This is a Level 2 paddling trip, but we do cross the Houston Ship Channel and there is a short bay crossing. We will start on time - paddles wet by 8:30 a.m. On the way back, winds tend to freshen and the last two miles back we may have some head winds and some bay chop. For safety, high wind forecast will cause the trip to be cancelled.
We will put in at the boat ramp at Sylvan Beach, paddle north east along the shore, cross the Houston Ship Channel at Morgan's Point, rest at the beach on the north shore of Atkinson Island, follow the shore for a ways, then head east across the bay to Thompson's Bait Camp for snacks and cold beverages. There is a boat ramp there to use to take our boats out of the water, rest rooms (nothing great), cold beverages, snacks, and a covered bench area to rest. Then we get back in the water and come back the same way to Sylvan Beach. No car shuttle.
The trip overall is approximately 12 miles. The mileage to the first rest stop at the north end of Atkinson Island is approximately 3.5 miles. Then we follow the shore line to the east south east a bit and then head east across the bay to Thompson's. The bay crossing is approximately 1.8 miles.
Note: We will be crossing the Houston Ship Channel twice and will have to stay together and be cautious. We will discuss at the put-in.
It is approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston to Sylvan Beach Park. Take 45 south, exit to 225 towards Pasadena. Follow 225 east to Highway 146 going south. Exit onto Fairmont Parkway and turn left. Drive east through La Porte and past the high school to Sylvan Beach Park.Curve around to the right to the boat ramps, and then make a left turn into the parking lot and the ramps. If you see many fishing trailers there you will know you are in the right spot. No worries. Easy put-in.
The address of the put-in is 707 Bayshore Drive, La Porte, Texas 77571, and the coordinates are 29 degrees 38.9854 min. North, 95 degrees 0.6905 min. West. We put in at the boat ramp, not the beach! There is plenty of parking there and some porta-pottys. The ramps at the put-in are protected, and generally pretty good and oyster free.
Bring snacks, plenty of fluids, sunscreen, good paddling skills and a heightened sense of caution. The bay water is cold so dress for immersion. You can buy snacks at the bait camp as well. If you have a VHF radio, bring it. Crossing the HSC requires attention and patience. The number of paddlers will be kept small so we can group together and cross safely. Once across the HSC, the bay crossing is generally pretty easy. The trip offers a good mix of "terrain" and sights.
Emergency contact: Harris County Sheriff - 713.755.5300, Galveston Coast Guard - 409.766.5633.
| Trip Assistants
| Trip Rating*
| Meet at
| 8:30 a.m.
| Duration (hours)
| Paddling Miles
| Emergency Initiator
| Emergency Phone #s
| Latest Expected Return
|| 5 p.m.
| Auto Description/Lic #
| Distance from Houston
* Trip ratings are only a guide. Actual conditions will vary with wind and other weather.
This is an ACA sanctioned event. Every participant must wear a PFD.
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