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The Austin landscape is a perfect combination of natural environment, urban features, artistic expression, and cultural diversity. Offering various entertainment options, it is a dynamic and attractive destination for both locals and tourists. Paddle boarding Austin is a must-try activity when you’re in the city.

This article will discuss the top 16 Austin paddle board locations with detailed information. Each place has its own charm and will provide a unique experience. Hesitate no more. Let’s scroll down!

1. Lady Bird Lake

The first destination for paddle boarding in Austin, Texas, is Lady Bird Lake. In the tranquil setting of the lake, paddle boarders can enjoy the Congress Avenue Bridge, Zilker Park, and the city skyline. At sunset, you can witness the largest urban bat colony in North America, offering a breathtaking natural display.

Paddle Boarding Austin Lady Bird Lake

Source: Flickr

It’s a family-friendly destination with various launching points for your aquatic adventures.

  • Time to get there from Austin: The lake is located near downtown Austin, so only a 5-15 minute drive can take you there.
  • Water type: flat and calm freshwater
  • Parking points: Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, Red Bud Isle, or other entry points
  • Skill levels: suitable for all skill levels
  • Amenities: parking, picnic areas, and restrooms
  • Rental places: Various shops, such as Rowing Dock, Zilker Park Boat Rentals, or Texas Rowing Center, are available on the lake’s shores.

2. Lake Travis

Lake Travis is the deepest and largest lake in Austin, with a depth of 210 feet and a width of 18,000 acres. Paddle boarding Austin Lake Travis will be more memorable with its stunning waterscape.

2. Lake Travis

Image source: Rawpixel

Yet enthusiasts should always pay attention to wind conditions, water levels, and boat traffic, which can pose challenges and dangers. The area also features attractions to discover, such as Volente Beach, the Oasis, and Hippie Hollow.

  • Time to get there from Austin: Driving will take around 30-60 minutes.
  • Water type: choppy and deep freshwater
  • Parking points: You can park and access the lake through the Windy Point Park entrance
  • Skill levels: intermediate levels or experts
  • Amenities: parking, picnic areas, restrooms, boat ramps and trails
  • Rental places: Watercraft rental options are abundant. Popular rental places include Texas Boats and Recreation, Rowing Dock, or ATX Wakesurf.

3. Lake Austin

Many enthusiasts are already familiar with paddle boarding Lake Austin, a serene reservoir on the Colorado River. The place offers aquatic sports lovers a stunning backdrop of cliffs, hills, and luxurious mansions.

3. Lake Austin

Image source: Wikimedia commons

Paddle boarders can have a chance to see the native species and fully immerse themselves in the scenic surroundings.

  • Time to get there from Austin: Depending on your departure point, it will take around 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Water type: calm and clear freshwater
  • Parking points: You can park in Emma Long Park or near Loop 360 Boat Ramp.
  • Skill levels: Though beginners can also come, lake Austin paddle boarding is more suitable for intermediate or professional levels.
  • Amenities: parking, picnic areas, restrooms, boat ramps and trails
  • Rental places: Lake Austin paddle board rentals are available at Texas Rowing Center, Rowing Dock, Austin Boat Rentals, or Austin Paddle Shack.

4. Spring Lake

Spring Lake, a natural spring-fed body of water in San Marcos Springs, is a highlight for paddle boarding in Austin. Paddle boarders who are in love with nature can explore the aquatic life, underwater springs, and archaeological sites of the area.

Paddle Boarding Austin Spring Lake

Source: Flickr

Besides, there are tour guides who will explain to you the ecology and history of the lake.

  • Time to get there from Austin: About 30-45 minutes by car, depending on your location and traffic.
  • Water type: crystal-clear flat waters
  • Parking points: The Meadows Center or free parking on South Lakeshore Boulevard between Riverside and Pleasant Valley.
  • Skill levels: all level skills and family-friendly
  • Amenities: parking, picnic areas, restrooms, boat ramps and nice walking paths
  • Rental places: REI Austin

5. Secret Beach

If you want a quieter Austin Texas paddle boarding experience, give the Secret Beach a try. The place is secluded, even locating its place through GPS can be challenging though it’s just 15 minutes away from downtown Austin.

The beach is a half-mile hike from the parking lot and features beautiful views of the river and a nearby island with treehouses and rope swings.

  • Time to get there from Austin: It will take 15 to 20 minutes to drive and, at times, half a mile to hike from the parking place.
  • Water type: calm and shallow waters
  • Parking points: under the hiking trail
  • Skill levels: for both newbies and experts
  • Amenities: Lack of facilities, such as restrooms and food courts
  • Rental places: Austin, Texas paddle board rentals are not available, so you should bring your own gear

6. Barton Creek

A little adventurous experience in Barton Creek is why sport lovers like paddle board Austin TX. Specifically, the creek features natural ecosystems of caves, waterfalls, and rapids.

