Local News

Newest Official Texas Paddling Trail: Mission Reach Paddling Trail in the Texas Hill Country

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Tony Maples Photography


On March 2, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announced that the San Antonio River Walk: Mission Reach Paddling Trail became the newest to join the 71 additional inland and coastal trails as an official Texas Paddling Trail. Winding through both natural and restored habitat, the eight-mile long trail along the San Antonio River can take between three and five hours (with some alternate access sites designated for paddlers to shorten this time if necessary) features over 30 canoe shoots to assist paddlers to pass through riffles during low flow periods.

Mission Reach Paddling Trail Announced as Official Texas Paddling Trail

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

In a TPWD news release, Nature Tourism Manager, Shelly Plante noted, “We are very excited that San Antonio is now home to two official paddling trails. To be able to enjoy views of downtown San Antonio and the historic missions as well as the natural habitat and wildlife that call the river home make the Mission Reach float a unique experience for paddlers and visitors in the city.” The route’s designation of official Texas Paddling Trail was a collaborative effort between Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Authority, TPWD, and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Mission Reach Paddling Trail Announced as Official Texas Paddling Trail

Photo: Facebook/Stephanie L Cass

Located just minutes from downtown San Antonio, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, the kayak and canoe put in at Roosevelt Park allows visitors to the city easy access to the Mission Reach Paddling Trail, and there are numerous local vendors offering kayak and canoe rentals if you’re traveling without your gear. The eight mile trail flows from just south of Downtown San Antonio through more than 400 acres of restored riparian habitat, bordered by 15 miles of biking and hiking trails, city and county parks, and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Access points to the trail are marked by blue buoys on the water’s edge which can be seen from both the bordering trail as well as the water. Some of the amazing stops and sites to tour along the Mission Reach Paddling Trail include the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park as well as four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. By taking out at specified sites near Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada, you can enjoy a great dose of Texas history along with its natural beauty. There are also many wildlife spotting opportunities, and some great fishing to be had along the trail, not to mention birding (consider packing your binoculars).

Mission Reach Paddling Trail Announced as Official Texas Paddling Trail

Photo: Pixabay

The Texas Paddling Trails program promotes habitat conservation through sustainable economic development, and provides added recreational opportunities to the public. For maps, routes, and access points, visit the Texas Paddling Trails website. For flow and water quality information on the San Antonio River, visit www.sara-tx.org.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Department News Release

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Mission Reach Paddling Trail