Trinity River in Texas

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Today, I did 12 miles along the Trinity River, from Handley-Ederville to River Legacy Park at Collins St. Gage height of W. Fork of Trinity River at Beach St. was 15 feet. Float time 1 PM-6:30 PM, with one hour of breaks. Travel time was 4:30 hours; average speed 3 mph.

Under the H-E bridge, there were some dudes hauling out big freaking fish from the river, a foot-and-a-half long, and heavy enough so that I could see the guy's arms straining to lift the fish while his buddy unhooked the fat thing. I slipped in and wished them well, not that they needed it.

Spooked plenty of turtles on the way, as well as blue heron, kingfishers, hawks, and some leaping fish, who hopped out to smack the prow a time or two. There were some GIANT turtles sunning on the bank, over two feet long, I'm betting. Or so.

Also, if you ever lost your car in the Trinity River, I found it. And your old tires. And the kids' old little red wagons.

Had one scary "BRACE FOR IMPACT!" moment, when the river pushed my little boat over a nasty tree rootball in some swift water. Bless the naiads who watched over me! At other times, they pushed me out of some swift water--and the fallen trees it was hiding!

The river is full of submerged surprises, and below this level, I'm not sure it could be run safely for the debris. There are no dams or other obstructions around which one must portage on this run, a report of which I had read on, and most of the float is flat and slow. A few times I could hear no engine noises.

Had lunch on a sandbar just before the water treatment plant. A few riffles there, but really, the rapids under the Precinct Line bridge are worse. I took on water there. The sandbar, which I now think of as the Snack Bar, was a good place to stop and walk around a bit; it's about half-way through the trip. I ate the sandwich my wife had made for me.

Refreshed, I rolled the boat over to dump out the water from Precinct Line, and shot the rapids from the WT plant. I paddled steadily to my take-out point. RL park has a little canoe/kayak point there, with steps and a little paved path up to the parking lot. Jenny and MJ rolled up in the Jeep just as I walked into it with the 'Spook on my shoulder.

That's what I named the boat: Turtlespook. I just put the decals on before this trip; I guess it was a somewhat unceremonious christening, but I'm happy with how it turned out.


None at H-E Bridge. There is a canoe/kayak put-in/take-out point in River Legacy Park.




Put-in at Handley-Ederville Rd bridge, between Trinity Blvd. and Randol Mill Rd.

Take-Out at River Legacy Park 3020 Collins St. Arlington, TX


USGS Topos and Google Earth

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location