Paddle Boarding Austin Barton Creek

Image source: Rawpixel

Stunning beauty will be all around you, including well-known locations such as Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls.

  • Time to get there from Austin: The expected time is from 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Water type: shallow and fast-flowing freshwater
  • Parking points: Zilker Park
  • Skill levels: Rocks and rapids best suit intermediate and experts rather than beginners.
  • Amenities: Facilities like restrooms and traits can be found at some launch points.
  • Rental places: The most popular Austin TX paddle board rentals are at Zilker Park Boat Rentals, Rowing Dock, or Texas Rowing Center.

7. McKinney Falls State Park

If you want to paddle board Austin, grab your gear and head to McKinney Falls State Park. It’s just a few minutes away from Buda, making it an easy-to-visit park. Most paddle boarders come to enjoy the sport from Onion Creek.

Paddle Boarding Austin McKinney Falls State Park

Image source: Flickr

You can visit the park for water activities and camping any time during the day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Time to get there from Austin: It will take a few minutes since the park is only 13 miles from downtown Austin).
  • Water type: serene waters
  • Parking points: park entrance
  • Skill levels: the park is ideal for paddle boarders who want to challenge fishing from their boards.
  • Amenities: Restrooms and 81 campsites
  • Rental places: You can hire equipment in nearby paddle boarding rentals Austin, such as Rowing Dock.

8. Snake Island

Snake Island, located on Lady Bird Lake near the Tom Miller Dam, is another secluded place for paddle boarding in Austin Texas. Similar to Secret Beach, the island also boasts a sense of adventure with a hammock, fire pit, and rope swing.

Snake Island is a calm experience with no snakes, but strong currents can be challenging. So, always be cautious while enjoying the waters.

  • Time to get there from Austin: 15 to 30 minutes driving, depending on where you start
  • Water type: Despite some turbulence close to the dam, the freshwater lake is generally calm.
  • Parking points: Emma Long Park
  • Skill levels: Intermediate and experts
  • Amenities: Various facilities are available depending on location.
  • Rental places: Austin paddle board rentals are offered at Texas Rowing Center, Rowing Dock, and Austin Paddle Shack.

9. Festival Beach

As mentioned above, Austin paddle boarding offers diverse experiences. If you are a history-rich and stunning place without logistical requirements, Festival Beach has it all. It’s located on Lady Bird Lake near the Holly Power Plant, offering picturesque views of the city’s skyline and Edward Rendon Sr. Park. Plus, as its name states, the beach is well-known for many paddle-boarding events.

9. Festival Beach

Image source: Flickr

Plus, as its name states, the beach is well-known for many paddle-boarding events.

  • Time to get there from Austin: 10 to 15 minutes by car
  • Water type: calm and flat
  • Parking points: Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, or Red Bud Isle
  • Skill levels: All levels
  • Amenities: parking, restrooms, picnic areas, trails, playgrounds, and a boat ramp.
  • Rental places: Austin stand-up paddle board rental is provided at Live Love Paddle or Texas Rowing Center.

10. Lake Walter E. Long

Do you want to paddle board town Lake Austin Texas? Lake Walter E. Long is an ideal option for you. It has a massive size (1165 acres) and offers vibrant city views.

10. Lake Walter E. Long

Image source: Pixabay

Paddle boarders can come here all year round for a short session of practicing after work. However, be cautious when you go in winter, as the water can become choppy.

  • Time to get there from Austin: approximately 5-15 minute drive
  • Water type: flat and calm
  • Parking points: Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, or Red Bud Isle
  • Skill levels: The place fits beginner levels and experts who want to do SUP fishing.
  • Amenities: Parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and volleyball courts.
  • Rental places: Epic SUP is one of the paddle board rentals in Austin TX, that provides SUP boards.

11. Lower Colorado River

Lower Colorado River is a slow-moving section ideal for leisurely paddle board Austin Texas. It is recommended that paddle board lovers take on multi-day excursions along the river.

11. Lower Colorado River

Image source: Rawpixel

The area between Bastrop and Smithville has beautiful landscapes and native Texas trees, which will enhance your paddle-boarding experience.

