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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Texas 2021

Texas Paddleboard

1: Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park Paddleboard
When it comes to the best paddleboarding spots in the world, you want to go to a place that you can paddle every day for a year, maybe even the rest of your life, and see something new. Caddo Lake fits that description and then some, as it is the second-largest natural lake in the South, filled with over 25,000 acres of water teeming with cool sights and secrets.

Large, looming cypress trees decorated with Spanish moss mark much of the lake’s landscape, occupied by eagles and owls in the air, beavers and bobcats on the shore, and alligators just below the surface. Caddo Lake is famous for another reason as well, as it is one of the most popular places for sighting Bigfoot in the United States! Between its size and mystical aura permeating the whole lake, Caddo Lake is our favorite paddleboarding spot in Texas and one of our top recommended SUP destinations in the entire United States.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 211
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Shreveport, 3 hours to Dallas
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake Paddleboard
Lady Bird Lake is one of Texas’s most popular places to paddleboard, and for a good reason. Thanks to the total ban on motorized vehicles, the calm waters are perfect for first-time paddlers, young paddlers, and those who want to practice yoga without dealing with the whir of motor boats.

With over 450 square acres of water, touring enthusiasts can get their fill as they explore the lake, with over eight different beaches and launch points that are perfect for sunbathing or getting into the water. With more than a dozen SUP vendors and rental companies, along with other events that happen on and around the water, Lady Bird Lake is one of the best places to paddle around the Austin area.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 228
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Austin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: West End/Zilker Park

Zilker Park Lake Paddleboard
Lady Bird Lake is a hotspot for paddleboarders, but it can also be overwhelming at times, especially to those who prefer something quieter. If solitude is what you seek, zip over to Zilker Park and visit West End. While West End doesn’t have as many vendors or instructors as Lady Bird Lake, West End is quieter, making it better suited for yogis wanting to practice asanas without worrying about other paddlers or beginners who want more room.

The real treat of West End, though, and the reason it makes our list, is the nighttime paddling it offers. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of paddleboards lit up with neon-colors fill the water at night, illuminating the water providing a unique nighttime paddling experience. So, if you’re a night owl looking to join the crowds at night or a beginner who wants a bit more peace during the day, West End is a great place to paddle in Austin.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 228
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Austin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Lake Travis

Lake Travis Paddleboard
Lake Travis, one of the best paddle boarding spots to visit if you’re in the Austin Area, is over 18,000 square acres of water, not even considering the Colorado River flowing into it. With such a large lake, you can try a little bit of everything while you’re there, be it from some light yoga and cruising to some dedicated touring adventures or even some wind foiling and surfing.

However, Lake Travis is on our list in part because of the local businesses that surround the lake, which is welcoming to those who want to paddle to shore and see what they have to offer. Renting equipment is relatively inexpensive as well, with some vendors renting top of the line paddleboards for as little as $10 an hour.

You can start your paddling adventure from Lakeway Marina if you need to borrow equipment or launch yourself from anywhere along the shore if you feel like setting your trail on the water. If you’re in Austin, Lake Travis is one of the best and easiest places to paddleboard while you’re in the capital of the lone star state.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 228
Distance to Major Cities: Direct access to Austin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Colorado River

Colorado River Paddleboard
Once you’re done exploring Lake Travis, you can start paddling North or launch from Lago Vista to explore the Colorado River. Measuring 862 miles long, anglers who want a bit more variety from the typical Black Bass and catfish they’ve been catching will find the river filled with Walleye, Striped Bass, and Rainbow Trout for the most daring and experienced anglers.

Whitewater paddlers will find multiple spots to test their abilities, as you will find up to Class V rapids depending on where you go, so use caution as you paddle further downstream. For those who prefer something more tranquil, paddle on over to Buchanan Lake for an easy-going, quieter experience where you can spread out and practice yoga, cruise, or hang out with friends.

The fun doesn’t have to stop at Lake Travis if you’re in the Austin area, so make sure to cut up north to hit the Colorado River.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 228
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Austin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

6: Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park Paddleboard
Inks Lake State Park is one of the most popular state parks in the country, and a significant reason is an 800-acre lake that is well suited for families or those looking to take in the beauty of nature. The Inks Lake reservoir is formed from the Colorado River due to the Inks Dam and is marked by sparkling clear blue water surrounded by pink granite rock along the edge of the lake. There is also easy access to beaches that are a part of over 200 campgrounds in the State Park.

