Lynchburg Ferry

Independence Trail Region
1001 Independence Pkwy N Baytown, TX 77520 (713) 983-1899

The historic ferry service played a vital role in Texas’s fight for independence. During the fearful exodus known as the “Runaway Scrape,” as many as 5,000 women and children crowded together waiting to use the ferry – to escape Santa Anna’s advancing Mexican army. And on April 21, 1836 – the date of the Battle of San Jacinto and the turning point in Texas’s war for Independence – Lynch’s Ferry carried wounded soldiers across the San Jacinto River to the town of Lynchburg

Running continuously since 1822, Lynchburg Ferry (formerly “Lynch’s Ferry”) is perhaps Texas’s oldest operating ferry service.


Lynch’s Ferry, a flat-bottomed boat powered by nothing more than a hand-pulled rope, aided a San Jacinto River crossing for 1820s traffic traveling along the primary land route between South Texas and the Mexican border. Constructed and operated by local settler Nathaniel Lynch, who also established nearby Lynchburg (another Lynch operation that included a steam-driven sawmill). Lynch arrived in the Mexican territory as a colonist of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred.

Although Lynch’s Ferry wasn’t the only waterway conveyance in the area at the time (Lorenzo De Zavalla operated a nearby Buffalo Bayou crossing), it garnered special attention during the Runaway Scrape as colonists who were revolting against Mexican rule used it in their escape route as they fled the oncoming Mexican Army. Lynch, a businessman, was accused of overcharging for the ferry service but after his death fees were set by the Harris County Commissioners Court until the service came under Harris County stewardship in 1888.

Since then, the ferry service has been free. Today, two ferry boats provide Lynchburg Ferry service, carrying vehicles and pedestrians across a landscape dramatically transformed by the international shipping and petrochemical industries. The north ferry landing is located at the end of the Crosby-Lynchburg Road just south of Lynchburg. A short seven to ten minute ride on either ferryboats, the William P. Hobby or the Ross S. Sterling, will deposit you and your vehicle to the southern ferry landing and San Jacinto State Park.

Lynchburg Ferry

1001 Independence Pkwy N Baytown, TX 77520