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Water Trails > Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail

Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail (TX)

Location: Aransas Pass, TX
Waterway: Redfish Bay
Length: 1.25 miles to 6.8 miles

The Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail was the very first Texas Paddling Trail and is actually a series of four loops ranging in length from 1.25 miles to 6.8 miles. The trails meander through an extensive black mangrove estuary, into sloughs and back lakes near the historic 1857 Lydia Ann Lighthouse on North Harbor Island.

Paddlers can glide through mangroves and seagrass flats that provide outstanding bird watching and fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder in the maze of tidal channels and flats.

Anglers will enjoy fishing for spotted seatrout, red drum and flounder in the twisting channels and wide-open lakes here. Sight-casting to "tailing" redfish is a favorite pastime.

The Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail was the first Texas Paddling Trail, mapped in 1999. From a city-maintained park on the north side of the Texas Hwy 361 causeway, paddlers can access the five-mile Cutters Loop (marker 60), the 6.7-mile South Bay Loop (marker 59) and 6.8-mile Redfish Loop (marker 1).

A 1.25-mile trail, the Electric Lake Loop, branches off of the Redfish Loop between markers 3 and 6.

The Lighthouse Lakes trails are unique among coastal paddling trails in that kayakers (because of the strong, prevailing southeasterly winds, canoes are not recommended) paddle through a seeming maze of head-high black mangroves that line the channels (locally called "sloughs") and open flats ("lakes").

The lighthouse from which the trails take their name figured in the Civil War, and its original Fresnel lens still lies buried somewhere in the surrounding marsh.

Put-in and Take-out:

  • Crabman Marina:
    located on the left side of Hwy 361 approximately 4 miles from the HEB in Aransas Pass. Trail marker sign #59 is located near the put-in, but across the Aransas Channel.
      - GPS coordinates 27 52' 31.224" N, 97 5' 24.324" W.
  • Lighthouse Lakes Trail Park:
    located on the left side of Highway 361, approximately 5 miles from the HEB in Aransas Pass. Trail marker sign #1 is located near the put-in but across the channel.
      - GPS coordinates 27 51' 43.775" N, 97 4' 33.204" W.

Contact Info:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Phone: 800-792-1112

Website: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/



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