Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is now my newest favorite pastime. I’ve kayaked a bit over the years and just recently decided to take up the sport again. Lady Bird Lake is the perfect place for a relaxing paddle, especially on weekdays.

Several companies rent kayaks along Lady Bird Lake, but so far I’ve only gone to Congress Avenue Kayaks. This place is located downstairs at the Waller Creek Boathouse at the end of Trinity Street behind the Four Seasons Austin. Single kayak rentals are a reasonable $10 per hour. They require a driver’s license as a deposit. There are baskets to hold shoes, but no locked storage bins.

I’ve been exploring the lake in both directions, but I definitely prefer heading upstream. Downstream has too much I-35 traffic noise. The more tranquil upstream route has bridges to float under and islands to explore.

Lady Bird Lake can get crowded on weekends, but it’s almost deserted on weekdays, especially when the weather is overcast. I saw only one large group on my most recent weekday outing. From a distance, I worried that they might be rowdy schoolchildren on a field trip, but they turned out to be responsible adults who just quietly paddled by me.

Except for bat squeaks under the Congress Avenue Bridge and an occasional car horn, weekdays on the lake are quiet and peaceful…at least until the children’s summer camps start!

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