Outdoor Activities on Matagorda Island


Paddlers love Matagorda Island, separated from the mainland by San Antonio and Espiritu Santo Bay. It’s a great place to explore by canoe or kayak.

The paddling trails around Matagorda Island are a great way to see the 56,688-acre island, which is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. There are three interconnected trails around the island, the North loop trail is approximately 4.8 miles long and carries you past the historic Matagorda Island Lighthouse while the others ride along the bays. Along your way look out for migratory birds, endangered species, fish, white-tailed deer and even alligators.

Hiking and Biking

Hiking and biking are the best ways to explore the natural beauty, peace and quiet of the Matagorda Island State Park and National Wildlife Refuge. This 38 mile barrier island, which is home to whooping cranes, peregrine falcons, deer, coyote and other wildlife, is accessible only by ferry, charter or private boat.

There are miles of trails and beaches to explore on the island. During daylight hours, visitors can hike or bike along a 6-mile trail from the bayside boat dock to the beach, along the shore and back with an optional detour to the Matagorda light house. Picnic tables, bathrooms and running water are available at the bayside dock, and the beach has picnic tables as well. Visitors may camp at either location.