Guided Tours

Guided Tours

$45 - $50 per person

What could be better than learning from a local while getting out on the water? Fact is, if you’re looking for a new way to tour Austin, our weekly guided paddles are the way to go! All of our tours are led by our experienced and highly entertaining guides. Take a peek at the various options below and embark on the adventure that strikes your fancy!

Tour Options

Low Season: By Reservation Only

Guided Bat Tour

On our incredibly popular seasonal tour, you’ll paddle two miles to the famous Congress Avenue Bridge and get a picture-perfect view of over 1.5 million bats flying overhead. The 4-mile round-trip paddle is accompanied by one of our excellent guides who will teach you about the history and migration of the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats. You’ll also get to learn more about Austin’s prominent architecture across the skyline, the Austin power plant, Auditorium Shores, the history of Congress Avenue Bridge and more.

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Monday- Sunday

Guided Tour - Journey to the Springs

At 3 miles round trip, this urban guided historical and eco tour is the perfect way to get to know Austin from all perspectives. As we paddle East toward Downtown Austin, you’ll learn about the last 400 years of history on this stretch of the Colorado River. On our return journey, we'll explore the clear waters of Barton Creek, highlighting an abundance of plants, wildlife and fish that reside in the fourth largest concentration of natural springs in Texas. Weather and time permitting: an optional dip in Barton Springs (the 68-degree water that Austin is so famous for)!

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Monday- Sunday

'Round Red Bud Isle - Guided Tour

This 3-mile hyper-natural tour heads west, away from the city, and around Austin’s Red Bud Isle and back. The scenery features limestone bluffs, greenery and wildlife everywhere you look! We’ll take you to the city's magical Secret Spring, where you’ll discover a natural spring and oasis that is relatively undiscovered, even by many locals. Your guide will share a historical perspective on the greater Colorado River and the immense watershed that Lady Bird Lake is a part of. Photo by Tyler Fox.

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THE PERKS

Guaranteed reservation and equipment

Expedited check-in process

Dedicated dock attendant and guides throughout experience

Free splash bag rentals

Complimentary water or Gatorade per person (it’s important to hydrate y’all)!

Exclusive use of our picnic area for those into snacks and things

10% off merch

TIMING

2.5 – 3 hour experience depending on tour

BOAT SELECTION

Kayaks

Paddle Icon

Looking for a private guided tour?

You must have a party of six or more to book a private guided tour. Please inquire at least one week prior to your desired guided tour reservation.

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What to bring

We require each of these before you hit the water, no exceptions – but keep in mind our dock doesn’t have secured storage for additional items.

photo-id

Photo ID

credit-card

Matching Credit Card

rental-waiver

Rental Waiver

(provided at dock)

RULES & GUIDELINES FOR SMOOTH SAILING

Rule number one, obviously, is to have fun.
Alas, there are a few more things to know before you paddle.

Guided Paddle FAQs

Can my group show up without a reservation if we have 10 people or less for a guided paddle?

No, to book a guided paddle experience, you must have a reservation. Please fill out the form fill on the guided paddle page to inquire.

If I book a guided paddle, what is included?

There are several perks to booking a guided paddle, including but not limited to guaranteed reservation and equipment, an expedited check-in process, dedicated dock attendants and guides throughout experience, free splash bag rentals, complimentary water or Gatorade per person, exclusive use of our picnic area for those into snacks and things and 40% off merch.

How long can we use the picnic area and how many people do the tables hold?

You can use the picnic area for the duration of your event. Depending on your group's size, our tables can fit up to 40 if you are the only group that has an event for that day. We will have it prepped and ready for your arrival.

Can I reschedule my guided paddle if something comes up?

To reschedule your outing at no additional charge, a written request must be received at least 1 business day prior to your final payment date.

What happens if people in my party are running late?

Group paddle schedules are strictly adhered to. Hosts must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your event to meet with your dedicated attendant. Rowing Dock is not responsible for late arrivals or late starting times. Your paddle ending time will not be adjusted to accommodate late guests. Encourage your guests to arrive early.

What happens if the weather looks bad for my upcoming reservation or the experience is cancelled due to weather?

Texas weather is consistently dry and hot with very mild winter conditions. Rowing Dock considers the following conditions acceptable for paddling: Temperatures above 50 degrees, winds below 17mph, light rain, overcast skies and high waters with a flow rate below 4000 CFS. In the event of inclement weather, you may reschedule your outing 48 hours prior to the outing at no additional cost. If you are unable to reschedule your event or if Rowing Dock cancels your event due to inclement weather, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% guided paddle staff retainer fee.

What type of guided paddles do you offer?

We provide three tour options - our guided eco and historical tour, our after-hours moonlight tour and our guided bat tour which is offered seasonally.

How long are guided paddles?

Our typical guided paddles are about 2 hours. But, for our bat paddles, the bats dictate our timing so plan to be on the water anywhere between two and three hours.

How many people can join a guided tour?

We can accommodate groups of all sizes. We recommend groups of 2-12, however, we can add additional guides to accommodate larger groups.

Is there a minimum age you have to be to go on a guided paddle?

All ages are welcome. If your group is taking out SUPs, children under the age of 16 are required to have a parent or guardian on the water with them. For kayaks and canoes, children under the age of 13 are required to have a parent or guardian on the water.

Can you bring your pets on a guided paddle?

We do not advise bringing pets on a guided tour.

What kind of wildlife can I expect to see on your eco and historical tour?

The animals really dictate things, but there is a high likelihood you'll see turtles, ducks, a variety of different types of birds and potentially snakes.

Can people take different boats out for guided paddles?

Yes, but we do recommend renting the same boat if you'd like to all travel at the same speed.

Can i book a guided tour if I have less than six people?

You can book a private guided tour if you have less than six but you will be charged the cost for six people based on our minimum group size.