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Ultimate Guide To Kayaking In Dallas And Fort Worth

Mark Armstrong
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Northern Texas is filled with lakes, rivers, and creeks that can be the perfect places to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When you want to go kayaking in Dallas and Fort Worth areas you don’t have to travel too far to find some great spots.

We have put together a list of a few of our favorite Dallas/Fort Worth paddling locations so you can check some of them out for yourself.

Kayaking In Dallas And Fort Worth - PinterestPin

9 Best Places To Kayak Around Dallas And Fort Worth

1: Lake Lewisville

As one of the largest lakes in northern Texas, Lake Lewisville has thousands of acres for you to explore by kayak. There are several boat ramps around the lake, as well as parks where you can fish and launch a kayak.

Willow Grove Park on the western edge of the lake can be a good spot to launch, as well as Hidden Cove Park on the eastern shores, which also has camping.

2: Trinity River

Trinity River KayakingPin
Courtesy: Patrick Feller on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Trinity River runs through Fort Worth and Dallas with the Trinity River Paddling Trail offering 130 miles of kayaking adventures through cityscapes and countryside. There are plenty of launch sites along the river trail but there are also several dams on the route, which you have to portage around.

A good spot to launch for the Elm Fork of the Trinity River is at the LLELA Nature Preserve on the southern shores of Lake Lewisville.

3: Lake Arlington

Lake Arlington is easily accessible, located between Fort Worth and Dallas. Despite being right in the middle of an urban area it can feel like you’re much more remote. This can be a great place for beginners, as the water is calm.

There is also a flatwater paddling trail which can be ideal for kids and new paddlers. The lake can be a good spot for wildlife viewing, particularly bird watching, and fishing.

4: Joe Pool Lake

Joe Pool Lake is a 7,500-acre lake in the southern metroplex area that can be easy to access and great for paddling adventures and kayak fishing. The lake has lots of coves and creeks that can be fun to explore and calm for new paddlers.

Pedal kayaks for fishing reviewed

Cedar Hill State Park can be a good spot to launch but there are several other access points around the lake.

5: Lake Ray Hubbard

Lake Ray Hubbard can be a great place for a relaxing paddle where you can see a variety of birdlife and other wildlife. It can also be a good spot to fish. There’s a paddling trail that sets off from Paddle Point Park, covering 6 and a half miles.

However, this lake can get pretty windy, which can make paddling more difficult.

6: White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake in Dallas is a calm lake that can be ideal for beginners learning to paddle, as there is a 10hp limit on motorized vessels, minimizing wake. There are plenty of spots around the lake to park and launch your kayak, with several boat ramps on the northern and western shores.

7: Grapevine Lake

Just north of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, you’ll find Grapevine Lake, a 6,500-acre lake with lots of little coves and creeks. If you’re looking to fish, this can be a good spot, with Florida largemouth bass being the main catch.

With paddling trails of varying distances, this can be a great place for families. There are also lots of places around the lake to launch and park, including Oak Grove Park.

8: Eagle Mountain Lake

A few minutes’ drive northwest of downtown Fort Worth is Eagle Mountain Lake. This large flatwater lake has lots of creeks and coves that can be ideal for exploration and fishing. There are also several boat ramps and access points dotted around the lake.

Shady Grove Park can be a good spot to launch and you’ll also find parking and picnic areas, as well as a beach.

9: Brazos River

Brazos River KayakingPin
Courtesy: Granbury Texas on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Brazos River can be found less than an hour’s drive from Fort Worth and offers plenty of paddling miles, being the longest river in Texas. There are plenty of access points depending on how long you want your trip to be.

A good place to launch if you want to start close to Fort Worth is Lake Granbury, where you’ll find several boat ramps and places to rent kayaks.

What Are The Kayak Laws?

US Coast GuardPin

When paddling on Texas waters you will need to follow the state’s rules and regulations, which are designed to keep you and other water users safe.

  • PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) must be easily available for each person on board your kayak. These must be approved by the US Coast Guard and be in a suitable size and condition.
  • Children under 13 are required to wear a correctly sized US Coast Guard-approved PFD at all times while on a kayak.
  • Registration is not necessary for non-motorized vessels. But if you have a trolling motor on your kayak then it will need to be registered.
  • Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is illegal in Texas. You can be arrested, fined, and jailed if your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher.

Kayak Rentals And Tours Around Dallas And Fort Worth

Most large bodies of water in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will often have outfitters where you can rent kayaks and other gear.

Final Words

There are plenty of beautiful lakes and rivers around Dallas and Fort Worth but these are just a few of our top spots for experiencing nature without traveling too far from the metro area.

Do you have a favorite kayaking spot that you think should be on our list? Let us know. Remember to wear your life jacket, check the conditions before you head out, and stay safe on Texas waters.

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