Bates M. Allen Park Kayaking (Kendleton, TX, USA)

Texas has thousands of tiny rivers and bayous waiting to be traversed! Bates M. Allen Park in Kendleton, TX is an nice little park with walking trails, picnic areas, fishing, and a boat launch.

Address: 630 Charlie Roberts Ln., Kendleton, Texas 77451   – (website)

  • 45 minutes southwest from Houston

Price: Free admission; $55 for double kayak 24-hour rental

Kayak + Boat Launch
Picture of the boat launch. We carried the kayak to the grass to set up the paddles & seats.
We rented a $2,000 kayak with all the bells and whistles. Definitely a new experience for me!
S.S. Adventure, all aboard!

We braved some yucky Texas weather featuring 75 degrees Fahrenheit with 70-90% humidity. The occasional rain sprinkles helped keep us cool.

Bayou water
Brown bayou water. Definitely not a place to go swimming!
River View
Tranquil river. We were the only ones out on the water but there were some people fishing from the boat launch dock.
Roots for days.
Roots for days. It feels like these trees cheat by planting themselves right in water. All other trees have to wait for rain!
Camera doesn’t really depict any fall colors but there were great reds and yellows among all the brown.
We sought cover after the pitter-patter rain turned into a downpour! This is after the monsoon.
Typical Bayou water
The sucky part. There was a natural dam formed by logs and fallen trees. Also in the river was shoes, tires, bottles, and other riff raff.
Beached kayak
We decided to portage the boat but gave up upon seeing another dam 60 feet down the river.
lunch spot
We decided to eat our PB&J sandwich lunch next to the dam.
Wild Hog Sighting
A small river shot-off the San Bernard River. About 100 feet ahead of the river we watched a family of wild hogs swim from one shore to the other and keep moving.
Gnarly Root
The “Crown” Root.
Overcast clouds
Sky was overcast the entire day.

Review & Recommendations

We had a great time but I would recommend some changes:

  • Wait for better weather (rain and boating rarely go hand-in-hand)
  • Pick a more-visited kayaking/canoeing location to prevent being stopped by a dam (Lake Conroe, Lake Somerville, Cullinan Lake come to mind)
  • Get water shoes so you don’t have to walk around river muck in basic sandals

Another key detail is to find a good partner for double kayaking. To make it without flipping or spinning in circles requires patience and teamwork.

After the kayak trip we gorged at Rudy’s Barbecue like we had been adrift in the ocean for weeks.

Thanks for reading. Now go and get out there!