Top places to paddle board and kayak near San Antonio
Looking for a place to kayak, paddle board or spend a day on the water? I’ve got you covered with all the info you need about the best places I’ve personally been to and recommend.
I rate 4 aspects of each place:
(1) The quality of the water – is it clean and calm?, (2) The waterfront – is it enjoyable?, (3) The parking & access – can you get to the water easy? (4) The day use area – are there good amenities?
My reviews are divided into the following San Antonio areas:
- North of San Antonio up I-10
- Around Media Lake
- North up 281 and I-35
- East of San Antonio on I-10 towards Houston
- San Antonio Inside the 1604 loop
Places to paddle North of San Antonio up I-10
Boerne, TX – Boerne City Lake Park
Read our detailed review of this solid all-around place to paddle, fish and play north of San Antonio.
Kerrville, TX – Louise Hays Park
Kerrville, TX – Flat Rock Park
Detailed review coming soon!
Places to paddle at Medina Lake or nearby
A large private river park with lots of amenities and camping
Private Park and lake paddling
(Mainly a boat launch – review coming soon!)
Bandera, TX – Bandera City Park
Charming city park with plenty of river for swimming and short paddling.
Places to paddle North of San Antonio up 281 or I-35
Canyon Lake – Turkey Cove / Boat ramp 2
kayak & boat launch protected from the wind with plenty of parking.
Canyon Lake – Canyon Lake Forrest / Boat ramp 5
All the Ramps at Canyon Lake
Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail
(photos coming soon)
Guadalupe River State Park
(photos coming soon)
Places to paddle East of San Antonio Towards Houston
Seguin, TX – Seguin Paddle Trail at Starkey Park
Places to paddle inside the San Antonio 1604 Loop
San Antonio River, SATX – Padre Park, south of downtown
Live Oak – The lake at Live Oak Park & Disk Golf course
(photos coming soon)
Places to paddle on the San Antonio River near downtown
- King William Paddling Zone: from Nueva south to the blue buoys above S. Alamo. Access from Guenther St. (.8 miles)
- Mission Reach Paddling Zone (area 1) from below the chute at VFW to the canoe chute adjacent to Padre Park. Access from VFW below the chute, or from Padre Park. (.7 miles)
- Mission Reach Paddling Zone (area 2) from the bridge below the canoe chute adjacent to Padre Park to the blue buoys above Espada Dam. Access from Espada or Acequia Park. (~1 mile)
Full Map from San Antonio River Authority (SARA) with every access point: https://www.sara-tx.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SARIP-Full-Map-2017-web11.pdf
NOTE: There are city rules to follow: (http://www.sanantonio.gov/ParksAndRec/Programs-Classes-Fun/Fun-On-Your-Own/Paddling)
San Antonio Parks with paddling lakes
- Elmendorf Lake Park, 3700 W. Commerce. Launch & Recovery Area: dock
- Miller’s Pond Park, 6175 Old Pearsall Park. Launch and Recovery Area: dock
- South Side Lions Park, 3900 Pecan Valley Drive. Launch and Recovery Area: Near pavilion #2 (Facing the pavilion, 30 to 40 yards to the east)
- Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati: Launch and Recovery Area: dock
- Medina River Natural Area, 15890 Highway 16 South: Launch & Recovery Area: Approximately 1/2 mile from the parking lot. Boundary: State Highway 16 to Old Applewhite Road
Places South of Downtown
Braunig Lake Park
Salas Family Park (fee to enter)
Medina River Natural Area
Side-by-Side reviews of Electric SUP pump and my recommendation
Some electric pumps I recommend are these:
- I use this fast and simple one for around $80. It’s quite until it gets to 1 PSI then kicks in the high-pressure pump. I always lend one of these to people who rent my Cypress paddle boards.
- But if price is an issue, this is a “good enough” one for about $55.
I have one of these too, but it’s not my first choice. It takes longer to inflate.
- I love this concept of a built-in battery, rechargeable electric pump, but the jury is still out on if the $140 is worth it.
- And if you don’t want an electric pump, but want to upgrade, I recommend these giant hand pumps.
See my whole list of recommended Pumps, Dry Bags for phones or gear, Life Jackets as well as my Inflatable Paddle board buying guide on my Gear Recommendations page!
Other detailed reviews of places to paddle and gear to love coming up!
Want to submit a review?
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Reviews of Guided Tours:
- Parking and accessibility – Is this easy to get to?
- The Shop – The storefront and amenities (if that applies)
- The Tour – How it works, and how it went
- The Equipment – The quality and variety of equipment available
- The Water – How long, fast, clean and smooth is the river trail?
- The Staff – Who’s behind the business?
- The Overall Value – what do you get for what you pay?