SAN ANTONIO — For the first time in more than 30 years, you can go kayaking on the business portion of the River Walk. And now, the opportunity to kayak has been extended until Friday, Jan. 31.
“Kayaking on the River Walk is a unique experience that gives participants the opportunity to experience the beauty of the River Walk from the river itself,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “I had the opportunity to kayak the River Walk, and I’m excited that we’re extending this popular program through the winter months so that more residents and visitors can enjoy this socially distant outdoor activity.”
The city has been allowing morning kayaking along the horseshoe portion of the San Antonio River in downtown, but only on the weekends. The fun begins and ends behind the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Once you launch, there is no getting off or making any stops.
Mission Adventures is the only kayaking business that's been permitted to allow rentals at this time. They also allow people to bring their own kayak, but a launch fee is still required.
“We look forward to working with the San Antonio River Walk Association, San Antonio River Authority, and Go Rio Cruises to explore opportunities to extend River Walk kayaking into a long-term program,” City Manager Erik Walsh said. “The popularity of this program has shown us that our residents and visitors are eager to explore the San Antonio River downtown.”
The kayaking starts at 8:00 am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Rentals are $53 for one person and $18 if you have your own. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are a limited about of kayakers allowed on the river - and the launch times are staggered as well to accommodate for that. There are also health protocols in place to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, such as the equipment being wiped down between uses, the staff wearing masks and customers are required to be socially distanced.
Reservations must be made in advance on the San Antonio River Authority's website.
Wondering who this type of kayaking is for? The association says the trip is perfect for beginners and families. There is an age restriction if you are renting a kayak - you must be 12 or older (and parents are required to accompany those children between the age of 12 and 17). But, if you have your own kayak, children under age 12 must ride with a parent in the same kayak. Also, it's important to note that inflatable kayaks are not allowed.
The 4-mile route is unguided and you have two hours to paddle the path at your own pace. Two hours is more than enough time to make it back.