About TRKC


An Urban Adventure
Kayak River Runs | Dallas–Fort Worth, TX

Pam and Jeff Varnell, 30 year residents of Coppell, purchased the old “bait shop” property located at 1601 E. Sandy Lake Rd. in Coppell as a real estate investment on June 29, 2012. The property is approximately 2 acres, right on the banks of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

The Varnells purchased the old bait shop property from Bryine Graham, whose relatives had owned it since 1952. The bait shop was known throughout the years as Harrington Bait and Tackle. Her uncles, George and Johnny Harrington were the original owners.

New plans for the property were to remodel the old bait shop building and house Coppell Realty, their independent real estate firm, and develop 4 or 5 river lots for future home sites at the back of the property.

Shortly after purchasing the property, Jeff Varnell and his son Blake were mowing and cleaning it up while watching the water flow over the 80′ wide, 25′ steep dam, known as the Carrollton Dam.

Blake Varnell was an Eagle Scout from Coppell BSA Troop 840. Jeff Varnell commented to his son that in all the years they had lived in Coppell, they had never explored the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. They decided to purchase a couple of kayaks and see what was out there. On their very first trip that extended from the old bait shop property to California Crossing Dam on the Campion Trails in Irving, TX, they had a spiritual experience. The Lord touched their heart and revealed His beauty of nature all along the trail. It was at that moment that the idea for starting the Trinity River Kayak Co. was born. From there, Jeff and Blake explored the river all over from Coppell, Lewisville, Carrollton, Irving, Farmers Branch and Dallas.

The Trinity River has 4 forks that begin just below the Red River and merge into one a fork just south of Downtown Dallas. It then runs all the way through the State of Texas, through Lake Livingston near Houston, into the Trinity Bay and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. It is 710 miles long and is the longest running river within the State of Texas. It is the drinking source for over 12 million Texans and was named in the year 1690 by the Spanish Explorer, Alonzo DeLeon, who named it LaCinta Cima Trinidad. (O’ Most Holy Trinity) Out there we see everything from Bobcat to Beaver and Hawk to Heron. The fishing on the river is fantastic. In the Dallas area, along the Trinity River basin and in the Great Trinity Forest, there are approximately 10,000 acres of urban forest. It is home to the largest urban forest, not only in the U.S., but all of North America. All of this, right here in Dallas!

Trinity River Kayak Co. opened for its first day of business on July 23, 2013. If you haven’t paddled the river, we hope you will come out and just see what all the buzz is about!


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