Watercraft Rentals on Lady Bird Lake

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

on the northern shores 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 

Fall Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday
Closed

Saturday & Sunday
9 AM – civil twilight (October) 

Call us for Private Paddles & Events!

Last paddle goes out

1 hour before sunset!

 

 Rates

SUP – $20 per hour

Kayak – $15 per hour

Tandem Kayak – $20 per hour

Canoes – $25 per hour

Classes/Tours/Lessons – start at $50 for 2 hour minimum

Reservations recommended
for groups of 4 or more!

SELECT YOUR WATERCRAFT

Stand Up Paddleboards

$20 per hour

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.

Kayaks

 $15 per hour

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

$20 per hour

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!

Canoes

$25 per hour

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

CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

Rentals

YOU belong here! The Expedition School prides itself in cultivating and inspiring and inclusive Boathouse, where all abilities, ages, and people are welcome. Come as you are!

Our location allows for a greener experience, where you can escape the hustle of the city and relax in the midst of the parkland that graces our shores. And, if you would like to help us maintain the river, ask one of our Guides to hook you up with a river cleanup kit.

Walk-up rentals always available. Reservations recommended for larger groups.

See prices above, and view our calendar for Boathouse hours and special events.

Call or email to place a reservation.

 

Group Paddles

The Expedition School offers rentals for special events – SUP Birthday Parties, wedding parties, or teambuilds. Group Paddles offer special pricing, dedicated guide(s) to help plan and execute the event, environmental education, and lifeguard(s) support. The Expedition School can accommodate groups of all sizes, ages, and needs.

Visiting Austin on business? Book a Board Meeting or teambuild for the team!

Contact us to discuss specifics and group rates.

Lessons & Classes

Are you water safe? Our guides and educators offer both private and public classes for novice, enthusiast, and expert paddlers to better their technique, confidence, knowledge, and understanding of the many different watercraft we offer.

All lessons and classes are tailored to the abilities and outcomes of our student demographic, with the ultimate goal of inspiring the best, safest, and most environmentally sound practices.

In-person, virtual, and hybrid options available. We are committed to improving the quality of outdoor education available to those who seek opportunities to recreate outdoors.

Lessons begin at $50 for 2 hours

Contact us to schedule a lesson and discuss learning outcomes!

Guided Paddles

The Expedition School offers guided paddles, led by our professional guides and educators, to offer additional peace of mind while you are on the water. We guide these paddles to offer water safety and drowning prevention, flora and fauna identiciation, environmental education, and moral support!

Join any one of our regularly scheduled Guided Paddles or get in touch if you have something else in mind We specialize in custom guided experiences!

Youth Paddle

The goal of our Youth Paddles is to provide a fun and safe space for kids 7-17 to experience paddling with their peers on the waters of the Colorado River/Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake. These journeys are inclusive, experiential opportunities for fitness, environmental education, and recreation. All paddles are led by waterfront lifeguard trained professional guides. All paddlers wear lifejackets and have the opportunity to paddle kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards. Multiple offerings each week – check our calendar for the next Youth Paddle!

Women’s Paddle

Our Women’s Paddle offers a fun and safe environment for female-identifying individuals to experience the wonders of the Colorado River together. These educational and social events are led by our professional guides, all trained in CPR, First Aid, and Waterfront Lifeguarding. Offered weekly – check our calendar for the next Women’s Paddle!

Legend’s Paddle

Designed to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing through outdoor recreation and paddling fun. Learn proper paddle technique, gear, and safety measure from The Expedition School guides. Enjoy paddling and conversing (at a safe and social distance) with other Legend of our community on the beautiful waters of Town Lake! legend Paddles are customized to reach the goals of each paddler. Offered weekly – check our calendar for the next Legend’s Paddle.

Location

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.

Parking

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.

Waivers

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!

PFDs

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!

 

FAQs

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

MAP

The Expedition School