Get on the Water with Austin Rowing Club
Soak up the beauty of downtown Austin with Austin Rowing Club (ARC), the oldest rowing club in Texas. ARC welcomes visitors and locals alike to enjoy Austin’s great outdoors on scenic Lady Bird Lake, with rowing, kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals, as well as tours led by knowledgeable guides.
RENTALS & GUIDED TOURS
ARC offers kayak (single and double) and SUP hourly rentals seven days a week from Austin’s only downtown paddling location. Or join a guided kayak tour, led by experienced guides, that’s fun for all ages and does not require any paddling experience.
The popular Downtown to Barton Springs Tour journeys to the natural, spring-fed waters of Barton Springs, with the bonus of a stunning Austin skyline view. The Sunset Bat Tour, offered from April through September, is timed to view the incredible sight of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats as they fly out from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The Austin City Tour takes paddlers through the city as they learn about Austin’s amazing architecture and get a chance to visit bubbly Barton Springs.
PUBLIC ROWING EVENTS
As a non-profit, ARC is dedicated to the education and promotion of the sport of rowing in Texas and offers high-quality rowing programs. ARC’s The Heart of Texas and Head of the Colorado regattas are both officially recognized by USRowing, which is the governing body for the sport of rowing. In recent years, The Heart of Texas Regatta, ARC’s flagship event, has attracted more than 700 entries, with more than 1,000 competitors from a dozen states.
Each June, ARC hosts free National Learn to Row Day activities. This USRowing-sponsored event offers all ages the opportunity to learn about and try rowing for the first time. 90-minute courses cover an introduction to rowing, including a tour of the ARC boathouse. Coaches and rowers are on hand to teach the basics of the rowing stroke, first on an indoor rower and then on the water in a training barge. Visitors get to truly experience what it’s like to row as part of a crew on Lady Bird Lake.
Austin Rowing Club takes great pride in being a steward of Lady Bird Lake and helping to keep it safe, clean and friendly for all users. As part of ARC’s ongoing efforts to give back to the community and protect the environment, they host monthly lake and shoreline cleanups in partnership with other local organizations such as Keep Austin Beautiful. Each month, members, volunteers and local residents come together to remove litter and debris from the lake's shores and surrounding areas. By participating in these cleanups, ARC aims to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the waters of Lady Bird Lake while promoting a cleaner and greener environment for generations to come.
ARC offers Team Building Events for groups of any size, with sessions lasting 90 minutes or longer available year-round (no experience necessary). ARC will tailor a Team Building Event to meet a group’s goals, teaching the basic skills of rowing and then combining those newly learned skills into functional team boats. Along the way, participants bond and get a hands-on understanding of how individuals working together in challenging situations can create impressive results.
ARC’s modern Waller Creek Boathouse overlooking Lady Bird Lake is available for private rental, suitable for everything from corporate seminars to evening cocktail parties. The upper level includes both indoor and outdoor space with beautiful views of the city. The lower lake level features a spacious flagstone terrace and sweeping lawn.
Learn more about the many activities and programs offered by ARC.
Article and photography courtesy of Austin Rowing Club.