Armand Bayou Paddling Trail

The Armand Bayou Paddling Trail follows Armand Bayou from near its confluence with Clear Lake, upstream through the Armand Bayou Nature Center to Horsepen Bayou, where alligators in excess of 10 ft. are commonly seen.

Much of the area is part of the Armand Bayou Coastal Preserve that is managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. More than 220 species of birds are found in the area, including Osprey, Roseate Spoonbills, various egrets, herons and pelicans.

The preserve offers a stunning glimpse into two increasingly rare ecosystems – a riparian coastal flatwoods forest and a coastal tall grass prairie.

Getting There

Map showing Armand Bayou location on the coast just east of Houston

From San Antonio:

- Take IH-10 east to the 610 Loop
- Proceed south, east of 610 Loop
- Take the I-45 Freeway toward Galveston
- Turn left (east) on Bay Area Blvd
- Continue on Bay Area Blvd until you come to Armand Bayou

From Dallas:

- Take IH-45 South to Houston,
- Continue on IH-45 toward Galveston
- Turn left (east) on Bay Area Blvd
- Continue on Bay Area Blvd. until you come to Armand Bayou

Put-in and Take-out:

  • Bay Area Park - This launch site is located on the south side of Bay Area Blvd, where the Blvd. crosses the bayou.
    GPS coordinates 29° 35' 43.908" N, 95° 05' 23.244" W
  • Clear Lake Park - This park is located on NASA Road 1 at the southern end of the bayou and near the tidal connection of Clear Lake.
    GPS coordinates 29° 33' 58.572" N, 95° 04' 12.648" W

Distance from nearest major cities:

  • Bryan - 106 miles
  • Victoria - 131 miles
  • Austin - 186 miles
  • San Antonio - 220 miles
  • Corpus Christi - 229 miles
  • Dallas - 265 miles


GPS coordinatesView Global Positioning System (GPS) points for Armand Bayou

Area Map of Armand Bayou Paddling Trail

Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: variable
Paddling Time: variable

The trail follows Armand Bayou and paddlers can choose to paddle any length depending upon what they want to see and how long they want to paddle.

The most popular launching point is Bay Area Park, located where Bay Area Blvd. crosses Armand Bayou. Paddlers can either paddle upstream following Armand Bayou as it meanders and narrows up to the ending point at marker 26, or paddlers can paddle downstream from the park. As you paddle downstream the bayou widens near the confluence with Clear Lake at marker 1.

If you want to want to paddle the entire trail, you can put in at Clear Lake Park located on NASA Road 1 and paddle upstream. It is a long way, so you may choose to drop a vehicle at Bay Area Park, approximately half way up the trail.


Paddlers should always wear life jackets, and take plenty of sunscreen and water. Power boats are prohibited on the trail from GPS marker #4 upstream through trail marker #26.


Anglers have a choice for either freshwater or saltwater species on the bayou. Bass anglers can expect to catch bass on the upper reaches of the trail, while redfish, trout and drum can be caught in the south end of the bayou where it connects with Clear Lake.

Wildlife and Ecology

The bayou, while surrounded by urban develop remains one of the few relatively pristine waterway in the Houston area. Its unique character was recognized when it was designated as one of only four Coastal Preserve found along the Texas coast. Lands adjacent to the bayou provide a glimpse of riparian coastal flatland forest and tall grass prairie habitats that were once abundant in the area. The area is rich in wildlife and is known for a diverse bird fauna where more than 220 species can be found. Common birds seen on the area include osprey, roseate spoonbill, egrets, herons, pelicans and many others.

Paddling Trail Events

See TPWD Calendar for Paddling Events


The paddling trial is maintained in partnership with Armand Bayou Nature Center. The Center manages lands adjacent to the trail and provides a full range of educational activities.

If you have time to spend in the area before or after your paddle, you may want to visit the center. The center provides a full range of educational and outdoor experiences. The center has nature trails or you can make reservations to see the bayou from the “Bayou Ranger,” an electric pontoon boat, or take a guided canoe trip down the bayou. You can find out more about the center, and it many activities by checking out the calendar of events on the website:

Rentals & Shuttles

All Points of Sail Kayak and Canoe Rental

2517 Nasa Parkway Ste 7
Lakeside Yachting Center Pier 1 West Waterfront Seabrook, Texas 77586
Phone: (713) 408-1318
Visit, Email:
5 Minutes from the Bayou, rentals include kayaks, canoes, paddles and lifejackets - 7 Days A Week

SouthWest PaddleSports

26322 I-45 North - Exit 76A, The Woodlands
Houston, Texas, 77386-1022
Phone: (281) 292-5600

Artist Boat

Guided Paddling Tours - Artist Boat's professional, interpretive staff of certified kayak instructors will lead you to great places via kayak, identify and show you native species, teach water coloring techniques, assist you with developing paddling skills, and interpret natural processes. Join us to explore the natural wonders of Galveston Bay. No experience necessary. Reservations required. Call 409-770-0722. Visit