Seadrift Paddling Trail

Seadrift Paddling Trail

The Seadrift Paddling Trail consists of 20 miles of paddling trails accessed from four access points and offers river, lake, and even some expert level bay paddling opportunities.


Getting There

Access sites:

Calhoun's Riverside RV Retreat - (DD) 28.4765, -96.8616

125 Haeber Lane, Tivoli, TX 77990 off Hwy 35; 361-550-7536
Directions: Haeber Lane is off SH35, immediately east of the River Bridge near Tivoli. Turn south; signage for the Retreat is a block ahead. The Retreat is privately owned and charges for launch and parking. Ample parking is available. The concrete ramp is for small boats and canoes/kayaks. A restroom and shower are available.

Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) - (DD) 28.4465, -96.8253

River Road Phone: (361) 552-6637; website: http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=37
Directions: River Road is off SH 35 just west of the River Bridge near Tivoli. Turn south. While the road is public, the property on both sides is private until you enter the GDWMA. Drive 3.4 miles south to the access point. The site is just inside the southern boundary of the GDWMA. A Limited Use Permit or an Annual Public Hunt Permit is required to use the site (available wherever fishing/hunting licenses are sold). The access site is primitive. Launch is from the river bank. Limited parking is available off the road. No amenities are available. Camping is not permitted. All trash should be packed out. The site offers the best access for which to paddle the Mission Lake Loop since Traylors Cut is immediately downstream, minimizing the upstream paddling required to accomplish.

Seadrift Bayfront Park - (DD) 28.4089, -96.7232

Pavilion: 699 W Bay Avenue, Seadrift TX 77983; Launch: 1201 W Bay Avenue; Phone: 361-785-2251
Directions: Seadrift is located on SH 185, south of SH 35. In Seadrift, turn south on Railroad Avenue, then merge into Main Street in several blocks. Turn right on Bay Avenue (at the Marina), and the access point is located at the west end of the Park at Bay Avenue and 12th Street. The access point is a concrete ramp. Ample parking is available. Public restrooms are available at the Park pavilion/pier several blocks away.

Calhoun County Sanders Park at Swan Point - (DD) 28.3899, -96.7078

Directions: Seadrift is located on SH 185, south of SH 35. To find Swan Point, from the east side of Seadrift, turn south on Dierlam Rd. Signage at key turns will direct you to "Boat Ramp." Turn left on Old Settlement Rd. Travel 1.1 miles and turn left on Swan Point Rd. Swan Point Rd. jogs left after 0.6 miles, then right after another 0.1 miles before arriving at a Y; stay right on Swan Point Rd. After 0.1 miles, turn right at T and continue on Swan Point Rd for 0.6 miles. Entrance to Swan Point boat ramp parking lot will be to the right. Site has a boat ramp and ample parking, but no other amenities. Sanders Park offers only picnic tables and access to San Antonio Bay.

Distance from nearest major cities:

  • Austin – 158 miles
  • Corpus Christi – 75 miles
  • Dallas – 320 miles
  • Houston – 155 miles
  • Victoria – 26 miles

Map

Area map of Seadrift Paddling Trail

Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: ~20 miles
Float Time: ~2-8 hours (as mapped, dependent on water levels, route, flow rate, and wind)

Please note: The stretch of trail across the bay is expert level paddling due to exposure to wind and waves. Please be sure to paddle at your skill level.

The Seadrift Paddling Trail consists of 20 miles of paddling trails accessed from four access points and several paddling options:

  • 3.7 miles from Calhoun's RV Retreat to Guadalupe Delta WMA access at Traylor Cut
  • 8.9 miles from Guadalupe Delta MWA to Seadrift Bayfront Park (Expert Level due to exposure to wind and waves)
  • 3.6 miles loop from River mouth back to GDWMA launch, via Guadalupe Bay to Mission Lake to Traylor Cut back
  • 3.3 miles Sanders Park to Seadrift Bayfront Park

This trail includes a scenic float down the last six miles of the Guadalupe River as it empties into Guadalupe Bay. From that point, expert paddlers can continue with a paddle across Guadalupe Bay and into San Antonio Bay to City Park. This route is the final leg in the famed Texas Water Safari, the toughest canoe race in the world. The area is also popular with waterfowl hunters in season.

