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4 Great Places to Paddle in The Hill Country

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The beautiful Texas Hill Country offers a plethora of scenic lakes and waterways perfect for almost any paddle sport. Take in the spectacular views while kayaking or canoeing along a slow-moving river or stream, or you can try your hand at stand up paddleboarding.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department created a new program to develop public inland and coastal paddling trails throughout the stat. The Texas Paddling Trail program provides maps and signage, and is constantly adding new trails.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for some handy maps with access locations and GPS coordinates, and here are 4 great places to paddle in The Hill Country

1. Lady Bird Lake – Austin

4 Great Places to Paddle in the Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Tnkntx 

Lady Bird Lake, formerly Town Lake, is comprised of a chain of reservoirs on the Colorado River and was formed in 1960 with the construction of Longhorn Dam. In the 1970s, the city of Austin built hike and bike trails along the shoreline of the lake, and it quickly became a popular destination for hiking, running, biking, and water sports.

The lake is home to an abundance of native flora and fauna. You can paddle down to the Congress Avenue bridge and take a peek at the huge colony of Mexican Free-tailed Bats living under the bridge. On weekends, you can usually catch a glimpse of the University of Texas varsity rowing team having their team workouts.

Float time on the 11-mile-long Lady Bird Lake Paddling Trail can vary from one to six hours, depending on the route, wind speed, and water levels. Choose from any of eight access points, including Redbud Trail, the UT Women’s Rowing Center and the Texas Rowing Center.

2. Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail – Upper Guadalupe River

4 Great Places to Paddle in the Hill Country
Photo: Flickr/evso 

The beautiful, spring-fed Guadalupe River originates deep in the Texas Hill Country and runs from Kerr County to the Gulf of Mexico. The upper river is a fast stream with a variety of rapids between slow-moving stretches. It has limestone cliffs and shelves off the banks and is shaded by native pecan and cypress trees.

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