Lady Bird Lake – Austin, TX

Zilker Park stand up paddle board - Austin, TX

Lady Bird Lake, owned and operated by the City of Austin and the Lower Colorado River Authority, stretches 416 acres in downtown Austin, TX. The lake's primary purpose is to serve as a reservoir for flood control, however Lady Bird Lake also serves as the best place in Austin to kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board. The lake is a popular stop for recreation and is directly connected to many of the things considered 'must-do's in Austin, TX. The Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail is the best place in town to walk, jog, run or bike.  

Lady Bird Lake Boating

With Austin's warm climate nearly year round, Lady Bird Lake is often filled with kayaks, paddle boards, rowing shells and nearly anything else that floats. The lake hosts college rowing team practices for local schools like University of Austin as well as visiting schools like University of Oklahoma and University of Nebraska. Austin locals, as well as travelers can enjoy physical boating like kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, or relax on a guided boat tour. 

Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail

Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail is the best place in Downtown Austin for running, jogging, walking and biking. It spans 10.1 miles, circuiting Lady Bird Lake with a relatively level, natural surface. The trail is walking distance from many downtown Austin hotels and shops, adding it to many lists of things to do in Austin.

Lady Bird Lake Fishing

Lady Bird Lake is an excellent destination for fishing largemouth bass, sunfish and carp. 

For more information, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website and check out the  local fishing regulations here

Visitor Details

Location

Located in Downtown Austin, TX on the Colorado River, with a surface area of 468 acres and a maximum depth of 18 feet. 

Rules

According to Austin Texas Government Site - (Source: http://austintexas.gov/page/lady-bird-lake)

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to swim, bathe, wade or go into the waters of Lady Bird Lake, except in efforts to rescue and recover human beings.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to fish from the deck or other portion of any bridge which crosses the Colorado River within the city limits.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to dive from or jump of any bridge which crosses the Colorado River within the city limits.
  • No person shall operate a gas powered motor vessel on the waters of Lady Bird Lake, except with the permission of the city. Motorboats operated by officers and employees of the city in the performance of their official duties are exempt.
  • No person on any watercraft on Lake Austin, Lake Walter E. Long, or Lady Bird Lake shall possess, use or operate, or assist in the use or other similar device capable of propelling or launching fluid filled balloons or other projectiles.
  • No person within 150 yards of the shoreline of Lake Austin, Lake Walter E. Long, or Lady Bird Lake shall use or operate, or assist in the use or other similar device to propel or launch fluid filled balloons or other projectiles towards the waters of said lakes.
  • Only boats powered by electric motors which do not exceed a capacity of five horsepower can operate on Lady Bird Lake. It shall be unlawful for any person to occupying watercraft located on Lady Bird Lake for the purpose of sleeping between dusk and dawn or overnight habitation unless the City Council approves otherwise.

Cost

There is no cost associated with enjoying the lake from ashore or for bringing your own kayak, stand up paddle board, canoe, or other non-motorized boat. However, if you plan to rent, you will need to consult the the rental company for pricing.

Here are some favorite boat rental companies: 

Contact Information

City of Austin
124 W. 8th
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 974-6700

Austin Weather

Partly Cloudy
Tuesday
Partly Cloudy
High 87°/Low 62°
20%
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday
Partly Cloudy
High 85°/Low 56°
20%