Fishing

The area is known for producing red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, and other popular fish. Spotted seatrout and large red drum are commonly caught all year long. Purchase a fishing map for details.

Wildlife and Ecology

The river delta supports a wide variety of shorebirds and migratory birds, including white pelicans, brown pelicans, herons and egrets, roseate spoonbills, ducks, sandhill cranes, grebes, loons, gulls and terns, willets, curlews, yellowlegs, godwits, dowitchers, plovers and peeps. The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is spotted along the trail, and whooping cranes winter on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge nearby, including the south end of Matagorda Island, so is occasionally seen foraging around the delta.

Private Property

Respect private property by not trespassing or littering and keeping noise levels down. This river is classified as navigable, which permits public use of the streambed and, if necessary, the banks to portage any hazard. Any other use of private river banks without permission of the landowner can be considered trespassing. Under Texas Penal Code (§30.05), criminal trespass occurs when one enters property after receiving notice not to enter. Notice includes verbal notice, a fence, sign(s), purple paint on posts or trees, or the visible presence of crops grown for human consumption.

Area Attractions

Seadrift is a quaint fishing and shrimping community nestled along the shores of the beautiful San Antonio Bay. This small, bustling city is a perfect place to relax and get away from it all.
San Antonio Bay is known for its great fishing. Red Drum, Spotted Seatrout, Black Drum, and Flounder are a common catch. Fishing guides are available to take you to the hot spots in San Antonio and adjoining bays to catch your limit. Or launch your own boat at the Seadrift Marina or nearby Swan Point to explore the bay.
There are several murals painted on the local businesses to admire as you drive around the city. Visit the restored Seadrift Depot. You can enjoy the scenery of the harbor area where you will see the shrimp boats docking with their daily catch. For more information please see the TPWD Paddling Events calendar.

Bay Front Park and Pavilion

Located right on the beautiful San Antonio Bay, the park is equipped for family activities. There is a main covered pavilion with electricity, smaller covered picnic areas, volleyball facilities, public restroom and the seawall to fish and enjoy water activities. The kayak launch is located on the west end of the park.
Other local attractions include the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area and Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area. (Note: Matagorda Island is accessible only by private boat or thru a local guide who can provide shuttle services.) The refuge, including Matagorda Island, is the winter home of the endangered Whooping Crane. Fishing, hunting, birding and paddling opportunities are available at each.

Shrimpfest

Shrimpfest was originally started by a group of women back in the 1980s to raise money and community support for their husbands whose shrimping livelihoods that were jeopardized by state legislation. This little fundraiser to fight state government regulations has grown into a yearly community event and is held in early June.

The Great Texas Water Safari!

They don't call the Texas Water Safari the "world's toughest canoe race" for nothing. It is 260 miles of non-stop paddling! Originally started in 1963 and held every year in June. This marathon begins at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos and Seadrift is the host to the finish line for this grueling race. The Seadrift Paddling Trail provides all the opportunity to paddle its final leg, without having to paddle the first 250 miles!

Partnership

This trail was made possible through a partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, City of Seadrift, Calhoun County, West Side Calhoun County Navigation District, Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area-TPWD, Calhoun's Riverside RV Retreat, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Coastal Bend Paddling Club, and San Antonio Bay Partnership.

Shuttles & Rentals

Gerry's Kayak in Victoria

http://www.gerryskayaks.com/
(361) 935-3779

Austin Canoe and Kayak

Rent kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards by the day to take anywhere you want, when you want. Locations in Austin, Houston and the San Marcos/New Braunfels area. For more information, visit http://www.austinkayak.com/rentals