Longtime Coppell residents Pam and Jeff Varnell purchased a bait shop located on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River 11 years ago.

Jeff originally planned to turn the shop into a real estate office, but after kayaking down the river with his son, he said he decided to go in a different direction.

“God showed us His beauty, and I said, ‘We can’t sell this; people need to see it,’” he said.

Jeff and Pam opened Trinity River Kayak Co. in 2013. The recreational venue offers 22 miles of river trips with kayaks and canoes. Its stock includes 110 canoes and kayaks of various sizes available for rental, or visitors can bring their own.

Trinity River Kayak Co. provides an urban adventure, Pam said.

“You really don’t hear the city,” she said. “You have great reception on your [phone]. A plane may go over you, but until you go over the roads or get near the roads, you really don’t know that you’re really in the middle of the city.”

The company is located on the banks of the Elm Fork, one of the four forks that make up the Trinity River system.

“Because of the location and because there’s not a whole lot of industry on this part ... up here on the Elm Fork is the most beautiful [of the four forks],” Jeff said.

Kayakers visiting Trinity River Kayak Co. can choose from three different routes. The shortest trip, The Blast, spans from Trinity River Kayak Co. to Hebron Parkway in Lewisville. The 6-mile trip takes two to three hours and is the most popular, Pam and Jeff said. The Double Rush is the longest trip at 12 miles. The five to six hour trip stretches from Trinity River Kayak Co. to the Lake Lewisville Dam.

Kayakers will be shuttled to or from their destination, Pam said. Trinity River Kayak Co.’s season begins in March and runs through October, weather permitting.

Kayakers of all experience levels are welcomed, Pam said.

Trinity River Kayak Co.

1601 E. Sandy Lake Road, Coppell



Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (in season, days vary)