Kayaking San Antonio: 12 Beautiful Places To Canoeing.

San Antonio

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

It should come as no surprise that San Antonio, rich in history and culture, is the most visited city in Texas. San Antonio is a great spot to go hiking, camping, horseback riding, seeing the Alamo, and indulging in some mouth watering Tex-Mex cuisine. Canoeing and kayaking in San Antonio offer the opportunity to explore San Antonio's many beautiful waterways, ranging from calm rivers to rapids-filled streams.

Paddling around San Antonio is popular among tourists and locals since it provides a one-of-a-kind perspective of the city's urban cores and historical attractions. Canoeing and kayaking in San Antonio, on the other hand, offer an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, thanks to the city's abundance of green areas and high-quality rivers. Most locations for kayaking around San Antonio are peaceful enough for paddlers of varying skill levels to enjoy themselves. With so many incredible possibilities, paddle boarding can be challenging in deciding where you want to go. To assist you in getting started on your epic outdoor adventure, we have compiled a comprehensive guide below that details the most stunning locations in San Antonio where you may go canoeing and kayaking.

Best Places to Canoeing And Kayaking In And Around San Antonio 

kayaking

San Marcos River

  • Location: San Marcos River
  • Rentals Available: At TG Canoe & Kayak

San Antonio is home to one of the nation's longest spring-fed rivers, the San Marcos River. If you want to get away from the Texas heat, the San Marcos River is an excellent area to go kayaking. As a result of the fact that the headwaters of the San Marcos River are located at Spring Lake (one of the oldest landmarks in the United States), you will have access to fresh water throughout your journey.

Canoeing and kayaking are fantastic sports to try out for the first time in San Antonio's calm and unhurried river, which is ideal for beginners. In addition to canoeing and kayaking, tubing is another popular activity on the San Marcos River. The river's gin-clear waters not only contribute to the breath taking beauty of the landscape but also provide a haven for a significant number of endangered species.

The Zedler Mill Paddling Trail on the San Marcos River is a favourite destination for paddlers and kayakers. This trail is a beautiful avenue for people of all ability levels to appreciate San Antonio's splendour. It is six miles long. Visitors can paddle their way through crystal-clear pools of water, verdant woodlands, and even Class I rapids when exploring the area by canoe or kayak.

A refreshing afternoon along the San Marcos River is one of the most enjoyable ways to pass the time in San Antonio. Whether you choose to go tubing or paddling, this natural canal offers some of the most breath taking views in the state of Texas. You can put it near the Old Zedler Mill if you have your boat, for example, a kayak. If you don't have your canoe or kayak, TG Canoe & Kayak offers rental services for such items.

How To Get There?

Driving is the most efficient mode of transportation when making your journey to the San Marcos River. If you are traveling by car, head toward Houston on US-90 E. After that, stay on TX-80 North until you reach Scenic Road, and keep going until you get to the water.

San Marcos River

Brazos River

  • Location: Granbury Brazos River
  • Rentals Available: At Rochelle's Canoe Rental

Paddling along the Brazos River in a kayak is the perfect choice for a rough and tumble outdoor experience, so if that's what you want, don't look any further. The Brazos River has a well-deserved reputation for being a fantastic place to go wilderness paddling, and it stretches over the entirety of Texas.

Even while the Brazos River is remote enough to have a feeling of being in the backwoods, it is nevertheless simple enough for people of all different skill levels to explore. Near San Antonio, the river's waters are shallow and relatively quiet, making it suitable for first-timers and younger paddlers who wish to try their hand at kayaking.

Paddlers can take in the stunning view of Possum Kingdom Lake without being distracted by the lake's majestic bluffs, which the river flows through. Paddlers can see a wide variety of animals along the sandy shoreline and even explore some of the smaller islands scattered along the route. To get the most out of this river's miles upon miles of unspoiled wilderness, the best mode of transportation is a boat.

It is in your best interest to map out your itinerary before getting on the river to take advantage of the natural beauty that still exists along the Brazos River. Most visitors find kayaking along the Brazos River while arranging a multi-day camping vacation to be an enjoyable experience. The Brazos River is an excellent introduction to the great outdoors for people of all ages, whether you choose to paddle for a few tranquil miles or decide to make a tour that lasts for multiple days.

You can put in at any of the put-ins along the river if you have your boat, or you can use any put-ins to launch your kayak. When kayaking down the Brazos River, the most common places to begin are the put-ins located along Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury. You can also go through Rochelle's Canoe Rental to rent kayaks and arrange outings.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as it is the most direct route to the Brazos River. If you are traveling by car, head toward Austin on I-35 North. Afterward, proceed along Cameron Park Drive until you get to the water's edge.

