The stretch of the Brazos River from below the Possum Kingdom dam run wild and scenic, and mostly untouched from any development, except for a few houses and camps, down to Hwy 180 in Mineral Wells, and is a great 4-day canoe trip for 40 miles. Sandbars dot the river, making for great places to camp, and you’ll rarely encounter any others. Rochelle’s Canoe Rental on Hwy 4 at the Dark Valley Creek Bridge sits half-way along the route, and as their name implies, they offer canoe and kayak rentals or they can shuttle you and your own boats. They also offer camping on the river at this location. 10 miles south of their location they have a private take-out that makes for a nice, 10-mile day paddle.
This stretch of the Brazos offers fun, fast-moving little riffles and slower, deeper flat water. You’ll see plenty of fish jumping all along the river, and often deer in the morning and evening, as well as shore birds and in the fall or spring you might even spot bald eagles.
The long-stretches of river, often desolate of other people, makes this one of our dogs favorite paddling trails. Sandbars and pebble beaches are perfect places to stop for a little swimming and relaxing in the cool water. Well-trained dogs can frolic in the water untethered, but always bring a leash and have your dog under your control at all times. Do not allow your dog to leave the river bank. A dog that runs off can get lost and no trespassing is allowed on the private property all along the river. None of the land along the river is public, and it’s all well marked. We always bring extra fresh water for our dogs and discourage them from ever drinking from the river.
Scouts can camp at Worth Ranch, which offers canoe and kayak rentals, and put in on the river there at the camp and paddle down to Rochelle’s for a one day or Hwy 180 for 2-day paddle. Alternately, they can also put in below the dam for a two-day trip and take out and the camp. Worth Ranch reservation can be made through Longhorn Council. Rochelle’s is Scout-friendly, too.
Goodbye To A River by John Graves tells the story of the author and his dog paddling the river in 1957, and his account of the history of the river and the settlement of the area. It’s truly a phenomenal read and while I’ve read it numerous times, I always find something new to relate it to while on a river trip.
Know Before You Go
Rochelle’s requires reservations for all trips and shuttles.
Always pack plenty of water, and be sure each person is carrying water on their boat.
A Texas fishing license is required when fishing on the river.
There is very little cell service available. Always leave a trip plan with someone before you go.
All the kayaks in the pictures are our personal ones. Contact Rochelle’s for information on their boat types.
Rochelle’s Canoe Rental
7024 FM Rd. 4, Graford
Click HERE to visit their website.
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