best places to kayak in Hourson

Photo courtesy UnSplash/Carl Heyerdahl

Hot, humid weather is nothing new in Houston, and this time of year it’s here to stay. Luckily, the city has a nice collection of lakes and waterways that allow you to beat the heat. A kayak is a good way to get out on the water and take in the local birds, trees, aquatic life and everything else nature has to offer.

Kayaking is a relaxing activity that nearly everyone can enjoy. Whether you have your own equipment or need to rent some, you’ll find many beautiful locations to spend the day on the water. We’ve got a list of a few top spots that are an easy drive from the AMLI Houston apartments. Grab your paddle and get ready to explore the best places to Kayak in Houston.

Brays Bayou

This urban paddling route allows you to tour downtown Houston by water! Pass through notable landmarks like Hermann Park, the University of Houston, MacGregor Park, the NRG Park sports complex and so much more. Brays Bayou is one of Houston’s Largest watersheds, stretching across 21 miles of paddle-worthy water.

Galveston Island State Park

This calm, shallow waterway surrounds Galveston Island State Park and is perfect for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. You can choose from several paths that vary in length from 2.6 to 4.8 miles. You can easily make this a day or weekend trip as there are also many hiking trails to explore and camping areas to spend the night.

Stephen F. Austin paddling trail

This choose your own adventure trail is comprised on four different waterways­­—Columbia Bottomland Waterway, Old Settlement Passage, Sugar Mill Stretch and Gulf Prairie Run. This trail covers a total of 35 miles and offers fluctuating levels of difficulty and scenery. These trails cover a great distance where you’ll see wildlife and wooded areas all while giving you a natural river experience right in the city of Houston.

Buffalo Bayou paddling trail

This 26-mile waterway is one of the city’s most popular. It will take you from Highway 6 to Allen’s Landing to the heart of downtown. Enjoy the calm waters and make your way through downtown Houston. See birds, turtles, fish, plants and other wildlife in this urban water trail. The banks of the Buffalo Bayou are home to natural sand, sandstone, red Beaumont clay and other beautiful geology. While you won’t be able to complete the entire 26 miles in one day, you can enjoy different segments over the course of several days and see the changing scenery throughout the trail. Bring your own kayak or rent one from Bayou City Adventures.

Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail

This 4.8-mile loop is perfect for beginners and kids. Located in Beaumont, the route from Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail offers plenty of wildlife through moss-draped cypress trees that line the Neches River. Depending on the wind and water levels, this trip will take paddlers anywhere from two to five hours. This waterway has many river channels and off shoots to explore, making it a new adventure every time.

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best places to kayak in houston

About Lauren Fischer


Lauren is a freelance web designer and writer out of Asheville, NC. Lauren has worked with a variety of businesses from manufacturing, healthcare, non-profits, and eCommerce shops to enhance their online presence. When she's not working, she's hiking with her dogs, cooking something tasty, or planning her next adventure.