Things to Do

4 Places to Paddle Your Way Through the Texas Hill Country

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Tony Maples Photography


Did you know that Texas Parks and Wildlife has mapped out “Paddling Trails” in all areas of the state for people who like to enjoy our rivers and bayous by kayak or canoe? New trails are always in development, making Texas infinitely paddle-able for water enthusiasts. The Texas Hill Country has four paddle trails that are endorsed by Texas Parks and Wildlife, each offering a unique perspective on the Hill Country.

1. Lady Bird Lake (Austin)

Lady Bird Lake paddle

Photo: Flickr/Ingrid Truemper

The Lady Bird Lake Paddling Trail allows for a variety of paddling opportunities with loops from three to 11 miles long. Enjoy paddling in downtown Austin!

2. Pecan Bayou (Brownwood)

Pecan Bayou

Photo: Facebook/Lake Brownwood State Park

Pecan Bayou trail features a three to four-mile loop trail on a peaceful stretch of the Pecan Bayou, a slow moving body of water that can be paddled in either direction as a loop trail.

3. South Llano (Junction)

South Llano

Photo: Facebook/South Llano River

Experience quiet pools, gentle riffles and runs along six miles of the beautiful spring-fed South Llano River out in the Texas Hill Country. Perfect for all of the seasons, South Llano River is a fan favorite for all skill levels. 

4. Upper Guadalupe/Nichol’s Landing (above Canyon Lake)

Upper Guadalupe

Photo: Flickr/Patrick Lewis

This 9.9-mile reach of the Guadalupe River in Comal County is lined with an abundance of mature trees and a spectacular mix of limestone cliffs and shelves. Paddlers will enjoy a three to six-hour ride on a variety of rapids between gentle stretches.

Texas Parks and Wildlife advises that parking is available at all trail access points and is free unless otherwise noted. If traveling with multiple cars, you should meet at the downstream take-out and park a vehicle that will be waiting for you at the end of your trip. Remember to walk to the take-out to look at surrounding landmarks so that you will recognize it from the water. If traveling in one vehicle, contact the local livery (kayak/canoe rental establishment) in advance to schedule a shuttle to the put-in, or begin your trip at the take-out, paddle upstream, and turn around when you’re ready to paddle back downstream to your vehicle.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more information on paddling the Texas Hill Country and other bodies of water in our state.