Kayaking Trip on the San Marcos River

This is a kayaking day trip on the San Marcos River, putting in at Shady Grove Campground, located near San Marcos, TX, east of I-35 at 9515 FM 1979, Martindale, Tx. The 5.5 mile trip will take a leisurely 3-4 hours. This less used, cleaner, more natural section of the river is a mixture of light current, small rapids and still water. We will put in at Shady Grove Campground and take out at the bridge in Staples, TX. It is advisable to put all gear in waterproof bags (i.e. ziplock bags), wear water shoes, and clothes that can get wet, as well as have sun protection – hat/sunscreen.

The San Marcos River is a constant 72 degree water temperature and the year-round flow provides habitat for several life forms not found anywhere else in the world. Giant elephant ears along its banks, multitudes of turtles, a large variety of birds and fish all contribute to the river's reputation for special beauty.

Spencer Canoes, located in Shady Grove Campground, has kayaks and canoes available for rent. Note: Kayaks are recommended for this section of the river and canoes will only be rented to experienced canoeists. Kayaks or canoes rent for $37.28 per day which includes paddle, flotation device, and car shuttle to the take outpoint in Staples. In addition, a $20 deposit is required which is refundable when equipment is returned at the end of the trip. You may bring your own kayak or canoe and get a piggy back shuttle for $5.00 per person.

We will stop for a picnic lunch along the way on one of the islands in the river. Bring your own food and drinks in a small insulated bag since storage room is limited in the kayaks. You can either meet the group and caravan from south Austin or meet us at the campground. Those wishing to caravan and/or carpool, will meet in the Walmart parking lot in Southpark Meadows Shopping Center located at I-35 and Slaughter Lane at 9:00 a.m. We will depart at 9:15 a.m. If you are driving directly to Shady Grove Campground, be there by 10:00 a.m.

If you are renting a kayak/canoe, you must make your own reservation ahead of time – at least 2 or 3 days ahead. Call (512)[masked] to make a reservation. Directions to the campground are available at http://mysite.verizon.net/pgunnsco/index.html


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  • Mariann

    Can't thank all of you enough, my first time kayaking and I had soooo much fun. Barbara thank you for organizing this event and I look forward to our next adventure!

    May 16, 2014

  • Barbara

    Thanks, Barbara, for organizing and leading us today! It was a fabulous day on the river! Can't wait to do it again!

    May 15, 2014

  • Cynthia

    Great day on the river with friends! Awesome weather too.....thanks Barbara!

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • dennis l l.

    an epic day on the river. let's do it again!

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • Barbara F

    Let's do it again!

    3 · May 15, 2014

    • Lyn

      O.k.

      May 15, 2014

  • Jimann

    Perfect day! Great group and lots of fun had by all.

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • Carolcc

    What a wonderful day!! Thanks so much for the welcome!!

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • Lyn

    Spectacular day. Enjoyed it thoroughly!

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • jeffrey s.

    Perfect day to be on the water with friends. Thanks for setting this up, Barbara. The time and location were perfect too.

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • Pablo

    I'm sure y'all are having fun. .....sorry I couldn't be there. .....tump over for me. ......

    May 15, 2014

  • Kim S.

    Thank you Barbara, I will give them a call!
    We are coming no matter what. Meeting everyone there.
    Kim

    May 15, 2014

  • Barbara F

    Kim, I sure you can rent a canoe this morning. You might want to call them on the way to make sure. [masked]-6113. The office opens at 9:00 a.m.

    May 15, 2014

  • Kim S.

    I have injured my hand and not sure that I can paddle my kayak. We were going to rent a canoe, we have lots of experience but I see that we need an advance reservation. Do you think we should just hope to rent one in the morning?

    May 14, 2014

  • kelle h.

    Thank you for organizing...can't go this time, but will next. Im having knee problems...I hope we can organize another...and we got rain!

    May 13, 2014

  • Bud B.

    Paul,

    This may be a dupe response but I don't see my first one so I'll try again. I'm in Cedar Park. I'm bringing my inflatable and if that works I'd love to drive up together.

    Bud

    May 12, 2014

  • Paul B

    Does anyone want to carpool from Cedar Park or NW Austin? I'm bringing my kayak as well.

    May 12, 2014

  • Barbara F

    There will be some small rapids that make this section fun. You will be in a "sit on top" kayak. If you turn over, which is possible, you can stand up, right your canoe and keep going. There are also long stretches of still water that will require paddling. It should be fine for beginners.

    May 12, 2014

  • Mariann

    Ellen, This will be my first time kayaking as well. We can learn together. Looking forward to this adventure!

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Bud B.

    Ellen,

    You should be fine. Class 1 and Class 2 only require no skill. Look forward to seeing you there.
    Bud

    Classification of whitewater[edit]

    Class 1: Very small rough areas, requires no maneuvering. (Skill Level: None)
    Class 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, small drops, might require maneuvering. (Skill Level: Basic Paddling Skill)

    Class 3: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe a 3–5 ft drop, but not much considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. (Skill Level: Experienced paddling skills)

    2 · May 12, 2014

  • sandra

    I hope you all do this again. Unfortunately I will be out of town that week and unable to join you all. Have a great time.

    May 6, 2014

  • David T.

    Sorry I am working that day.

    May 6, 2014

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