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Canoeing & Kayaking

Lake Sommerville and Yegua Creek, Texas, USA

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Copyright 2001 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Marilyn Kircus
  • Date Submitted: 10/2001
  • Location: Sommerville, Texas, USA
  • Class: I - If weather is fair with low winds. But could reach Class II in bad weather.
  • Distance Paddled: First day - about 8, 2nd day about 6, personal lake paddle about 8.
  • Water Level: Not relevant
  • Water: fresh, clear, rainwater fed
  • Wildlife: Gar, unidentified water snake, white pelicans, great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, osprey, coots, blue winged teal, mottled ducks, while on water. While walking around campground or hiking - coyote, deer, red shouldered hawk, unidentified warblers, chickadees, titmice
  • Special Regulations: Check with the park for permits for the primitive sites on the creek.

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: We camped at the Nails Creek Unit of Lake Sommerville State Park. For all kinds of information, check out their site, For Corp. of Engineer campgrounds, check out: Lake Sommerville is northwest of Houston and northeast of of Austin. Take 290 east from Austin or west from Houston. Turn north at 180 and continue 15 miles to the park.
  • Fee: $3.00 per person per day state park entry fees apply. Tent sites are $8.00 per night. electric sites are $11.00 per night. Each site is limited to 8 campers and 2 vehicles.
  • Description: Paved double boat ramp
  • Parking: There is a paved parking lot by the double boat ramp.
  • Facilities: Park includes picnic areas, tent camping (right at the boat ramp), sites with electricity and water and hot water showers in the restrooms, a 13 mile trail to hike, bike or ride horses on. (Camping permitted by permit, bring your own water)
  • Handicap Access: Most was accessible for handicapped people except I didn't see large stalls in the restrooms.

What We Saw

After taking this trip we were amazed that this was not a well known and loved destination. There was the lake paddling which all of us enjoyed in an evening paddle to watch the beautiful afterglow and try to count the first few hundred stars. I also paddled up the dawn, paddling between Nails Creek Unit and Birch Unit and a little further. There was creek paddling which we did by paddling up the canal towards Flag Pond and then intersecting Nails Creek and paddling up it for about a mile. We paddled in a grassy portion of the lake, past lots of coots and a few ducks, mostly blue wing teal and mottled ducks, then up a mostly open canal through a marshy area and then into the creek which wound from a marsh to a swamp to higher ground. We went through a big log jam under the hiking trail bridge and then found a bigger jam about 50 yards further. So we retraced our route and picked up the canal and went on to the pond where we hiked to a little camp area to eat lunch in the shade. I enjoyed the red-tailed hawk and the warblers and chickadees that were there. We also found a toad just sitting in his burrow and watching us eat lunch.

The next day three of the group hunted diligently and finally found Yegua Creek, shown in the photo at right. We found camping sites on it, which makes it a great place to camp out of a kayak. If you want to explore up Yegua Creek, Bob Scaldino, a great navigator, has given us an easy way: There are about six dead trees on the far northwest bank. You line up the last tree on the left with the fish cleaning station, which is just to the right of the boat ramp, and paddle towards that tree. When you get to the heavy plant growth line in the lake, you should see a wooden stake with red tape tied to the top. You should then see about a four foot wide path through the heavy plant growth. It snakes around to the right. Just keep following this narrow path through the plant growth (the line of dead trees should stay to your right) and it will lead you to the beginning of the creek.