Austin is the state capital of Texas. An inland city that borders the Hill Country region, it’s known for its eclectic live music as much as its parks and lakes. The city’s warm climate makes it a year-round destination for kayakers and other water lovers.
Best Kayaking Destinations in Austin, Texas
Grab your kayak, canoe or standup paddle board! It’s time to get out and enjoy the sparkling waters surrounding Austin with these top kayaking destinations near the Texas capital.
Lady Bird Lake
Perhaps the most popular spot to kayak in Austin, Lake Bird Lake offers a calm, motor-free paddle with stunning city views on one side and the greenery of Zilker Park on the other. Lady Bird Lake is a 416-acre reservoir on the Colorado River that was created by the damming of the river in 1960. The lake offers plenty of launch points and an easy, peaceful paddle. Popular paddles include Barton Creek, Red Bud Isle and Festival Beach.
Less crowded, but with the addition of motorboat traffic, Lake Austin is another popular kayaking destination within the city limits. It’s another lake created by the damming of the Colorado River and is the best place in Austin for paddling if you are looking for natural scenery. Grand homes line sections of the lake, but for the most part you’ll find tranquil, secluded water surrounded by old trees and natural beauty.
Escape the city and head into Hill Country. Lake Travis is just 30 minutes from downtown Austin and a popular summertime destination for live music, dining, parties and, of course, water sports. The lake is 30 square miles, offering plenty of space for paddlers. The lake offers hidden coves as well as a handful of small islands, perfect for exploring.
Inks Lake State Park is an hour and a half northwest of Austin, and an excellent option for outdoor fun. The lake is great for kayaking, fishing, swimming and even cliff jumping. It’s a fun, 800-acre horseshoe shaped lake that’s 4.2 miles long. Kayakers will enjoy the hilly landscape with jutting pink limestone outcrops, as well as Texas’s beautiful mix of forest trees, grasses, wildflowers and cacti. The state park also offers hiking trails and a campground.
Johnson City, Texas
Flowing over and around huge slabs of limestone, the Pedernales River can offer a fast and challenging paddle with whitewater rapids and waterfalls. It’s a spring-fed, free-flowing and extremely scenic river that cuts through the heart of former President, Lyndon B. Johnson’s part of Texas. The river flows for 106 miles through rocky and rugged land with stands of Cedar trees, limestone bluffs and cliffs. Paddlers often put in at Johnson City, take out at Pedernales Falls State Park. The river varies between 30 to 60 feet wide and is usually shallow. However, when the river rises 1 to 2 feet above normal, it becomes a breathtaking playground for experience kayakers.
Austin Kayak Storage Racks
One of the best ways to explore the Hill Country region surrounding Austin, Texas is by kayak. Make sure your kayak is ready for the sparkling lakes and rivers near Austin with a proper place to store it. Log Kayak Rack offers cedar log kayak and canoe storage racks that are as beautiful as they are practical. They safely store kayaks, keeping them high and dry, and neatly organize shorelines, backyards, parks and rental facilities. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your Austin kayak storage needs.