Outdoors,  Texas

Paddling Galveston Island State Park


Last weekend Chris and I drove to Galveston for a short weekend stay over the Labor Day holiday. We headed for Galveston Island State Park to kayak their paddling trails on the bay side of the park. I hadn’t even used my kayak since getting it last Christmas and Chris hadn’t taken his out in awhile either.

We launched from the Jenkins Bayou trailhead, driving the truck down a narrow two-track road to the launch to drop our kayaks off before parking back up the way in the parking lot. This made it a lot easier than wheeling our kayaks down the road like we’d thought we were going to have to do. When we arrived there were two middle-aged men coming out of the bayou, waiting patiently as we got our gear into the water.


The wind was mild as we set off down the bayou and the sun was thankfully behind a cloud. That changed later of course.

Once out into the bay we meandered around a bit behind the wetland restoration area, floating and paddling off further into the bay towards the Oak Bayou trail. Chris fished, I ate lunch and drifted off to a salt marsh island and flipped through magazines I’d brought to read. My magazine reading had begun to stack up and I thought it would be a good time to read while Chris fished.

Far across the bay on the north side is the intracoastal waterway, the deep shipping lane for up and down the coastline. I didn’t see any large freighters or tug boats working their way down the shoreline but there were plenty of sporting boats zipping through the main areas of the bay.

While out on our paddle we saw two other kayakers and two stand-up paddle boarders (SUP), but otherwise it was quiet on the bay.

Needing to stretch my legs a bit, I got out on an island and walked around the marsh for a few minutes. The area was littered with hermit crabs!








Since we took our waterproof point and shoot, the same camera we took on our AT hike, I was able to try to get a video underwater of the crabs.

Chris’ visor saved my face that day. I left the house without my hat and had I not had the visor I would have burned more than I did. We had sunscreen but it must have been old and paired with the fact that I mostly have a farmers/t-shirt tan line there were parts of me that hadn’t seen that much sun in a very long while.




The paddle back in was rough, the wind had picked up and we were paddling against the wind. Combined with the sun, I was getting tired and glad to be back at shore when we arrived mid-afternoon. We loaded the kayaks back up onto the truck and headed to the beach side of the park where we relaxed in the water with the throngs of other people doing the same thing.

It was a great paddle and I can’t wait to get my kayak on the water again soon!


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