Watercraft Rentals on Lady Bird Lake

We are thrilled to announce the return of Paddling and Outdoor Education to East Austin –

on the North Shore of Lady Bird Lake!

Rent with us and polish your paddling skills with our stellar Outdoor Guides and Educators. All rentals support our community programs, including our 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Expedition School Fund.

Boathouse Location

Festival Beach Boathouse
Nash Hernandez Senior Road
Austin, TX, 78702

Keep scrolling for a map!

Call us – (512) 922-6724

Email us – info@expeditionschool.com 

Summer Hours of Operation

9 AM – Sunset

9 AM – Sunset

9 AM – Sunset 

Saturday & Sunday
9 AM – Sunset 

Last paddle goes out

1 hour before sunset!



SUP – $20/hr

Kayak – $15/hr

Tandem Kayak – $20/hr

Canoes – $25/hr

Classes/Tours/Lessons – $50/2 hours

Reservations recommended
for groups of 4 or more!


Stand Up Paddleboards

For those looking to find some balance – or looking to get wet – SUPs are a great way to see the river. We have 3 sizes of board which allow a confident ride for the beginner, or a challenge for the expert.


If cruising up and down the river is more your speed, grab a kayak and take off to explore the best birding, fishing, and picnicking spots on Lady Bird Lake.

Tandem Kayaks

To build trust with a new friend or to train for a race with an old one, tandem kayaks offer all the fun of a single, with double the power!


The trusty canoe! Built to explore, and ready to haul the family, lunches, and even the kitchen sink.



Come as you are! Walk-up rentals always available. Reservation recommended for larger groups.

Group Paddles

Book a group paddle and celebrate a birthday or honor a loved one. Visiting Austin on business? Book a Board Meeting for the team!

Guided Paddles

Need a bit of added security on the water? Hoping to learn more about the ecology and history of the Colorado River? Take one of our expert outdoor guides on the water with you!

Lessons & Classes

From proper paddle technique to life-saving rescue training, learn from our top instructors! We have classes for all types of watercraft and all levels of student.


Our boathouse is located in Edward Redon Senior Park at the Festival Beach Boat Ramp. Look for The Expedition School flag and white pop-up canopies near the shipping container.



You can park in our lot or along Chicon Street or Nash Hernandez Senior Road. Please be aware of where you park, as some street parking in Austin is paid parking. Remember, The Expedition School is not responsible for any valuables left in your vehicle.


When you Arrive 

You made it! Make sure you have everything you need for a great time on the water. Now, look for one of our guides working in the boathouse or along the water and get checked in. Please respect our COVID-19 policies and wear a mask and socially distance when feasible.



If you have not updated your waiver with us in the last year, please fill out one waiver for each adult who will be paddling. Minors can be added to their legal guardian’s waiver. Waivers can be found at the bottom of any page of our website. You can fill a waiver out at any time – helpful to do before you arrive!


Ground School

One of our favorite parts of your experience! Our guides will get you set up with your watercraft of choice, paddle, PFD (wear them!), and number to call if you are ever in trouble. We then walk you through some paddle strokes to get you started, some basic flora and fauna of the region, where to go, and what to see. Don’t forget to check in with us on the current and projected forecast!


Also known as lifejackets. Drowning is a major cause of unintentional injury and death. We are committed to water safety and drowning prevention in all that we do. By wearing your PFD, you show us that you are as well. Feel free to bring your own, as long as it is a Type III U.S. Coast Guard approved jacket and not in need of retirement.

Before you Leave

Don’t forget to say goodbye! Please check out with a guide before you leave. That way, we can return your I.D. and any gear you left at the boathouse. Make sure to throw away any trash that you found during your adventure – thank you for taking care of the river! Come back to see us soon!



Do you have restrooms?

Yes! Washrooms are just a short walk from The Expedition School, along the Butler Hike-and-Bike trail, just east of I-35. This brand new facility was built and is managed by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

Are you ADA accessible?

Our services and facilities are accessible and welcoming to all! Our boathouse is located on a paved, level surface. Water access is via a sloping concrete boat ramp. We have rubber matting in place to provide additional traction.

Our guides are trained to work with individuals of all ability levels. If you have any questions or concerns, please drop us a line!

What should I wear?
  • Weather appropriate paddling clothes (preferably synthetic, no cotton) or bathing suit with cover up clothing, depending on conditions
  • Water shoes (Chacos, flip flops, old running shoes)
  • All sunglasses/glasses and hats should be attached to your person
  • Multi-spectrum SPF Sunscreen
What should I bring?
  • Photo I.D. to leave at the boathouse
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Any pertinent and current medication (EpiPen, inhaler). Please let Expedition School guides know who is carrying what, and why, so we can be an advocate and assist with these medications!
  • Cell phone (in protective, waterproof floating case)
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Head lamp (for evening paddles)
I damaged a boat. What now?

Please let us know! While you will be responsible for repairs or replacement, it is imperative that we know when and where damages occur, as it might be a safety hazard for visitors after you.

Please leave the following at home:
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Tobacco and vaping products
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam
  • Pets


The Expedition School

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