Sugar Land Memorial Park is a beautiful park with a pleasant running trail. There is a decent space for parking, and the layout of the entire park allows for efficiency while providing pleasant scenery. One of my favorite features of this park is the Brazos River views.
I enjoy the breeze that comes off the water while I am working up a sweat as I jog and push my double stroller.
The river is an impressive force of nature; local residents are all too familiar with it's power. At this very moment; while I write this; Sugar Land Memorial Park is actually under water, as the Brazos has exceeded it's capacity and spilled over the banks into the park due to the massive rainfall over Memorial Weekend 2016. Brazos River Flood Sugar Land Memorial Park
Safety is not optional, and I strongly recommend waiting until the park is officially open before trying out the trail and enjoying the other features of the park.
The trail is two loops which connect directly in front of the parking lot, almost in the shape of a figure 8. It runs parallel to the Brazos river, and at the south loop, which is closest to the skate park and dog park area there is a view of the Brazos as it goes under a bridge. The skate park has been closed every time I have gone to the park, and both the dog park and the skate park were under water the last time I went, which was about a week after the historic flooding event on Tax Day 2016.
The first time I went to the Sugar Land Memorial Park to run I appreciated the sight of a man doing what looked like Tai Chi with a samurai sword, under the pavilion in front of the water. It was peaceful and interesting to see, not an everyday occurrence for me.
The city website also indicates there are plans to continue the trail further west toward the bank of the Brazos. I look forward to the updates and hope to see the progress. It is part of an effort to connect various areas of Sugar Land by walking/ biking trails.
Sugar Land Memorial Park Running Trail Rubric
|1 low quality||2 average quality||3 best quality||Score|
|cost||expensive, charge per individual||small fee||free||3|
|trail length||requires laps to get adequate workout||1 mile minimum||loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum||3|
|trail material||broken sidewalk cement, grass||gravel, dirt, sand||paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)||2|
|trail width||hardly large enough for single||single but easy to pass||double wide, easy to pass, side by side||3|
|bugs||doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing||carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites||like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat||2|
|view||grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by||visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind||visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind||3|
|crowd (quantity)||too many people to maneuver as desired||some passing required but doable||comfortably populated||3|
|crowd (culture)||hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals||people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals||friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed||3|
|cleanliness||nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell||trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics||spotless, clean||3|
|safety||not getting out of the car, too dangerous||share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs||minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs||3|
|parking||sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park||adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail||adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail||3|
|amenities||not encouraging the hanging out in any way||limited water, limits to any desired amenity||toilets, benches, workout section, water||3|
The Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail earns a score of 34 out of 36. I often forget to wear bug repellent, and last time I got bit, and the worry that the kids were getting bit made me run faster to get them back to the car. So, while it is a motivator to pick up the pace, I do recommend bringing bug repellent on the trail. I try to avoid spraying the kids with Deet, it makes me nervous, so I use the clip on repellent and I feel pretty good about it's effectiveness in most environments.
While the score is similar to some of the other trails I have evaluated, I think it should be noted it is always give and take with preferred features. This has the water to help cool the air, but there are no trees to provide shade from the blazing sun. For some, no trees is a deal breaker. And while I prefer both trees and water, I have come to terms with one or the other around here.
I hope you get out and try the Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail after it drains and returns to normal. I look forward to getting back out there and exploring new areas and having a nice jog! Let me know what you think when you go, and leave me comments, and updates on the park and the clean up process as well as the progress on the extension of the running trails.
Happy Trails (running!!) until we meet again!