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Places to Paddle in Corpus Christi:

There is a great diversity of paddling, from Corpus Christi Bay at the edge of the city and marina, to Laguna Madre for great birding (protected waterways between barrier islands and Texas coast), the Gulf where you can drive/camp on the beach and paddle in the surf, to remote rivers (Aransas, Nueces), and Lake Corpus Christi. In many areas, you can paddle all day and not see another person, but see lots of birds, deer, wild hogs, and alligators. No matter what direction the wind, you can always find a protected area to paddle, or you can surf the waves.

Here 15 easy day-trips. If anyone is interested in kayaking Corpus Christi, I would be glad to show you around and get you started. Send me email

1.Laguna Madre with calm shallow water area, protected from east/west winds. Launch from Padre Island side of SPID bridge to Padre Island (firm sand and clear water launch) and paddle around bird nesting areas, shrimp boats, small marina, waterfront homes along Padre Island on the Laguna side. Or paddle south on the Intra-coastal Waterway (which will have sailboats, powerboats, and possibly a tug and barge), across the Laguna Madre to explore the King Ranch, and then stop at Snoopie's or Frenchies for waterfront drinks/dinner before taking out kayaks at SPID bridge. 6 to 20 miles depending upon course.

2.Emerald Cove and City Bayfront with shallow water launch on sandy beach in front of Holiday Inn on Emerald Cove. Protected from north/south winds. Paddle north past city bayfront and yacht basin, past Bayfront Plaza, by the Bay Bridge, past the Aquarium, around Lexington Aircraft Carrier, northeast along Corpus Christi beach by beachfront condominiums to Portland Bridge, and back across the bay (good chance of dolphins). See city skyline and yacht harbor from the water, bird nesting islands, and beachfront. Good chance of seeing sailboats, powerboats, and ocean tankers/freighters in the channel to Corpus Christi harbor. 10-20 miles depending on course.

3.Cole Park to Corpus Christi University. Launch at Cole Park on sandy beach protected from south/west winds. Paddle southeast along beautiful homes along Shoreline Drive, past waterfront Condominiums, to University and back. 12 to 30 miles depending upon course.

4.Portland-Ingleside. Launch from Portland (15 miles from CC) on firm sandy beach, protected from north/east winds. Paddle southeast by Ingleside marina, around Ingleside Naval Shipyard, explore islands in Redfish Bay, return by Gulf Oilrig Repair Yard. 15 miles paddle.

5.Rockport-Fulton. Launch from Rockport Marina (40 miles from CC) on sandy beach protected from north/west winds. Paddle northeast by Rockport marina and beaches, beautiful waterfront homes, into Fulton Shrimp Boat harbor, and have lunch at restaurant on the bay. 12 mile paddle.

6.Aransas River. Launch from Bayside-Woodsboro road (40 miles from CC) on calm riverwater protected from all winds. Paddle north or south for good view of isolated refuge birds, alligators, deer, and wild pigs. 10-20 miles paddle.

7.Shamrock Cove on Padre Island. Launch from Wilson Cut (30 miles from CC) on muddy landing but calm protected waters, and paddle past remote bird-nesting islands. Best birding area. 10 mile paddle.

8.Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Whooping Crane Tour. Launch from Live Oak Point at bridge across Copano Bay (45 miles from CC) and paddle in Intracoastal Waterway between Matagorda Island and Aransas Wildlife Refuge to Mustang Lake. 30 mile paddle. Only 12 mile paddle if only paddle northeast to Goose Island,

Blackjack Point, and Bird Point.

9.Port O'Connor Matagorda Island State Park. Launch at Port O'Connor (80 miles from CC) and paddle southwest past various bird-nesting islands to Matagorda Island State Park (only reached by boat). 15 mile paddle each way. Can camp overnight on Matagorda Island which is deserted (only airstrip remains from when it was an Air Station).

10.Copano Bay. Launch from Live Oak Point at bridge across Copano Bay (45 miles from CC) in protected waters. Paddle north under bridge, past Redfish Point, Newcomb Point, to Palmeto Point. Return via Goose Island State Park. 12-mile paddle.

11.Bird Island Basin. Launch at Bird Island Basin on Padre Island National Seashore (33 miles from CC) and paddle 6 miles to Green Hill sand dunes. Isolated area for birds, cayotes (and rattlers) with beautiful isolated dunes and beach. Protected shallow water. 12 mile paddle each way (can camp overnight).

