Boating in the park is a popular activity, especially among anglers. Most boaters utilize the Bird Island Basin Boat Ramp to launch their boat into the Laguna Madre for a day on the water. The Laguna Madre is a very shallow body of water, averaging around 4.5 feet (1.4 m) deep, and special consideration needs to be taken for navigation. The maintained shipping channel of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway has an average depth of 12 feet (3.7 m) and acts as the western boundary of the national seashore. Large boat and barge traffic is common in maintained shipping channel.
Where can I operate my motorboat in the park?
On the Laguna Madre side: Bird Island Basin offers a boat ramp with access to Laguna Madre.
Kayaking and canoeing offer unique opportunities to explore the park in the salt water of the Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico. The Laguna Madre boasts shallow waters and protected areas that are perfect for both the beginner paddler and the seasoned explorers. The easiest launch site for paddlers wishing to explore the Laguna Madre is the Bird Island Basin Day-use Area. At Bird Island Basin, Worldwinds Windsurfing also offers kayak and standup paddle board rentals.
Windsurfing is a popular activity in the park. The steady wind, warm water, and shallow depths make the Bird Island Basin Day-use Area a premier windsurfing destination in the United States. The location is also a great place for beginners to learn the sport. The park hosts Worldwinds Windsurfing, an authorized concessionaire who provides gear rentals and lessons at Bird Island Basin.
Last updated: December 1, 2023