The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) operates close to 60 miles of paddling trails within the San Antonio River Basin – some of these paddling trails are recognized by TPWD as inland paddling trails, but not all of our paddling trails have been fully updated on the TPWD inland paddling trail website. Here’s some information that we post on our webpage and YouTube channel – you’re welcome to link to this information and/or summarize it for your website for sharing to the public.
Paddling Trails moving from north to south:
- Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk: This section of the River Walk is not regularly open for paddling. However, the River Authority hosts a few special paddling events per year, including a night time event in December when all the holiday lights are up. The public should follow the River Authority’s event page and social media channels to learn when Museum Reach paddling events are scheduled.
- Downtown section of the San Antonio River Walk: The City of San Antonio does allow for paddling in the historic downtown River Walk, typically on weekend mornings. Paddlers can rent equipment from Go Rio Cruises or pay a small access fee if you’re bringing your own equipment. The downtown River Walk paddling is closed over the winter months and will reopen in Spring 2022. Go to Go Rio Cruises or Mission Adventure Tours to learn more.
- San Antonio River Walk sections – King William Paddling Trail, Eagleland Paddling Trail, and Mission Reach Paddling Trail – the Mission Reach is one of the nations largest urban ecosystem restoration projects. All three of these River Walk paddling trails are open to the public every day during daylight hours from dawn to dusk. The King William and Eagleland paddling trails each only have one access point while the Mission Reach Paddling Trail has several access points for people to plan their trip around the length they wish to paddling. For those who don’t have their own equipment, the River Authority has approved vendors listed on this page for rental options. The River Authority has also produced short videos in English and Spanish to help promote these three paddling trails (English part 1/part 2 and Spanish part 1/part 2).
- SASPAMCO Paddling Trail: This paddling trail is close to 30-miles long, starting in southern Bexar County and ending near Floresville in Wilson County. There are access points at River Crossing Park, Graytown Park, Helton Nature Park (which allows for overnight camping), CR 117, and the final take-out point is at Floresville River Park – so the trip can be broken into smaller pieces. Here is part 1 (English/Spanish) of what will be a two part video series about this paddling trail. We hope to finish part 2 of the video series later this year. There can occasionally be significant log jams on the SASPAMCO Paddling Trail – the River Authority will post known log jams on our website to warn the public and our staff attempts to remove the jams when safe and feasible to do so.
- Goliad Paddling Trail: This paddling trail is close to 20-miles long, all in Goliad County. There are access points at Riverdale Rd., Hwy 59, Ferry St. (in Goliad near Branch River Park), and the final take-out point is at the Goliad State Park. Plans are underway to expand the Goliad Paddling Trail northward by adding another access point in the next year at Hwy 239 – this will add close to 15 additional miles to make the entire paddling trail close to 35 miles. The River Authority has also produced short videos in English and Spanish to help promote the Goliad Paddling Trail (English part 1/part 2 and Spanish part 1/part 2). There can occasionally be significant log jams on the Goliad Paddling Trail – the River Authority will post known log jams on our website to warn the public and our staff attempts to remove the jams when safe and feasible to do so.
- We don’t recommend for people to kayak south beyond Goliad State Park, but if folks do, we encourage everyone to get out at the Duke Ranch Rd. bridge (CR 2506) in Goliad County – which is about 22-miles downstream from Goliad State Park. People should not attempt to go any further beyond the Duke Rd. bridge. In the stretch of river between Duke Rd. and the confluence with the Guadalupe River, there are often massive log jams which are not passable, so folks will end up having to get out on private ranch land.
- Here are our paddling safety suggestions for the public who may want to paddling within the San Antonio River Basin. The River Authority conducts water quality testing throughout the basin each week and posts the latest bacteria data on our website each Friday to give the public the most up-to-date water quality information. We also provide links to various USGS stations throughout the basin so paddlers can have easy access to check current flow and recent rainfall data. We will also post park, access point, and paddling trail closure information. All this bacteria, flow data, and closure information is available on our Current Conditions page.
- There are a few folks at the River Authority who have kayaked the San Antonio River from its headwaters to Goliad, I am one of those folks, and you’re welcome to include my contact information on your website if people have questions about the paddling trails or other areas of the river not easily accessible by a formal paddling trail. Mike Gramley (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the River Authority’s Recreation Superintendent, you’re welcome to include his contact information as well.
- We are planning to expand the paddling trails in time on the San Antonio River as well as on the Medina River (between Castroville and the confluence with the San Antonio River). Hopefully within the next few years we’ll be able to open up additional access points to expand the paddling trail system in the San Antonio River Basin.
- We host family-friendly paddling events throughout the year as part of our Be River Proud Kayaking Event Series – for many of these events, we’ll provide kayaks to those who don’t have their own equipment (sometimes for free or sometimes for a small donation to the San Antonio River Foundation – which is a non-profit organization that supports the River Authority’s mission).
- We’ve recently launched the San Antonio River Basin Paddling Race Series that includes four races throughout the basin. We’d welcome your support promoting these paddling races!
- Mike’s recreation team also hosts paddling events for organizations – often for beginners and often for historically under-served populations. He can be contacted directly to learn more about how an organization can possible get a private paddling tour/lesson.
- Finally, there are also two short films you can share if you wish; I made both these from footage of my paddling trip from San Antonio to Seadrift. The first is a 26-min film that really highlights the river, some historic points along the river, and the River Authority’s parks and paddling trails. The second film is a 60-min documentary about the trip down the river featuring those who made the trip with me.
Please let me and/or Mike know if you have any additional questions.
Steven Schauer, Director of External Communications
San Antonio River Authority
100 E. Guenther, San Antonio, Texas 78204