Best Spots to Go Camping and Kayaking in the Lone Star State

With many things to do in various parts of Texas, an all-time favorite is camping, kayaking, and tubing. For visitors and tourists, it may be difficult to locate the best places to partake in these breathtaking activities, which is why we created this list. These are, according to locals in Texas, the absolute best spots to go camping, kayaking, and do other fun outdoor activities while you’re on vacation.

Texas Kayak Adventures

A six-hour kayaking tour of Galveston Bay took up the third spot on USA Today‘s list. It’s detailed, affordable, and open at the most convenient times. You also get to explore a privately-funded nature preserve. This trip is a memorable experience that won’t take up your entire weekend and will leave you speechless at the beauty of nature. You will learn tons of information on the bodies of water connected and run all throughout the entire heart of Texas.

Caprock Canyons State Park

TWP Magazine says that this state park offers over 100 campsites that allow you to choose between a primitive site or a campsite with all the hookups and gadgets. All of this comes at a very lenient price. With the background this state park has, you can relax and take in the view and the vibe, or you can go fishing, swimming, and even hiking.

Medina River

The Medina River is a special place to go kayaking and unwind at the same time. Away from social gatherings and in the heart of nature, Sacurrent.com claims that this route is undeniably private since it doesn’t attract large crowds of people.

Lost Maples State Natural Area (RV)

This state park has lots of campsites for an RV, but you can still enjoy the colorful environment and lakes, such as the ones mentioned on the Beyond The Tent website, the Sabinal River being one of them. It’s great for hiking, too and is much smaller in comparison to other campground sites.

Oxford Ranch Campground (Tent)

Conveniently assembled with a picnic table, a fire pit, and restrooms close by, the Oxford Ranch Campground use is best for campers who prefer the tent life. Often not crowded, you can have as much privacy as you need since there aren’t very many people. This campground also has extremely affordable prices, as well. It is 130 acres of pure beauty for you to take in on your trip. You can read more about it here.

Lady Bird Lake Trail

Located in the center of Austin, this trail allows you to hike, bike, run, and whitewater kayaking. You can bring your dogs(s) if you have any, but according to AllTrails.com, you must keep them on a leash. This trail ranges roughly 4.4 miles and sticks closely nearby the lake the entire time.

Colorado River

I saved the best for last. The 18th longest river in the US, the Colorado River is ideal for those kayaking for their first time, as there are no rogue waves, tides, or overly huge waterfalls. Mentioned in Apple Moving’s blog post on 11 Ways to Cool Off in Texas, kayak camping on the Colorado River is a unique experience you won’t forget. Be sure to also check out this moving company’s tips for moving with your kayak. Bring your kayak and camp on an island in the middle of the river, or go with a group from the Bastrop River Company. Kayaking the Colorado is a must-do for any Texan!

Which ones will you add to your list while you’re on vacation? These are just a handful of the many incredible places to visit for outdoor activities in Texas. There are plenty more for those who want to return and explore even more.

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5 Places to Go Kayaking in Texas This Summer

Beat the summer heat in Texas by paddling down a calm, quiet river or on a refreshing lake. Texas has 15 major rivers, 3,700 named streams, and over a hundred reservoir lakes across the state for the kayaking enthusiasts. Combine your favorite sport with quiet, breathtaking scenery and get close to nature kayaking in Texas.

1. North Texas, Brazos River

For quiet, scenic kayaking minus the rushing rapids, consider the Brazos River in North Texas. There are several favorable locations for launching and takeout, but for the best paddling, go directly below Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury in Palo Pinto County. From the Possum Kingdom to Highway 4, the river runs for 19 miles.

2.West Texas, Devils River

For a wilder ride and a rugged, remote experience head for the Devils River in West Texas. This bright, green river runs through a rocky, dessert-like landscape. It is known as one of the cleanest rivers in the state. The characteristics of Devils River changes from flat water stretches to deep pools to turbulent rapids known by paddlers as class III rapids.

This river is for the tough and experienced, so your research. To get there go north on State Highway 277 from Del Rio for 45 miles. Turn Dolan Creek Road and travel 18.6 miles to the State Natural Area border.

The Devil's River in West Texas is a surprising oasis in an otherwise dry, dusty landscape.

The Devil’s River in West Texas is a surprising oasis in an otherwise dry, dusty landscape.

3.Central Texas, Lady Bird Lake

For the best in urban kayaking, head to Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. The LBL is a product of damning up the Colorado River east of Austin. The result is a beautiful in-city playground. Kayakers will find a variety of launch spots with no motor boats.

Paddle west of Loop 1 for solitude among lush green hills. East of IH-35 is where the great fishing is. In between enjoy the cityscapes of Austin. Kayak rentals are available making LBL a perfect place for an introduction to kayaking. To get to LBL: In Austin, head east on E 5th Street toward Brazos Street. Turn onto N Interstate 35 Frontage Road. Turn left onto Holly Street.

4. East Texas, Caddo Lake

East Texas is where you will find the swamplands with cypress trees, mossy beards, lily pads, and a maze of bayous and sloughs. You will also find the only natural lake in Texas on the Texas-Louisiana border. It is a relatively shallow lake and covers roughly 26,000 acres.

You will want to try your hand at Kayak fishing on this scenic lake. It is the home of over 70 species of fish. Paddle the waterways and rent a cabin. Caddo Lake is located on East Grand Avenue in Marshall, Texas.

The mossy trees of Caddo Lake create an enchanting world to explore by boat.

The mossy trees of Caddo Lake create an enchanting world to explore by boat.

5. South Texas, Lighthouse Lakes

The Lighthouse Lakes are made up of tidal channels and coastal flats. One of the Gulf Coast’s most popular kayak fishing destinations, the lakes are also the first designated Texas Paddling Trail. Four marked loops ranging from 1.25 miles to 6.8 miles make up the trail. The civil war lighthouse the lakes are named after still stands today.

From Port Aransas take the Aransas Pass-Port Aransas ferry to TX 361 N, then turn right onto Harbor Island Road.


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