Cedar Lake at Cleburne State Park offers visitors more than 100 acres of water to fish, swim or enjoy other activities in.
Now, visitors can kayak on the lake through the use of a new self-service rental machine located near the park’s swimming area.
Provided by Friends of Cleburne State Park, available equipment includes single and double kayaks and paddle boards.
Jim Crocker, a member of the friends group, said a debit or credit card is required to rent one of the watercrafts.
“You just swipe your card, pick a number on the screen and it will unlock the corresponding unit,” he said. “The first weekend the rentals were well used; nobody had any complaints or had trouble operating the machine.”
The rental machine is made by the same company that provides the park’s firewood vending machines, and operates on the same self-service concept.
“The kayak rentals is a test market for the company,” Crocker said. “We’ve checked with other parks in the area that you can kayak in and they are averaging about $15 an hour for rentals.”
At Cleburne State Park, a two-hour rental is $24; a four-hour rental is $45 and an all-day rental is $80.
State law requires that each person have a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device onboard that is properly sized and fitted. Children under 13 must wear one at all times.
Park staff also ask that renters also abide by the following rules and regulations:
• Adult supervision is required at all times for children under 13 years of age.
• Parents or guardians are responsible for their children’s actions while they are aboard the rentals.
• No jumping off or swimming from the rentals.
• No horseplay is allowed when using the rentals.
• Maximum capacity of the kayaks: single is 350 pounds and double is 500 pounds.
• If a storm is approaching or lightning is observed, return to the beach, dock or sheltered shoreline immediately.
• The use of rentals during the night hours between sunset and sunrise is prohibited.
• Do not pull/tow kayaks or other rental equipment behind another boat or other motorized watercraft unless it’s an emergency situation.
• Do not detach hatch covers, drain plugs or seat backs under any circumstances.
If you have any questions about using the rentals don’t hesitate to ask park staff.
A portion of the rental sales will go toward Friends of Cleburne State Park projects.
The all-volunteer group was established to work in partnership with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to maintain and protect the natural beauty of the park for future generations to enjoy.
Other recent projects provided by the group include implementing an at-risk youth program, hosting a pancake breakfast, providing a complete first responder medical kit, creating a little free library and installing new playground equipment.
“In the future, we’d like to add paddle boat rentals,” Crocker said. “The park used to have them a long time ago. We’d like to bring them back.”