Granbury Brazos River. 

Saspamco Paddling Trail

The wild and gorgeous Saspamco Paddle Trail may be reached within a few minutes from downtown San Antonio. This waterway is a fantastic method for people living in the city to connect with the natural beauty surrounding them, as it stretches through 29 miles of Bexar County and Wilson County.

One of the most enjoyable things in San Antonio is paddling along the Saspamco Paddling Trail. The San Antonio Sewer Pipe Manufacturing Company, the city's most important business and a significant member of the San Antonio community is responsible for giving this waterway its one-of-a-kind name. In recognition of this company, San Antonio's natural beauty may now be experienced on a tranquil paddling trail open to both residents and visitors.
Visitors can keep cool beneath the shade of the famed cottonwood, pecan, and cypress trees that spread across the breadth of the waterway while they kayak along the Saspamco Paddling Trail. The channel extends for around 12 miles in total. However, most paddlers choose to take out their boats at the Helton San Antonio River Nature Park, which is situated approximately in the middle of the river.

The Saspamco Paddling Trail, located in downtown San Antonio and encircled by these verdant woodlands, morphs into a tranquil escape from the bustle of city life. At the Loop 1604 River Access Site, you can launch your own boat, such as a kayak, provided that you have your own vessel. You also have the option to rent kayaking equipment from Texas Paddle Sports.

How To Get There?

Driving is the most convenient mode of transportation for reaching the Saspamco Paddling Trail. If you are traveling by car, the best place to begin is on the I-37 Frontage Rd. Afterward, proceed down TX-1604 Loop E until you reach the access point.

Saspacmco

Galveston Island State Park

  • Location: Galveston
  • Rentals Available: At Galveston Kayak Outfitters

Galveston Island State Park provides its visitors with all they require for an unforgettable weekend escape. Galveston Island State Park is worth the trip, even though it is located outside the municipal limits. This state park offers a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including geocaching, canoeing, and hiking, to name just a few.

There are three different paddle paths located on the park's northern side, and all of them are excellent options for canoeing and kayaking excursions in the San Antonio area. The Dana Cove and Jenkins Bayou paths have a length of approximately 2.5 miles and are characterized by their winding nature as they pass through seagrass beds and wetlands. Paddlers can explore a variety of distinct marine settings and see a large number of different animals there.

Oak Bayou Route, the third trail, is another fantastic option for paddlers at an intermediate skill level. Visitors can kayak along the park's primary coastline, paddle through high marshlands, and investigate the restoration area, all while on the water. Although the Oak Bayou Trail is twice as long as the other trails, they all loop around, making it simple to find your way around.

In addition to these breath taking waterways, tourists may also take advantage of the extensive network of hiking and bike trails around the island. Galveston Island's beautiful beaches are perfect for relaxing and unwinding after a strenuous day spent paddling. In addition, bird watching and geocaching are two things that many like doing while at Galveston Island State Park.

If you want to go kayaking near San Antonio, Galveston Island State Park truly has it all. Visitors can experience a variety of settings throughout the island, from open oceans to marshy inlets and everything in between. You can put your boat in the water at the park or visit Galveston Kayak Outfitters to rent kayaking equipment.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as it is the most direct route to Galveston Island State Park. If you are traveling by car, head toward Galveston on I-45 South. After that, proceed down Seawall Boulevard in the direction of the park.

Galveston

Blanco River

  • Location: Hays County
  • Rentals Available: At Blanco State Park

Canoeing and kayaking novices in San Antonio will find the Blanco River's emerald-blue waters to be the ideal place to get their feet wet. The natural splendour of Texas can be appreciated at its finest along this stream fed by springs.

If you have previous expertise in paddling, then the Blanco River will be a simple and soothing spot for you to enjoy the great outdoors. The fact that Blanco State Park provides kayaking training to novices is the highlight of paddling your kayak down the Blanco River. Everyone who comes to the river has the opportunity to take in the breath taking scenery and see the thriving fish population, regardless of their level of ability.

Many paddlers love kayaking around the town of Wimberley, situated on the Blanco River. This is a good option for those who wish to explore more of the Blanco River outside the state park. Because there are put-ins at several locations along the river, kayaking down the Blanco River is an experience that can be tailored to your specific abilities and is open to paddlers of all skill levels.

If you have access to your own watercraft, you can put it in your kayak at any point along the river. You also have the option to go to Blanco State Park, where you may rent kayaking equipment and attend classes. In addition, guests like spending the weekend at the 7A Ranch, which provides access to the Blanco River and many other unique outdoor places and activities.

