trip or an overnight excursion away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. You can set up a campsite right on the land, and the headquarters of the park provide rentals of kayaks, canoes, and other watercraft.

  • Postal code: 75951 and address: 634 Park Road 48 South, Jasper

San Marcos River

San Marcos River

  • The distance from Houston is 146 miles and will take around 2.5 hours.
  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the type of kayak and the route taken.
  • Are rentals available? Yes, make your reservations at Texas Canoe & Kayak.

We were going to write a piece about kayaking in the Houston area that needed to include at least one part of the San Marcos River. This well-known secluded region in Texas is ideal for a Houston kayaking excursion since it features a wealth of shaded spots, a few mild rapids, and an abundance of breathtaking natural scenery. It is a beautiful adventure into nature that is easy to reach and enjoy, and its location between Houston and Austin makes it quite convenient.

Along the San Marcos River, you can expect to discover clear water and many other paddlers, particularly during the warm summer months when Texans are eager to take advantage of the river's refreshing waters. Since the San Marcos River runs rather swiftly and it isn't easy to paddle upstream, kayaking tours on the river often only go in one direction.

You will need to hire a kayak and make reservations for a shuttle service because you will be paddling downstream. You won't need to worry about transportation because Texas Canoe & Kayak includes a pre-booked shuttle at the cost of all of their kayak rental packages. Instead of charging by the hour, they offer specified routes that you can rent a kayak for, and they will bring you to the beginning point and pick you up at the conclusion point of the way. On their website, you can view the many routes they provide and the pricing, and they demand (i.e., strongly encourage) that you make reservations in advance.

  • Address: 307 Lockhart St, Martindale, TX 78655

Please consider that Texas Canoe and Kayak is not open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays.

This article talks about kayaking Houston. Enjoy it, and you can read all about kayaking on our site