Kayaking Austin

With a stunning river running right through the city and plenty of quiet rivers just an hour away, Austin is the perfect place for kayaking. Whether you’re just starting out or even a seasoned athlete, you can find the perfect kayak for you on our website.
In fact, you don’t even have to travel far from urban areas to enjoy nature.

Kayaking Austin pin

As always, be sure you follow the basic safety guidelines when kayaking. We suggest using a flotation device as well as selecting the right water for your ability level.

8 Best Paddle Locations Kayaking Austin

Colorado River in Webberville

Colorado River in Webberville

Just 30 minutes to the east of Austin is Webberville, Texas, a tiny town with excellent kayaking. Cook’s Canoes offers numerous excursions in the Lower Colorado River between Austin and Bastrop around 50 miles. The most well-known trip they offer is a five-mile cruise that runs between two parks. Explore the tranquility in the outskirts of Austin as you fish, observe birds, and sunbathe.

San Marcos River

San Marcos River

City Park, San Marcos, is located about 30 minutes south of Austin and provides access to the San Marcos River. A number of tubing outfitters are scattered on the riverbank, making it a popular place to tub.

Students, alumni, and staff of Texas State University are also able to rent kayaks at the Sewell Park Outdoor Center. All members of the public can also rent kayaks at the Olympic Outdoor Center.

The river is sluggish and more rapid once you leave Downtown San Marcos, containing Class II and I whitewater. There are chances to see wildlife and fish along this stretch, as well as it is quieter and more peaceful.

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Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake

Formerly known as Town Lake, Lady Bird Lake is an artificial reservoir of 416 acres on the Colorado River. It is a stunning spot with breathtaking panoramas towards the Austin skyline It is a tranquil oasis just a few miles from the bustling downtown. The most sought-after spot to kayak around Austin, Lady Bird Lake is frequently full of paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. This makes it a perfect spot to catch up with old friends or create new acquaintances. For paddlers motorboats, gas-powered motorboats aren’t permitted and the lake is always calm and inviting.

If you’re done with the lake, Lady Bird Lake is filled with biking and hiking trails in the city, and on the hillside that is rolling and, on weekends, you’ll likely enjoy live music near the shore. Locals claim that there’s a good chance that Congress Avenue Bridge can be an ideal spot to spot bats in the evening and tours can often be offered. The lake also has numerous fishing spots for those who bring the rod and reel.

The best choice for Anyone who wants to enjoy a great paddling experience near the city but without the boat traffic.

Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park could be a perfect paddling location for families, beginners, or anglers as well as experienced kayakers seeking nature and wildlife. The lake is a reservoir located on the Colorado River and it has an area that is closed to paddling.

Rent kayaks at the park’s store, with a launch location. You can also camp on the site should you wish to plan a weekend excursion. There are fishing piers on which one can go fishing without having a fishing license. The lake is full of peaceful coves as well as streams to discover.

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Lake Bastrop

Lake Bastrop

If you are planning to kayak with kids, Lake Bastrop is the perfect place. It is located just an hour away from Austin this 990-acre lake is perfect for fishermen, kayakers, and fishing. After a few hours in the lake, you can walk or run all around Lake Bastrop. Since Lake Bastrop is a power plant cooling reservoir, the temperature of the water is higher than other lakes. If you’re in need of equipment rental, Rising Phoenix permits kayakers to take the watercraft up to Lake Bastrop.

Lake Austin

Lake Austin

Lake Austin is part of the Colorado River just north of downtown Austin. This is a less crowded place to kayak than Lady Bird Lake. If you own a kayak there is a boat ramp run through Travis County Parks, just beneath the Pennybacker Bridge. There is also a launch point at Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

Just a bit further upstream, you can lease kayaks through Peace Paddling. Motorized vessels are allowed in the lake, so you must watch for boats. However, there are plenty of small creeks and places close to the banks, where it’s a bit more peaceful.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis

With stunning hills, crystal soft waters, and stunning mansions on the water, Lake Travis is everything’s beauty. The sloping reservoir to the northwest of Austin is an ideal location for any kind of water-based sports like kayaking, scuba diving fishing, boating, and paddle-boarding. One of the purest lakes in Texas and the clear water of Lake Travis are a major source of water for Austinites.

With numerous campgrounds, parks, beaches, and other public facilities that surround the lake’s 270-mile shoreline, you’ll discover everything you’re seeking as a kayaker. In dry times, you can try kayaking towards some of the ” Sometime Islands” that used to be hills prior to the dams that made the lake was constructed. Explore one of the lakes’ numerous hidden inlets or breathtaking limestone cliffs.

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Ideal for crystal-clear water as well as urban exploration, and many activities to enjoy.

Walter E. Long Lake (Decker Lake)

Decker Lake

If you’re looking for fishing while paddling, Walter E. Long Lake is the perfect place. The 1,200-acre reservoir is isolated, especially during days of the week. It is a great place for catfish, bass as well as sunfish. It has plenty of coves and streams to wander through. Walter E. Long Lake is surrounded by a metro park, making it the perfect spot to take your entire family for games of sand volleyball and grilling and biking. There aren’t many places to rent a double kayak, it is possible to can bring one or hire one of the kayaks from Austin Kayak Tours that will permit you to take your kayak to any place.

Top 10 kayak tours in Austin

If you don’t own your own kayak There are a variety of places to rent an inflatable kayak or join the guided tour.

Lady Bird Lakehttps://www.rowingdock.com/rentals/
Texas State Universityhttps://www.campusrecreation.txstate.edu/outdoor/oc.html
Texas Canoes & Kayakshttps://www.texascanoekayak.com/
Olympic Outdoor Centerhttps://kayakinstruction.org/
Zilker Park Boat Rentalshttp://www.zilkerboats.com/
Peace Paddlinghttps://peacepaddling.com/lake-austin-kayak-rentals/
Viking Ship Kayak Rentalshttp://www.vikingshipkayakrentals.com/
Lake Bastrop North Shore Park (LCRA)https://www.lcra.org/parks/lake-bastrop-north-shore-park/
Lakeway Marinahttps://www.lakewaymarina.com/paddleboard-kayak/
Lake Bastrop South Shore Park (LCRA)https://www.lcra.org/parks/lake-bastrop-south-shore-park/


There are many wonderful locations to go kayaking or fish from kayaks within Austin. Many can be found within access to downtown. If you don’t own your own kayak, there are plenty of outfitters in Austin that let you hire one for just a few hours or even a few days.

Be sure to have the proper safety equipment and knowledge for kayaking. If you’re planning to paddle on the whitewater rivers of Tennessee it is recommended that you have the right knowledge.

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