How To Get There?

Driving is the most efficient mode of transportation when traveling to the Blanco River. If you are traveling by car, take US-281 North toward Johnson City. After then, keep going until you reach the river and follow the signs towards Stonewall.

Blanco River

Devil’s River State Natural Area 

  • Location: Del Rio 
  • Rentals Available: At Armistad Expeditions

The Devil's River State Natural Area is a fantastic location for those with a sense of adventure who are ready for a challenge. Here, you may completely submerge yourself in the natural environment. Canoeists and kayakers in San Antonio with previous wilderness experience will find this backcountry paddling the most enjoyable option.

To paddle down the Devil's River and use its camping grounds, paddlers must obtain a ten-dollar permit before commencing their voyage. This vast waterway, over 40 miles long, is perfect for multi-day camping outings and extended hikes due to its remote location (most paddlers can kayak the river in 4 days).

Paddlers can observe various species along the riverbanks as they travel, kayak past limestone cliffs, and view towering bluffs that can reach heights of up to 500 feet. Because of the highly gorgeous surroundings, a trip to Devil's River is one of the most gratifying opportunities to spend time outside. If, on the other hand, you do not wish to kayak for the entire 47 miles of the river, the headwaters of the river offer an equally stunning location for kayaking.

If you are up to the effort, going kayaking on the Devil's River in San Antonio will undoubtedly be an exciting experience. Get ready for some exciting rapids as you make your way around the hills of Val Verde, another breathtaking scenery spot along the river journey. You can put your canoe or kayak in the water at Baker's Crossing if you have your own boat, and you also can hire kayaking equipment from Armistad Expeditions.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as it is the quickest way to reach Devil's River State Natural Area. If you are traveling by car, head toward Rocksprings on TX-41. Afterward, proceed along Dolan Creek Road until you reach the park entrance.

Devil’s River State Natural Area

Mission Reach Paddling Trail 

  • Location: Downtown San Antonio 
  • Rentals Available: At Mission Kayaks

All those who enjoy being outside will appreciate the Mission Reach Paddling Trail's proximity to downtown San Antonio and its convenience and natural beauty. Canoeing and kayaking trips along the Mission Reach, which spans 400 acres and is located in San Antonio's Mission district, are fun activities for people interested in history and the outdoors.

The Mission Reach Paddling Trail's primary launching location is in Roosevelt Park. This small park is a perfect site to start your urban paddle journey, and it's right in the heart of the city. At some point, paddlers will have the opportunity to pull their boats ashore at Mission Espada. You won't find many spots in San Antonio where you can go stand-up paddle boarding, but because the Espada Dam is one of them, you should give it a shot there!

The paddling route around San Antonio's Mission Reach region is an easy eight miles long. Therefore most paddlers choose to go it. In addition to paddling through stunning landscapes, kayakers have the opportunity to investigate San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Getting a glimpse of this important piece of San Antonio's history from the sea provides a fresh perspective on the city's thriving culture and its connection to the city's long and storied past.

You can launch your own boat, such as a kayak, at Roosevelt Park if you have one. You also have the option of renting canoes and kayaks from Mission Kayaks. The Mission Reach Paddling Trail is an excellent area for people of all ages to go kayaking in San Antonio because it is family-friendly and offers breath taking views of metropolitan San Antonio's history and natural surroundings.

Driving is the least complicated and most convenient way to reach the Mission Reach Paddling Trail from any area. If you are traveling to the trailhead by car, the easiest route is to take Roosevelt Avenue to Park Road.

Mission Reach Paddling Trail

Rio Vista Park

  • Location: San Marcos 
  • Rentals Available: At Paddle SMTX

Canoeists and kayakers will adore Rio Vista Park's white water playground since it includes everything they might want in a white water experience. Paddling at Rio Vista Park, open throughout the year, provides a wide variety of options for people interested in white water kayaking in the San Antonio area.

Three new sections of manufactured white water kayaking were added to this great outdoor leisure area while the Rio Vista Dam was repaired. Because the rapids range from Class I to Class IV, paddlers of varying abilities can experience the thrill of a wild river. After conquering these challenging paddling courses, guests can unwind at the picnic area, cook some food on the grill, and spend the evening basking in the splendour of the night sky.

Most guests stay at Rio Vista Park for the afternoon or the entire day, and the white water playground will keep guests occupied for a good portion of their day! The fact that Olympic paddler Ben Kvanli frequents Rio Vista Park and is available to provide kayaking lessons throughout the year is the best feature of the park. After spending the day at the park, you may go into the quaint town of San Marcos to shop and eat at one of the local restaurants.

