Everyone needs to start somewhere. When it comes to kayaking, the right place makes all the difference for novice paddlers. In Texas, you’ll find an abundance of waterways geared toward the less-experienced. Before you get in the water, consider bringing along a guide or participating in a safety course. Get your kayak on at these five great spots for beginners in Texas.
The Buffalo Bayou takes paddlers on a 26-mile trek, accompanied by beautiful sights of downtown Houston. Now, the entirety of the paddling trail may be 26 miles, but this is still ideal for novices. Sections of the trail can be traversed in 1.5-4 hours of paddling. Wildlife in the area includes turtles, herons, hawks, and so much more. Through Bayou City Adventures, you can take a guided tour to experience the area to its fullest. The shortest of the tours offered is the 2.5-hour Navigator’s Tour. This tour provides just a few small, manageable rapids, and stunning scenery. There are also kayak rentals available.
This Colorado River reservoir in Austin, Texas, is home to Live Love Paddle, your “one stop shop” for watercraft rentals. Lady Bird Lake spans a total of 468 acres with a maximum depth of 18 feet. Through Live Love Paddle, paddlers can participate in the incredible Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Tours. At this bridge, you’ll find the world’s largest urban bat colony. Kayaks, paddles, person flotation devices, and drinking water are provided on every trip.
The Medina River provides paddlers with one of the easiest and most breathtaking kayaking trips in the Lone Star State. The waters are glistening blue green and trees shade paddlers from above. Through the Medina River Company, rental rates go at $50 per kayak. Tours offered include a 1-1.5-hour trip, a 2-2.5-hour trip, and a 3-3.5-hour trip. According to its site, times vary based on the flow of the river. The Medina River Company also offers waterproof phone cases, sunscreen, sunglasses, water, and several other waterproofing bags.
For a serene escape, consider paddling the Limestone Bluffs of the Navasota River. The waters on this paddling trail are calm and quiet, perfect for those beginners not quite ready to take on an intense adventure. The trail is surrounded by limestone bluffs, and magnificent wildlife such as waterfowl and beaver. Rentals can be found at Austin Canoe and Kayak as well as Recreational Equipment, Inc.
The San Antonio River spans a total of 240 miles and is one of the most significant waterways in the state. For the fullest experience, Mission Kayak has it all. Choose from two, three, and four-mile river trips that all vary in difficulty with small rapids and mildly-challenging chutes. From these trips, you can choose from a self-guided or guided tour. Mission Kayak even offers a Kayaking 101 class, which features education on kayak terminology, river terminology, proper paddling techniques, and rescue techniques.