Outside of touring adventures, fishing, and yoga sessions, you can also consult with local vendors to go on guided SUP scuba diving adventures, helping you swim with the local Bass and Catfish instead of having to catch them. This is one of the ultimate family and causal SUP getaways on our list, with some challenging alcoves and hard to reach spots, like the Devil’s Waterhole, satisfying more advanced paddlers.

Due to the state park’s popularity, you may want to consider making a reservation ahead of time before visiting. Still, if you’re in the Austin area, this is another SUP destination worth checking out!

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 228
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes to Austin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

7: Sequin Paddle Trail

Sequin Paddle Trail Paddleboard
For those who prefer paddling on a river, the Sequin Paddle Trail is a 4-mile loop on the Guadalupe River that beginners and advanced paddlers alike will enjoy! While there aren’t any serious rapids or tricky turns to overcome, the abundance of cypress, pecan, and sycamore trees is worth paying attention to, along with the hawks and squirrels, raccoons, and other creatures that live in the local vegetation.

While you are welcome to complete the paddle trail in one go, there are plenty of attractions you’ll want to gaze at or visit along the way. Max Starcke Park is a Pecan Orchard now converted to include a full 18 hole golf course, secluded fishing areas, tennis, and other activities on the 227-acre park. Saffold Dam is an ancient mill built just before the civil war back in 1853, while famous Texan revolutionary Juan Seguin is buried on the trail.

The entire trail is typically completed in two to three hours, but make the most of the trip by visiting multiple stops along the way on the Seguin Paddle Trail outside of San Antonio.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 220
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to San Antonio
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

8: Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail

Nichol's Landing Paddling Trail Paddleboard
There’s a ton of places you can visit to capture the beauty and wonder of Texas. Still, for aspiring photographers trying to get a sample of the landscape, we recommend hitting Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail. The 10-mile trail is located about an hour north of San Antonio.

The Sequin Paddling Trail is meant for beginners, Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail is for intermediate to advanced paddlers instead. As you paddle, you’ll be able to get shots of all sorts of animals in their natural habitat, including armadillos, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and bobcats as they roam along the shore. Anglers won’t feel left out either, as Carp, Sunfish, Crappie, and all sorts of Bass and Catfish will be easy to catch as you paddle along this trail.

In total, it takes most paddlers 3 to 6 hours to complete this trail, though you’ll also find plenty of reasons to take your time to enjoy the beauty of Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 220
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to San Antonio
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

9: Bandera City Park/Medina Lake

Medina Lake Paddleboard
Several lakes around San Antonio are worth exploring, but if you’re fishing in Texas, you’re going to want to pay a visit to Bandera City Park. A small cut out on the Medina River, Bandera City Park is well stocked with impressive fish such as Largemouth bass, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish.

If you want to go on a touring adventure or get away from the families that congregate around Bandera City Park, you can either keep paddling through the river or drive on over to Medina Lake. Medina Lake has an impressive 6,000 square acres of water to explore, with over 110 miles of shoreline that you can launch from or rest at.

So, if you want to visit Bandera, the cowboy capital of the world, or looking for the best place to SUP near San Antonio, pay a visit to Bandera City Park or Medina Lake!

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 220
Distance to Major Cities: 1 hour to San Antonio
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited to Medina Lake
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

10: Louise Hays Park

Louise Hays State Park Paddleboard
River runners, touring enthusiasts, and those who like going on overnight paddling trips will want to consider going to the Louise Hays Park in Kerrville, Texas. Located on the Guadalupe River, you can paddle to the west to get to Nimitz Lake. Here you can get some wind foiling in if you have the proper gear.

Alternatively, head to the southeast to hit Kerrville Lake, where you’ll be able to catch large Bass and Catfish. It does take a bit of a drive to get there, but Louise Hays Park offers multiple waterfront options and is out of the way enough that you can have a memorable paddling experience that few others have had the chance to experience.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 260
Distance to Major Cities: Direct access to Kerrville, 1 Hour and 15 Minutes to San Antonio
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

11: Grapevine Lake

Grapevine Lake Paddleboard
Grapevine Lake, located just minutes away from the Dallas Fortworth International Airport, isn’t a dedicated paddleboard park. Still, it might as well be given the number of activities you can do at the impressive 8,000 square acre lake.

Anglers who want to test their skill and luck will catch Largemouth, Smallmouth, Black, and Sand Bass, besides other fish like Crappie and Blue Catfish. Touring SUPers will have plenty of water to explore and exciting sights to see, from the impressive cliff shoreline to the underwater alcoves and boulders, with dozens of camping spots and beaches making it easy to come to shore to rest.