12.Seadrift Guadalupe Bay. Launch at Seadrift (65 miles from CC) and paddle northwest in protected waters to see alligators and natural wildlife. 10 mile paddle.

13.Nueces river. Launch at Nueces State Park (20 miles north of CC) in protected waters. Paddle north for quiet isolated bird watching in heavily wooded areas on both sides of river.

14.Lake Corpus Christi. Launch at Lakeside (40 miles northwest of CC). 10 mile paddle. Nice homes along lake, wooded.

15.Gulf beaches on Padre Island. Can drive 8 miles on the beach and if waves are under 4-feet, can surf the waves on the beach or paddle out in the Gulf.

Corpus Christi Kayak Launch Sites:

1. Tip of North Beach on Corpus Christi Bay


Take the exit toward US-181/SHORELINE BLVD. 0.16 miles

Merge onto I-37 S. & take Harbor Bridge0.45 miles

Merge onto US-181 N toward TX-35/PORTLAND. 2.18 miles

Take the exit toward BEACH ST. 0.09 miles

Stay straight to go onto E CAUSEWAY BLVD. 0.12 miles

Turn RIGHT onto GULFSPRAY AVE. 0.14 miles

Turn LEFT onto N. Shoreline Blvd (last steet before Bay)

Drive to the end just past the restroom parking lot

Park right at the water’s edge and launch to left of fishing rocks. N27d49.959m, W97d22.782m

Protected from N winds; open to SE winds.

Can paddle west along North Beach to the Lexington Aircraft Carrier, or east and under the bridge into Nueces Bay, or east over to Indian Point in Portland.

2. L-Head, downtown Corpus on the Bay

Take Ocean Drive N past Holiday Inn and McGee Beach

Turn RIGHT at Coopers Aly and drive down the L-Head

Keep to Left, past restroom, park to Left by 2 floating docks

Can launch kayaks from the launch in protected marina water.

N27d47.490m, W97d23.377m

Can paddle north within the breakwater along the city to the main Harbor entrance, and then across the ship channel around the Lexington Aircraft Carrier and along North Beach.

Or can paddle north out the first break water entrance and south past the Holiday Inn and along the homes on Shoreline Drive.

3. McGee Beach downtown Corpus Christi

Take Ocean Drive N past Holiday Inn, McGee beach on right

Park on Ocean Drive, carry kayaks down steps to beach

N27d47.073m, J97d23.631m

Protected from S & SE winds; open to E & N winds.

4. Emerald Beach at Holiday Inn, downtown Corpus

Take Ocean Drive N, turn right into Holiday Inn

At bottom of hill, stay right and park to south of Hotel

Carry Kayak down stairs to Emerald Beach

N27d46.900m, W97d23.612m

Protected from S and SE winds; open to E and NE winds

5. Cole Park on Corpus Christi Bay

Take Ocean Drive N and just before Ayers, take last entrance to the right into Cole Park (just past Open Theater).

Drive all the way down to the beach right by the Condominium marina. N27d46.567m, W97d23.480m

Park close to the water and launch at the beach.

Open to SE, E, and NE winds/waves.

6. Marker 37 by Snoopies on Padre Island

Take S PADRE ISLAND DR/TX-358 E southeast past Flour Bluff


When bridge from Flour Bluff touches down on Padre Island, take first exit to right, stay to left and drive past Snoopies restaurant parking over to boat launch ramp at Marker 37.

Launch kayak at boat launch in protected waters.

Ramp at N27d37.951m, W97d14.504m


7. Packery Channel Park on Padre Island

Park entrance road is the last road to the right on Highway P22 before taking the causeway north leaving Padre Island (by the Visitor Center). Follow the road east past Playa Del Ray to the water, staying to the left and going north to the small dirt boat launch ramp.

Protected launch. N27d37.801m, W97d13.099m

Can paddle SW along the channels to the homes, or NE under the causeway and then south along Packery Channel Park and homes further south.

8. Port Aransas Boat Launch Ramp

Going south on the causeway onto Padre Island, turn RIGHT onto Highway 361 to Port Aransas.

Follow 361 through Port Aransas, and just before the entrance to the Ferry Dock, turn right into the Marina where the large double boat launch ramp is. You can park close to the ramp and launch into protected waters.

Ramp at N27d44.155m, W97d8.045m

Paddle out of the Marina, and NE keeping San Jose Island to your right, to the Liddia Anne Channel lighthouse.

