David and I have enjoyed the paddling trails near Aransas Pass Lighthouse Trails. Most recently, we spent six hours paddling the southern most trail. Using the map from Travel South Texas, we put in at marker #1 of Lighthouse Trails Park. Our goal was to paddle to the Old Aransas Lighthouse, have a nice picnic lunch and paddle back. While we always enjoy paddling and being on the water, this was not our most enjoyable outing.
The trail markers are faded and difficult to read, they do not show directional instructions when more than one choice of direction is present, markers do not indicate which trail is being marked, and markers are too far apart. One would argue that if you follow a map it would be clear which way to go. This is fine for a local who has the time and opportunity to find where maps may be purchased. For tourists who wish to use the trails, the posted maps are of little use because they are difficult to read and you no longer have access on the water.
The fishing was great on the day we went. Since it was unseasonably warm, we were getting plenty of hits on the Gulp Alive baits. We caught some spotted trout (released). We couldn’t have been happier with the fishing results.
While following some of the trails we found that oyster beds or silt and sand had filled in the trail making it difficult to paddle. Often we had to get out of the yaks and drag them through, even at high tide. It is next to impossible to walk in areas where your feet get stuck in the silt and sand. This is an issue of poor maintenance of the trails. They likely have not been maintained since the trail markers were put up.
All that being said, if you are careful of which trails you follow, plan ahead, buy a map, pay attention to the tides, and pay attention to waters around you, your paddling experience should be awesome! We had a great day paddling even through those frustrating times and will certainly paddle those trails again.