You are welcome to launch your own boat, such as a kayak, at the park if you have one. You also have the option of renting canoes and kayaks from Paddle SMTX. Canoeing and kayaking at San Antonio's Rio Vista Park will not disappoint you if you are searching for an exhilarating experience on white water.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as it is the quickest and most convenient way to reach Rio Vista Park. If you are traveling by car, head toward Austin on I-35 North. Then proceed along Guadalupe Street until you reach the park at the end of the street.

Rio Vista Park

Canyon Lake

  • Location: Comal County
  • Rentals Available: Yes, at Canyon Lake Marina

Canyon Lake, often known as "the Jewel of Texas Hill Country," is a large body of water in San Antonio that serves as a waterway ideal for people of all skill levels to enjoy the city's natural splendor. Canoeing and kayaking are two activities that are popular at Canyon Lake, which is located in San Antonio and is tucked away adjacent to the Guadalupe River.

Because Canyon Lake is such a significant body of water, most tourists choose to lodge around the lake's northern tip. Since the coastline acts as a barrier against the effects of the environment, this well-protected region is ideal for inexperienced paddlers. However, experienced paddlers will also like the northern end of Canyon Lake due to the lake's excellent paddling conditions and the beautiful vegetation that lines the shore.

In addition to offering fantastic conditions for canoeing and kayaking close to San Antonio, the hamlet of Canyon Lake is a picturesque location that attracts many tourists. There is an abundance of shopping, dining, and golfing opportunities, in addition to log cabins that can be rented for overnight stays.

We suggest you begin your kayaking adventure at Canyon Lake at the Canyon Lake Marina if you are interested. Not only does the marina offer boat rentals, but the staff there can also point you in the right way to find the most favorable paddling conditions on any given day. You can put your canoe or kayak in the water at Jacobs Creek, close to Cranes Mill, if you have your own boat. Canyon Lake is the most acceptable place to spend a weekend in San Antonio because it feels like an all-inclusive resort and offers activities like kayaking and fishing.

How To Get There?

Driving is the most convenient mode of transportation available for getting to Canyon Lake. If you are traveling by car, you should get on US-281 North and head toward Johnson City. Afterward, proceed along Canyon Lake Drive and watch for signs directing you to Canyon Lake Park.

Canyon Lake

Frio River

  • Location: Texas Hill Country 
  • Rentals Available: At Frio River Outfitters

Canoeing and kayaking on the crystal clear waters of the Frio River, one of the purest water sources in Texas, is a fun and rejuvenating activity that can be enjoyed in San Antonio. The Frio River, which gets its clear, cool water from underground springs, is an excellent area for paddlers with intermediate experience to get out on the water and enjoy themselves.

The Frio River is an incredible resource for outdoor recreational activities; it winds its way across a significant portion of the Hill Country in Texas. Visitors can take a relaxing float trip down the river or paddle their kayaks down some of the Class I rapids that the river offers.

The breathtaking scenery along the Frio River will leave tourists in wonder, irrespective of whether they go kayaking or tubing on the river. The Frio River is the water source for the immense cypress woods flanked by massive limestone bluffs, and this river is located on the edge of a desert.

Kayakers that travel down the Frio River have a good chance of spotting bald eagles, foxes, deer, and other types of animals in the woodlands that border the river's coastline. In addition, the river winds its way through Garner Street Park, an excellent site for paddlers to stop for a break and discover more of San Antonio's beautiful natural areas.

Paddle tours down the Frio River are highly recommended by both natives and tourists because of the river's crystal clear waters, breath taking landscape, and easy accessibility. Frio River public launch sites are difficult to access because of their remote locations. As a result, the majority of paddlers choose to rent kayaking equipment and make tour reservations through Frio River Outfitters. The Frio County Resort is another beautiful alternative for spending time outside, and it also provides access to the river, so it is a good choice if you are thinking of staying in the area for a few days.

How To Get There?

Driving is the most convenient transportation to choose when traveling to Frio River. If you are traveling by car, head in the direction of 3 Rivers on US-281 South. After there, stay on County Road 422 until you reach the river.

Frio

Neches River

  • Location: San Antonio
  • Rentals Available: At Eastex Canoe Trips

Canoeing and kayaking on the wild and gorgeous Neches River is an engaging activity for paddlers of all skill levels and is located relatively close to San Antonio. Paddling down the Neches River in a kayak is a private and secluded way to get close to nature because the river is surrounded on all sides by densely covered forests.