Go out far enough, and you’ll even be able to get some SUP surfing in or stay near one of the many paddling vendors for guided, hour-long SUP yoga sessions catered to newbies and yogis alike. If you’re in Dallas, Grapevine Lake is the best destination to go to for paddleboarding and among the best destinations in the entire state of Texas.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 234
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Dallas
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

12: White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake Paddleboard
There are dozens of lakes to check out while you are in the Dallas area, but if Grapevine is a bit too busy or wants to go somewhere on Dallas’ south side, visit White Rock Lake! The best feature about White Rock Lake that makes it worth visiting for all types of paddlers is that you can view much of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden from the water.

If you prefer animals and fish to the beautiful flora, Largemouth Bass and Gar populate the lake, while Bobcats, Boars, Minks, and other animals tend to wander around the Old Fish Hatchery. White Rock Lake does tend to be fairly windy, making it an excellent option for those who are just starting to learn how to wind foil from a paddleboard.

For the superstitious or investigators of the paranormal, some say that a phantom haunts the waters to this day leaving behind watery footprints where she walks! While we don’t know if you’ll encounter ghosts, we do know you’ll have a ton of fun and have plenty to do as you paddle around White Rock Lake in Dallas.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 234
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Dallas
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

13: Galveston Island

Galveston Island Paddleboard
If you’re going to become a true paddleboard enthusiast, you’re going to want to learn how to surf with a SUP eventually. If that’s the case, or if you’re looking for some of the best waves off the coast of Texas, Galveston Island is one of our top recommendations for you. Located about an hour away from Houston, Galveston Island is marked by a 27-mile long coastline filled with beaches to satisfy beginners and advanced paddlers alike.

Those who are new to SUP surfing will want to visit the 25th or 37th streets for calmer waves, while more experienced paddlers will find better waves and other surfers frequenting the beach near 51st and 61st streets. There are plenty of SUP vendors and instructors who will help you get your fishing gear assembled or guide you in yoga sessions as well, so even non-surfers will enjoy paddling at Galveston Island.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 203
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Houston
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

14: South Padre Island

South Padre Island Paddleboard
If you’re looking for even more great surfing and don’t mind paying the money or going on the long drive, South Padre Island offers fantastic surfing on the border of Texas and Mexico. Some of the largest, most powerful waves can be surfed off South Padre Island’s beaches, and unlike some other surfing spots, you can expect great surf all year long. Over a dozen beaches along the coast of South Padre are all great launching points for SUPers, with SUP vendors happy to rent out gear and provide lessons for those trying to get into SUP surfing.

While it’s lower on our list due to the time and cost it takes to get there, South Padre Island is worth visiting if you want to have an ultimate SUP surfing experience.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 227
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes to Edinburg, 5 Hours to San Antonio
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

15: Rio Grande River Paddleboard

Rio Grande River Paddleboard
Located right on Texas and Mexico’s border, the Rio Grande is an almost 1,900-mile-long river through canyons, cliffs, and red rock that will delight those who enjoy SUPing in the desert. Depending on where you go, you can build your skills on mild class I and II rapids or test your stability and control as you hit Class III and IV rapids.

Fishing enthusiasts will always have something new to look for, as 166 different fish species have been identified living in the Rio Grande. Due to the Rio Grande’s lake, there’s hundreds of places you can launch from for an excellent paddling experience, but head to La Linda or the Big Bend National Park for easy to access beaches and guided touring adventures.

It’s off the beaten track, but if you want to test your whitewater skills and paddle through beautiful cliffs along the border, make sure to visit the Rio Grande.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 239
Distance to Major Cities: 5 Hours to Panama City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes, but not common due to shallowness of the river
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Dependant on Launch Point

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you so much for reading our list of best places to paddleboard in Texas! We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list and that it’s introduced a couple of new places for you to check out. As part of our fifty state series, you can expect to see us write about destinations in Utah and other states soon.

While we’ve had the chance to visit some of these states and destinations, we rely on the opinions and reviews of others to write about many of them. So, if you have a favorite place to paddleboard in your home state that you think everyone in the country should check out, let us know! Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts on the best places to paddle in Texas or other states, or send us an email with your thoughts. You can also find reviews, instructional guides, and more from our team at SUPBoardGuide.com, so be sure to visit our other articles as well if you want to learn more about paddleboarding!

Thank you again for visiting, and we hope you have a blast on your next SUP adventure!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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