9. Port Aransas Beach

Going south on the causeway onto Padre Island, turn RIGHT onto Highway 361 to Port Aransas. Where Highway 361 takes a sharp LEFT, continue straight ahead on W Alister Street.

Turn RIGHT on Beach Street and follow it to the Gulf where it dead ends on Port Aransas Beach Road. Park and launch anywhere on the beach.

10. Lighthouse Trails, Port Aransas

Lighthouse Trail on Highway 361 just 1 mile west of the Ferry Landing at Port Aransas. Trail entrance on your left driving north. N27d51.439m, W97d4.803m

11. Shamrock Cove boat launch just before Port Aransas

Going south on the causeway onto Padre Island (Highway P22), turn RIGHT onto Highway 361. Go about 10 miles (about half way to Port Aransas) and turn left to Wilson Cut where you can launch to paddle to Shamrock Island. It is a dirt road on the left just opposite and past the last multistory condominium on the right. You can probably see fishing boat cars and trailers parked by the boat launch area.

Road entrance at N27d44.155m, W97d8.045m

Paddle NW out the cut, and then N to Shamrock Island

12. Gulf of Mexico on Padre Island

Going south on the causeway onto Padre Island, continue straight past Highway 361 intersection on Highway P22 toward the National Seashore. Just before the entrance to the National Seashore, turn left and follow the road to the beach. You can park and launch anywhere on the beach from here to Bob Hall Pier about 9 miles north driving on the beach.

N27d30.402m, W97d115.589m

13. National Seashore Bird Island Basin

Going south on the causeway onto Padre Island, continue straight past Highway 361 intersection on Highway P22 to the National Seashore. Just after the entrance to the National Seashore, turn RIGHT to Bird Island Basin. Can park and launch anywhere along the Laguna Madre or at the boat launch ramp.

14. Ingleside Texas Parks & Wildlife Boat Launch Ramp

From Harbor Bridge, go east on Highway 181/35

Turn RIGHT on Highway 361 towards Ingleside

Turn RIGHT on Highway 1069 to the bay

Boat Launch Ramp at County Highway 127

N27d50.373, W97d13.238

15. Aransas River by Bayside

From Harbor Bridge, go east on Highway 181/35

Turn LEFT on Highway 136

Go past Bayside, turn LEFT on Highway 1360

Turn Left on River Road just before the sign to Bonnie View (Farm Road 629 at N28d09.214m, W97d18.190m)…drive all way (small dirt road) to river. Launch at boat launch on the river. Great paddling in either direction on the river; minimal current. Lots of birds and wildlife (alligators, deer, javelina, wild hogs). About 40 miles from CC.

15a. Mission River by Bayside

From Harbor Bridge, go east on Highway 181/35.

Turn LEFT on Highway 136

Go past Bayside, turn L on 136N

Take first R onto Mission River Road and drive to river to launch at N28d11.024’ W97d13.163’

Follow river upstream for isolated river/trees,birds/wildlife

37 miles from Corpus Christi.

16. Lake Corpus Christi State Park

Take Highway 37 North to Exit 34

Go NW on Highway 459 Spur

Go LEFT or SW on Highway 359 Business (not 359)

Where Highway 359 Business takes a sharp LEFT, turn RIGHT onto Highway 1068, following Highway 1068 to the LEFT (Aransas Street)

Turn RIGHT onto State Park Road 25 into the state park

(N28d3.502m, W97d51.975m)

Follow the signs to the boat launch ramp

Lake is about 15 miles long, with the dam at the southern end

17. Hazel Bazemore State Park on the Nueces River

Take Highway 37 North from Corpus Christi

Take Highway 77 South

Turn RIGHT on Farm Road 624 at 5 Points

Turn RIGHT on Canal Road to enter State Park

(N27d51.408m, W97d38.637m

Follow the road on down to the river boat launch ramp

Paddle east on the Nueces River past summer homes through heavily treed woodlands

18. Goose Island State Park

Take Highway 35 from Corpus Christi through Rockport, across the Copano Bay Bridge.

Turn RIGHT on State Park Road 13. (N28d8.371m, W97d00.380m)

Enter the State Park and follow signs to the boat launch.

Paddle E and N to Charles Bay, or SE to Aransas Bay, the NE along the Intercoastal Waterway to view Whooping Cranes on the left.