If kayaking or canoeing is a current interest or a pending one, you should know Texas is filled with beautiful waterways to paddle on! Ranging from easy to advanced, there is something for everyone. Ownership of a craft is also not necessary, as many rental options are available. If you have ever thought about joining the league of Lone Star kayakers or canoers, perhaps the Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail is a good place to start!
Located about 40 miles from Waco and about 70 miles from Bryan/College Station, this paddling trail has been named as one of five excellent places in Texas for kayak beginners. Covering roughly five miles along the Navasota River, the journey begins at the River Boat Launch Park and ends at the Fort Parker State Park. Entry fees for each site may be applicable. Float time ranges from two to four hours, depending on water flow rate and levels, as well as wind speed.
Photo: @taedra via Twenty20
Landscape features along the way include namesake limestone bluffs and hardwood bottomlands, plus fauna like ducks, hawks, deer, and beavers. Fishing in this section of the river is best with small lures for Largemouth and White Bass, as well as Crappie. If you are a tree lover, multiple elms and oaks can be spotted along the way.
A history lesson awaits at the end of the Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail at Fort Parker State Park. Onsite sits a replica of the old fort, constructed between 1935 and 1942 by Civilian Conservation Corps Company 3807(C), a segregated African American camp. Here is where some of Texas’s first pioneer settlers lived. Learn about the fort’s attack in 1836 and the capture of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was raised as a Comanche and eventually became the mother of the last Comanche Chief.
Photo: @welarts via Twenty20
The Navasota River is classified as navigable, which permits public use of the streambed and, if necessary, the banks to portage any hazard. Please ensure respect of private property by not trespassing or littering, and be sure to keep low noise levels. Be aware of notices not to enter property such as purple paint on posts or trees, signs, fences, or visible crops being grown for human consumption. Keep lawful and safe, enjoying nature along the way!