Life's Better Outside
Life's Better Outside Activity of the Month: Paddling
Keep cool this summer and have fun with your family! Go paddling in a Texas State Park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail.
On the water, its easier than ever to experience a closer view of wildlife and scenery! Many state parks offer places that will rent you the equipment you need: canoes, kayaks, and life-jackets, as well as teach paddling basics.
Texas Paddling Trails
57 designated Texas Paddling Trails provide well-mapped, accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience. Visit our paddling website for trail maps and photos, info on canoe/kayak rentals, directions to designated access sites and fishing and wildlife information.
If you are looking for some paddling tips before you head out:
- watch a how to paddle a canoevideo
- do this free online paddling course
- read this Canoeing and Kayaking 101 brochure
Water Conditions and Safety
Open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, bays, bayous, ponds, oceans) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and therefore warrant extra precautions. The key differences are that there are no lifeguards; water conditions can change rapidly; and underwater currents sometimes exist. . Before you go paddling, tell a friend or family memeber where you will be and when you expect to return. It is recommended that everyone who participates in boating should wear a life jacket. In fact in Texas, children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket. All vessels (including canoes and kayaks) must have a sound producing device and at least one Type I, II, III or V Life Jacket of the proper fit for each person on board.
Remember, the life you save may be your own! Before you paddle make sure youve reviewed these informative safety websites:
- Wear it Texas http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com/
- Nobodys Waterproof: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/boater_education/nw_whatis.phtml
What to bring:
- US Coast Guard Approved Life jackets
- Sound Producing Device
- Canoe or kayak
- Water, snacks
- Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen
Outdoor Fun for Kids:
What Experts Say about the Benefits of Nature Play
Pack out what you pack in: Leave No Trace!