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Texas Parks: Life's better outside



June: Fishing
May: Picnicking
April: Birding
March: Photography
February: Biking
January: Hiking
December: Family gathering
November: Camping
October: History
September: Geocaching

Cars you depend on. Dealers you trust.

Keep cool this summer and have fun with your family! Go paddling in a state park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail. On the water, it's easier than ever to experience a closer view of wildlife and scenery! Many state parks offer places that will rent you the equipment you need: canoes, kayaks, and life-jackets, as well as teach paddling basics.

Texas Paddling Trails

57 designated Texas Paddling Trails provide well-mapped, accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience. Visit our paddling website for trail maps and photos, info on canoe/kayak rentals, directions to designated access sites and fishing and wildlife information. There are 4 Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Houston. They include: Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail, Galveston Island State Park Paddling Trail, and Christmas Bay Paddling Trail. Paddling Resources

If you are looking for some paddling tips before you head out:

  • Watch a how to paddle a canoe video
  • Do this free online paddling course
  • Read this Canoeing and Kayaking 101 brochure

    Water Conditions and Safety

    Open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, bays, bayous, ponds, oceans) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and therefore warrant extra precautions. The key differences are that there are no lifeguards; water conditions can change rapidly; and underwater currents sometimes exist. . Before you go paddling, tell a friend or family memeber where you will be and when you expect to return. It is recommended that everyone who participates in boating should wear a life jacket. In fact in Texas, children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket. All vessels (including canoes and kayaks) must have a sound producing device and at least one Type I, II, III or V Life Jacket of the proper fit for each person on board.

    Remember, the life you save may be your own! Before you paddle make sure you've reviewed these informative safety websites:

  • Wear it Texas
  • Nobody's Waterproof

    Benefits of Nature Play

  • Send in your nature photos!

  • US Coast Guard Approved Life jackets
  • Sound Producing Device
  • Canoe or kayak
  • Water, snacks
  • Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen

    And please remember to keep your parks beautiful by following the Leave No Trace principles.

    Animal Trackers
    Outdoor Kid Journal
    Texas Geocaching Challenge
    Texas Outdoor Family Workshops
    Go Fish! Learn to Fish events
    Neighborhood Fishin' Program
    Ranger Talks

    Mega Doppler 13
    Check the forecast
    Interactive weather
  • Remember, pack what you bring in. Leave no trace!