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Kayaking in the Texas Hill Country: Mainstream Fun on the Medina River

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Not everywhere in Texas is dry and not every river is peaceful, but the Medina River in the Texas Hill Country allows the perfect opportunity to kayak under a cathedral of cypress trees as you mind absolutely nothing but how to enjoy the experience. Kayaking one of the most peacefully secluded rivers in the Texas Hill Country is certainly not a dilemma, and there’s not much in the planning nor execution of it, other than to enjoy the ride.

Plan Your Put-In & Take-Out Points Ahead.

Kayaking in the Texas Hill Country: Mainstream Fun on the Medina River

Photo: Vimeo

The Medina River Company offers a shuttle to various locations on the river, depending on your chosen float time, regardless of if you rent a tube or kayak from them or if you bring your own. You have several choices for take-out, but a nice recommendation for an end point is Peaceful Valley Crossing, which will total approximately 10 miles. Peaceful Valley Crossing also features access to a considerable amount of public parking as opposed to other take-out points. Begin in Medina, where the river crosses Patterson Avenue.

Check River Water Levels When Trip Planning.

Kayaking in the Texas Hill Country: Mainstream Fun on the Medina River

Photo: Wikimedia

The first recommendation for safety’s sake is not to attempt this adventure without checking the water levels prior to your trip. Both flood and drought conditions can cause unforeseen safety issues that can be mitigated by planning ahead. Due to some fallen trees and snags that will require some skillful navigation, the Medina has some challenging sections. In between these sections are periods of paddling through long, calm pools, which could also be done by canoe, but due to low water levels in some instances, kayaking is preferable.

Respect Private Property & Leave Zero Environmental Footprint.

Kayaking in the Texas Hill Country: Mainstream Fun on the Medina River
Photo: Flickr/Masstravel

Lastly, the majority of riverside land along the Medina is private property. No trespassing is allowed. This is why the options noted above for put-in and take-out points are recommended only at public parks and road crossings. As opposed to bank stoppages for lunch or a break along the way, where possible, select gravel bars or an island to rest and eat. Two final pieces of advice: take out what you bring in, in effect leaving zero environmental footprint and always respect the rights of the landowners. If you absolutely have to go ashore for safety purposes, don’t loiter. These are simple, common sense points that will make your kayaking trip along the Medina River a fun, safe, and peaceful one.

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