Good bank access is available at Town Lake Metropolitan Park at Auditorium Shores and Town Lake Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach. Shoreline access is also available at Red Bud Island in the upper end of the reservoir near Tom Miller Dam. The Austin hike and bike trail circles almost the entire lower two thirds of the reservoir offering access to the bank. Unimproved boat ramps are located on the north shore at Festival Beach and behind the Holiday Inn Hotel west of I-35. One additional ramp for boats that can be carried is located across Stephen F. Austin Street from Austin High School. Additional information about fishing in/at Lake Austin can be found on the TPWD website. A variety of boat rentals are available around Lady Bird Lake. The following organizations have gained a concession to provide boat rentals from Austin Parks and Recreation:
- Austin Rowing Club is located on the lake behind the Four Seasons Hotel at the end of Trinity Street at the Waller Creek Boathouse. Austin Rowing Club offers a variety rowing programs for junior and adult rowers and scholarship opportunities are available on a needs basis. In addition, kayak rental and SUP rental are also available at the boathouse. The boathouse also has a cafe with a great view of Lady Bird Lake.
- Rowing Dock are located west of MoPac on the south shore of the lake, entrance off Stratford Drive in Zilker Park. They offer kayaks, canoes, fishing kayaks, pedal kayaks and stand up paddle boards for rent, camps and instruction. Visit the Rowing Dock web site for additional information.
- Texas Rowing Center is located on the lake just south of Austin High School. They offer rowing, kayak/canoe rentals and lessons. Visit their web site for additional information.
- Zilker Park Boat Rentals is located on Barton Creek, just east of Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. They rent canoes and kayaks. Visit their web site for additional information.
Businesses with questions about Parks Concessions should visit the Parks Concession webpage.
Local Boating Laws In addition to the Texas Water Safety Act, the City of Austin has established several ordinances for Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake and Lake Walter E. Long. The purposes of these ordinances are to protect the health and safety of the public using the area lakes.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to swim, bathe, wade or go into the waters of Lady Bird Lake, except in efforts to rescue and recover human beings.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to fish from the deck or other portion of any bridge which crosses the Colorado River within the city limits.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to dive from or jump of any bridge which crosses the Colorado River within the city limits.
- No person shall operate a gas powered motor vessel on the waters of Lady Bird Lake, except with the permission of the city. Motorboats operated by officers and employees of the city in the performance of their official duties are exempt.
- No person on any watercraft on Lake Austin, Lake Walter E. Long, or Lady Bird Lake shall possess, use or operate, or assist in the use or other similar device capable of propelling or launching fluid filled balloons or other projectiles.
- No person within 150 yards of the shoreline of Lake Austin, Lake Walter E. Long, or Lady Bird Lake shall use or operate, or assist in the use or other similar device to propel or launch fluid filled balloons or other projectiles towards the waters of said lakes.
- Only boats powered by electric motors which do not exceed a capacity of five horsepower can operate on Lady Bird Lake. It shall be unlawful for any person to occupying watercraft located on Lady Bird Lake for the purpose of sleeping between dusk and dawn or overnight habitation unless the City Council approves otherwise.