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
Fifty-seven 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 eight Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of DFW. They include: Dallas Trinity Paddling Trail, Joe Pool Lake and Walnut Creek Paddling Trail (Grand Prairie), Lake Arlington Paddling Trail and River Legacy Parks Paddling Trail on the Trinity River (Arlington).
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 & Kayaking 101’ brochure.
Water Conditions & 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 member 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 that you have reviewed these informative safety websites:
What To Bring
- U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Jackets
- Sound Producing Device
- Canoe Or Kayak
- Water & Snacks
- Sunglasses, Hat, Sunscreen
Outdoor Fun For Kids:
- Junior Ranger Explorer Packs
- Texas Geocache Challenge
- Outdoor Kids Journal
- Neighborhood Fishin’ Program
- Animal Trackers
- Ranger Talks