  • Time to get there from Austin: It takes 2 to 2.5 hours to reach this Austin stand-up paddle board location.
  • Water type: Quiet and slow-moving waters
  • Parking points: Bastrop State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, or around other boat ramps
  • Skill levels: It caters to both newbies and experts
  • Amenities: Restrooms, camping facilities, and hiking trails
  • Rental places: Peace Paddling

12. Red Bud Isle

Red Bud Isle Park is about 13 acres and nestled behind the Tom Miller Dam, dividing Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin. It offers many facilities for aquatic enthusiasts, including a well-known off-leash dog area where paddle boarders can enjoy themselves with their furry friends.

12. Red Bud Isle

Image source: Flickr

The park opens from morning to afternoon without an entrance fee.

  • Time to get there from Austin: a quick drive of 10 -15 minutes can bring you to the destination
  • Water type: calm and slow
  • Parking points: small parking lot inside the park or on Lake Austin Boulevard, which is a half-mile away
  • Skill levels: Both amateurs and professionals can enjoy the place. Yet, be cautious of strong currents near the dam.
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic facilities, food vendors, and an off-leash dog area
  • Rental places: The Rowing Dock

13. Congress Avenue Bridge

Stand-up paddle board Austin is absolutely a second-to-none experience if you try it under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Here, you’ll have a chance to observe the World’s Largest Urban Bat Colony, made up of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, while standing on your paddle board.

13. Congress Avenue Bridge

Image source: Flickr

Thousands of bats come out to hunt insects from their roosts under the bridge during sunset, which is a spectacular sight.

  • Time to get there from Austin: The bridge is located right in the center of Austin, so you can walk or drive there within a few minutes.
  • Water type: calm and serene water body.
  • Parking points: You can find many street parking spaces and parking garages in downtown Austin.
  • Skill levels: All skill levels.
  • Amenities: nearby shops, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and green spaces along the Lady Bird Lake.
  • Rental places: Stand-up paddle board rental in Austin, TX, is easy to find in downtown areas or along the lakefront.

14. Pace Bend Park

On the banks of Lake Travis, Pace Bend Park is a natural location renowned for its untamed beauty, limestone cliffs, and breathtaking views of the lake. Paddle boarders can enjoy nature and wildlife in some remarkable spots, including Gracy Cove, Levi Cove, and Mudd Cove.

14. Pace Bend Park

Image source: Flickr

However, Pace Bend Park may experience strong winds and waves due to its open nature.

  • Time to get there from Austin: approximately 30 to 45 minutes driving
  • Water type: calm and deep freshwater, but sometimes can be choppy
  • Parking points: the park entrance
  • Skill levels: The large size of the lake is ideal for intermediate or advanced paddle boarders.
  • Amenities: camping sites, picnic facilities, restrooms and reserved showers
  • Rental places: You can rent necessary gear in many paddle board rentals in Austin, including Lakeway Marina or Viking Ship Kayak Rentals

15. Lake Georgetown

Surrounded by forests, cliffs, and hills, Lake Georgetown is a popular spot for sup paddle board Austin. When paddle boarding across Lake Georgetown, you might have an up-close and personal encounter with some of the area’s wildlife, including foxes, deer, and eagles.

Paddle Boarding Austin Lake Georgetown

Image source: Flickr

Besides, places along the way, such as Crockett Gardens, Tejas Camp, and Cedar Breaks Park, can enrich your paddle boarding Austin experience.

  • Time to get there from Austin: Approximately 1 hour by car
  • Water type: deep and sometimes choppy
  • Parking points: Cedar Breaks Park, Russell Park, or Jim Hogg Park
  • Skill levels: intermediate and advanced levels, but remember to be aware of wind, waves, and other boats.
  • Amenities: restrooms, parking, picnic and camping facilities, trails and boat ramps
  • Rental places: Viking Ship Kayak Rentals, Nauti ATX Charters

16. Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake, situated in the Quarry Lake Business Park, is a private lake in the state. It was once a rock quarry, but now it’s used for paddle boarding and other leisure sports.

Paddle Boarding Austin Quarry Lake

Image source: Wikimedia commons

The lake features office buildings, trees, and cliffs and is only open to Pure Austin Fitness members and guests.

  • Time to get there from Austin: It takes less than 20 minutes to get there.
  • Water type: clean and calm
  • Parking points: Pure Austin Fitness
  • Skill levels: ideal for all levels
  • Amenities: Pure Austin Fitness offers parking, restrooms, showers, changing rooms, and concessions.
  • Rental places: Paddle boarding rental in Austin is available at Pure Austin Fitness.

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Paddle boarding Austin is a must-try experience for all fans of this water sport. The state offers different settings, from quiet to thrilling, to meet various paddle boarders’ requirements. Renting paddle boards in Austin is also convenient, with many rental places around the SUP spots.

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