Here’s the list of the 5 best places to paddle board or kayak only 30 minutes from Boerne, Medina or Bandera.
At the risk of offending everyone in Austin – Kerrville has equal, if not more potential for river fun than anywhere within an hour drive of Lady Bird Lake.
If you like to swim, fish, picnic, cookout or play on the shore all in addition to paddling on calm, wide, protected river runs, then read on.
Kerrville has 4 places you need to know about plus 2 back-ups in case you can’t stay still. One of which is a hands-down, no brainer Top 10 in Texas list maker.
Louise Hays Park, in downtown Kerrville
This should be the first place you paddle in Kerrville. I wish this could be the first place I take anyone from out of state to experience Texas.
Bonus – There is on-site kayak and sup rentals. In addition to the details below, one of the many perks about this place is even if you just show up on a spring or summer day, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards right at the park. Kerrville Kayak & Canoe (or KK&C) is the one outfitter who’s got permission from the city to operate at the park and brings a trailer of gear from their shop and sets up under the Sidney Baker Bridge. No excuse to not get on the water!
So here’s why the great rating:
Waterfront and Beach: 5 out of 5 stars.
The waterfront has gradual wade-in places as well as grassy, curbed edges so you can set your chair partway in the water or on the grass under the beautiful, large cypress trees that line the banks.
Can you drive up to put in a paddle board or kayak right by the water’s edge? Yes!
The public can drive right up to the water front under the Sidney Baker bridge and unload anything you want. Bring everything and the kitchen sink right to the water’s edge, but you’ll need to park back up in the normal parking lot when you’re done.
It’s easy to put in a SUP almost anywhere for a quarter mile stretch north along the river’s edge in the park. Couldn’t ask for it any easier.
Clean Calm Water? 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The river’s dam is a few hundred feet from the Sidney Baker bridge, and keeps the water level, deep, calm and enjoyable for kids to swim and play all along the park. You won’t see crystal clear to the bottom, so we’ll reserve the 5 out of 5 for that rare occation. However they city takes excellent care of the park and river’s cleanliness so it’s a great place to ‘accidently’ knock your friend off their SUP if they look like they’re breaking a sweat. PS you’re in Texas, you’ll break a sweat.
Parking: 5 stars out of 5
You can unload at the river’s edge, or park at one of the three lots inside the park: One by the large pavilion on the north edge of the park, one in the middle, and one on the south by the walking trail. Or on crazy busy holiday weekends there is overflow parking in the shopping center across the street on the south west side.
Picnic and day-use area: 5 out of 5.
This park has it all. And it’s so large it can accommodate the entire town and surrounding area for the 4th of July and still not feel over crowded.
It has a splash pad for kids and toys to play on, walking trails, bbq pits and tables, a dog park, volley ball courts reservable pavilions, miles of paved walking trails… and more.
This place is a gem, and everyone within an hour drive can try to spoil it by coming at once yet it can still handle the crowd.
If you have a bad time here it’s either you’re fault or the weather’s. It’s not the City of Kerrville who basically solidified that their city center will be enjoyable for decades to come.
So high-five, Kerrville! Awesome park.
Oh… there’s 4 other places you need to know about.
- Kerrville-Schreiner Park 5/5. Total gem. “Flatrock Lake” by the locals
- Nimitz Lake (only called that on Google maps) / Town Lake
- Flatrock Park – the old dog park. There’s nothing there but free to get into.
- Ingram Lake
Ready to paddle? Check out my GEAR REVIEWS
Side-by-Side reviews of Electric SUP pump and my recommendation
Some electric pumps I recommend are these:
- I always use this better one for around $95.
- But if price is an issue, a “good enough” one is under $60. I have one of these too, but it’s not my first choice. It takes longer to inflate.
- And if you don’t want an electric pump, but want to upgrade, I recommend these giant hand pumps.
Need a great waterproof dry bag for your phone?
Here’s some I love:
- This is an awesome “Phone + a little more” water proof dry bag for just $25.
- But a better phone-only pouch is this one for $20
- And a “Good enough” option is this phone-only dry pouch for $7 or (2 for $12)