Houston is known for a lot of things but when it comes to paddle boarding, it might not be the first city to come to your mind. Sure, Houston is not like Hawaii which is where paddle boarding originated, but the Space City does have some wonderful places where SUP riders can have fun visiting. In the content below we will show you where to go paddle boarding in Houston.
Probably the most popular paddling spot in Houston is the 26-mile Buffalo Bayou. Stretching for the west parts of Houston all the way to downtown Houston, the waterway has multiple access points and you can start your paddling session from any of these points.
If you don’t own an SUP, you can find one at the Bayou City Adventures available for hire. Since Buffalo Bayou is a one-way channel, new SUPers should consider planning for the trip before heading out. We recommend using access points closer to downtown Houston (e.g Sabine Street entry). The Buffalo Bayou hosts the Annual Buffalo bayou Partnership Regatta each year, bringing hundreds of SUPers from all over to participate in the popular Houston festival.
If you want to enjoy a quite and peaceful session of stand up paddle boarding Houston has Lake Houston for you. The waters may not be suitable for a day of swimming, but paddlers will find its surroundings worth the ride. In particular, River Grove Park is a great place to start your paddling session. Make sure you head to the island area for an even better experience. Renting a paddleboard may not be the best option here. It’s better to come fully packed!
Galveston Island State Park
Southeast of Houston are the salty waters of Galveston Island. The state park hosts three main paddling trails going up to 4 miles long. It’s best to paddle along the trails, especially for newbies, as the waters here are closer to the bay and much calmer. The state park is generally spacious but summer is usually flooded with beachgoers.
You’ll need to bring your own gear while heading to Galveston State Park- rentals are not yet available. However, the state park is well-known paddling spot and sometimes kayakers come to join the sport.
The Armand Bayou is an important spot for paddlers in Houston. The waterways trail the Nature Center up to the Clear Lake. Expect incredible views and diverse species of wildlife along the trails. But remember, not all wildlife is safe for paddlers- the waters at Armand Bayou hosts a couple of 10-footers and alligators. They may not be easily seen from above, but you still need to be careful while paddling. Rentals at Armand Bayou are easily accessible and the Water Sports Clear Lake is one of our favorites as they have cheaper prices.
For an urban setting, The Woodlands is your best paddling spot. It is strategically located between the busy city and a few scattered trees along the way. There are plenty of parking space and docks, along with renting facilities in case you didn’t carry your own paddleboard. Sometimes paddlers love staying late at the Woodlands just to listen to the nearby concerts drifting sound all the way from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion.
This area is also filled with recreation amenities such as shops, restaurants, and a family-friendly playground. Even if you don’t sign up for a paddling session, you’ll still have fun while visiting The Woodlands.
Whenever you want to try paddle boarding Houston is there to satisfy you. No matter if you are just starting to learn how to paddle board or looking to have a day of relaxation on your inflatable SUP, you should be able to find a suitable place in Houston. Despite being the most populous cities in Texas, the Bayou City is actually a pretty great place for stand up paddle boarding. Also, if you are into fishing, try SUP fishing, that way you can enjoy the fun of both SUP and fishing. Hot spots for SUP fishing in Houston include Lake Anahuac, McGovern Lake, Lake Conroe, Lake Livingston, Tom Bass Park, etc. You can use an inflatable SUP or get a dedicated fishing SUP board to go fishing, both should work okay.