The Neches River is one of the "3 big rivers" in Texas, and it can be found across East Texas. This winding and meandering waterway is home to a variety of thriving habitats due to its slow movement. Suppose you are interested in seeing a variety of different animals. In that case, one of the most incredible spots to explore close to San Antonio is along the banks of the Neches River.

The Upper Neches River is the perfect site for novice paddlers to have their first taste of an adventure on the water. In this section of the river, the waters are often calm, and there are few obstacles in your path. The Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail is a popular destination for paddlers who already have some expertise in the water. The Davy Crockett National Forest is home to some of the state's most stunning flora and fauna, and this path, which is 9 miles long, passes through the heart of the forest.

The Neches River is a natural waterway well-known for its unspoiled beauty and dedication to protecting essential ecosystems. This river is teeming with excitement. Anderson's Crossing and Chandler River Park are great places to launch your own boat, such as a kayak, if you have one. You also have the option to hire kayaking equipment from Eastex Canoe Trips.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as it is the most direct route to the Neches River. If you are traveling by car, get on I-10 East and head toward Houston to begin. After that, stay on TX-73 E to Port Arthur and keep going until you reach the river.

Neches River

Comal River

  • Location: Comal County
  • Rentals Available: At Outlaw River Rentals

Visiting the Comal River in San Antonio is the best option for you to go canoeing or kayaking if you do not have a lot of time to spend in the great outdoors due to your busy schedule. The Comal River may be the shortest navigable river in Texas, yet despite its length, it is jam-packed with exciting opportunities for travellers.

The raging waters of the Comal River, located close to the Guadalupe River, provide an excellent opportunity to test your prowess as a white water kayaker. Paddling the length of the river takes about an hour, so there is plenty of time to take in the area's natural beauty.

Tubing and floating down the Comal River is a widespread summertime activity for many people. Nevertheless, the spring and fall seasons are when the Comal River's Class II rapids and drops may be experienced to their fullest potential. Even though it is only a little distance long, the Comal River is packed to the brim with exciting opportunities for canoe and kayak excursions.

These crystal clear waterways make for a beautiful backdrop for a day spent in the great outdoors. You can put your canoe or kayak into the water at either Prince Solms Park or Hinman Island Park if you have your own boat. You also have the option to rent kayaking and tubing equipment at Outlaw River Rentals. Whitewater kayaking on the Comal River is one of the most exciting things to do in the San Antonio area, and you can do it on a trip that is both short and simple.

Driving is the recommended mode of transportation because it offers the quickest and most direct route to the Comal River. If you are traveling by car, head toward Austin on I-35 North. Afterward, proceed down Hinman Island Drive until you get to the water's edge.

Comal River

Hippie Hollow Park

  • Location: Austin
  • Rentals Available: At Lone Star Kayak Rental

Canoeing and kayaking in Hippie Hollow Park are sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you'll ever have in the San Antonio area. Because it is the only park in Texas that does not require visitors to wear clothing, Hippie Hollow Park is restricted to those at least 18 years old, and it is also the only park in the United States.

Paddle sport enthusiasts can enjoy two fantastic swimming, canoeing, and kayaking locations within this one-of-a-kind natural setting. In its entirety, the park occupies the lake basin that Lake Travis drains into. Since the water is typically less turbulent in this park section, it is an excellent choice for novice paddlers. When you arrive, you'll understand why Hippie Hollow Park is famous for the sheer cliffs and rocky outcrops that run along the beach. These bluffs are stunning to look at and offer protection from the elements, making the area around San Antonio an ideal location for kayaking.

Kayaking around Lake Travis is a fun activity that many visitors like doing if they have prior paddling experience. Exploring the natural environment of San Antonio is made more enjoyable by these expansive seas that form a picturesque backdrop.

There is little question that visiting Hippie Hollow Park is a one-of-a-kind way to appreciate the natural splendor that San Antonio has to offer. Even if this environment isn't suitable for everyone, it's still a beautiful sight, and it's an excellent spot for kayakers of all skill levels to get out on the water. You are welcome to launch your own boat, such as a kayak, at the park if you have one. Or, you can rent kayak gear from Lone Star Kayak Rental.

How To Get There?

Driving is highly recommended as the mode of transportation for going to Hippie Hollow Park. If you are traveling by car, go on I-35 North and head towards Austin. The park can be reached by continuing on TX-360 Loop N until you get to Comanche Trail.

Hippie Hollow Park

Kayaking is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with nature, especially kayaking in San Antonio. It can also be done everywhere, from tranquil lakes to furious rivers. Now that you are in the mood for kayaking check out our locations page to learn about other places you may go with your boat. Do you require some additional motivation before venturing outside? Take a look at these inspiring quotations about being outside. Happy paddling!