Best Places for Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Central Texas
One of the best workouts that those in a 55+ community can do is stand-up paddle boarding. Stand-up paddle boarding helps improve balance and strengthens many of our muscles, core and otherwise. All of this adds up to the activity being a great physical workout. Additionally, it’s a low-impact sport that provides little threat to your ligaments and tendons.
Fortunately, we at Kissing Tree are near several outstanding places to take part in this fun activity.
One of the best places to go stand-up paddle boarding is right here in San Marcos, on the San Marcos River. In fact, it attracts many throughout Central Texas and the rest of the Lone Star State. Some portions of it are more challenging with whitewater conditions in Rio Vista Park, but other parts are much calmer, especially the section above the park. This latter area and its slow deep currents have been described as perfect conditions for beginners.
Another popular destination for stand-up paddle boarders is Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail, which is less than an hour’s drive west of San Marcos. It’s part of the Guadalupe River, which runs from Kerr County, about another 40 minutes further to the west, to the Gulf of Mexico. The upper river is a more relaxing section, and paddlers go through Guadalupe River State Park, providing a bit of beauty to the surroundings as well. The portion of the river that Nichol’s Landing Paddling Trail consists of is 10 miles long, providing those on it with up to six hours of paddling time.
About a 90-minute drive north is Burnet’s Inks Lake. One reason why paddlers love this place is because a large no-wake zone has been set aside for them, providing near-perfect conditions for beginners and anybody wanting a more relaxing paddling experience. Paddleboards can be rented from Inks Lake State Park. The entire lake is 4 miles long and half a mile wide, and it’s surrounded by cedar and oak woodlands on hilly terrain. A beautiful bridge goes over a portion of the lake, while Inks Dam can be viewed from many areas of the lake as well.
A convenient option for those who want to get out of San Marcos but not go too far, is Austin’s Lady Bird Lake which is roughly a 45-minute drive from Kissing Tree. Its entire paddling trail is 11 miles long while loops of varying lengths. Depending on which route is taken and the water levels and wind speed that are experienced, float time can range from one hour to six. It is surrounded by land-based trails, offering paddlers the opportunity to do some cross training if they wish.