Tag Archives: Buffalo Bayou

The Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston is a part of a much larger trail which runs through the entire Houston area. I have taken a hike through the untamed grasses of the Buffalo Bayou Trail in Katy, and I have taken a run through the Heights along the Buffalo Bayou Trail. But the Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston is my FAVORITE stretch of the trail. The trail is lined with parks, art installations, towering sky scrapers, the bayou (of course) trees and flowers and no matter the direction you head there is a good chance you will find yourself within walking distance of a spectacular eatery, event, or venue.Buffalo Bayou Trail in Downtown Houston

 


 

Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston 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)  3
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  3
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  2
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 unappealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean  2
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  2
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  2
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water  3

Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston earns a score of 32 out of 36! Keep in mind this is a score based on my typical experience and my own experiences vary from day to day based on the area or even the day or time of day. Some of the things I love or can ignore about the trail may be undesirable for you that is why I give a detailed breakdown below.

More Than 12 Reasons to Visit Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston

  1. Start with the cost: which is FREE (Yea!) Don't get me wrong, if you are in downtown Houston there is a good chance you are going to spend money, but there are days I go and I don't spend money so it is possible.
  2. The trail length is seemingly endless, although the Bayou does flow into the Houston Port I'm not confident the trail is accessible throughout the Houston area.
  3. The trail material varies, there are pedestrian paths made of an asphalt material and there are shared paths made of cement. The trail also is occasionally made of a gravel material. The trails that line the bayou do erode due to water and weather (nature really) and there may be some closures while repairs are made.
  4. The trail width is reasonable for passing on comers, the bike access trails are even wider and allow for safer passing space.
  5. There are bugs, those nuisance gnats that seem to linger right at face level. The combination ducking and nose and mouth exhale keeps them from entering the orifices on the face. (That is a special evasive technique I find effective when I see them ahead of me on the trail) I rarely see a mosquito and I do not use bug repellant on this trail. I have freaked at the sight of an enormous looming shadow which turned out to be a large butterfly. Before I knew what was approaching the growing shadow made my heart jump out of my chest and I felt compelled to duck down as I saw the giant shadow come across my own shadow looking like a pterodactyl and then the beautiful large wings of a black and blue butterfly dropped into my path and I gasped at it's beauty and laughed at my panic. (Oh nature!)
  6. The view is hard to beat! It is why people live in the city. Our city scape really does compliment the parks and bayou features that intersect our bustling community. This is one green space that feels like a buffer from the city and provides peace and nature while providing a constant reminder that you never actually left the city. Now, not that I want to be negative, but occasionally there is graffiti which does quickly get washed away by city maintenance. Also, the bayou is essentially rain water drainage, and especially after a storm, there is an unattractive collection of trash floating in the water. I see the city making an effort to keep the area clean and I appreciate their effort.Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston
  7. The crowd (quantity) is never too much. I feel safe when I pass and I never feel like if I were to injure myself I would wait for days to be found and rescued.
  8. The crowd (culture) is absolutely diverse. I have been cheered by other runners, I have had friendly chats, and inquires as far as safety and convenience. The people I meet are really nice, and the people I don't meet keep respectfully to their self, even the vagrants.
  9. The trail is clean. There is some washout from the higher ground after storms but I have seen this cleaned up over time by trail maintenance. There is the trash in the bayou I mentioned earlier but I have also witnessed the cleanup method, and they use a net funneling method to keep it from spreading downstream. There are trash cans lining the trail and also as mentioned before there is some graffiti in some of the underpass areas, but I don't think these linger.
  10. I feel safe when I run the Buffalo Bayou Trail at downtown Houston. The trail is regularly patrolled by security, maintenance workers, and mounted police. I am always on guard, which I feel is a necessary state of mind as a mother and in public. I have also witnessed convict clean up crews, so, there is that. I know there are wild animals on the trail, I have never seen any man eaters, but there are some underpasses where bats have made a home, and I personally have a slightly irrational fear of zoonosis, so watch yourself, but it is unlikely you have anything to worry about from the wildlife in the area.
  11. Parking is free in some lots and depending on when you come to the trail it may be metered. Free lots are located at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park, but it is small and can fill up quickly but there is parking across the street at the city lot C which is free on the weekends. The Lost Lake area also has a free lot, but it fills quickly too. It can be hit or miss depending on where you want to start on the trail.
  12. Of course the places I chose to park also accommodate my need for amenities. The Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park lot is near bathrooms, there are canoe launches, bike rentals, dog park, playground, open grassy spaces, water fountains, desirable sites, and attractions, food trucks park on the circle on Saturdays, I have seen a couple of ice cream vendors on various other days parked on the circle. The trail is within walking distance of a multitude of restaurants, museums, and other attractions. When the downtown events are in full swing people will walk the Buffalo Bayou Trail to get to these events and avoid parking directly on site or enjoy the leisurely walk.

    Runners Looking For Hills in Houston

    This trail may meet your needs if you are looking for a good HIIT workout. If the highs and lows on the trail are not enough there are stairs which take pedestrians from street level to trail level located at intervals along the path. These stairs make a great addition to the runner's workout especially those looking for hill sprints for that extra cardio kick. Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown HoustonThere are infinite possibilities for entertainment so get out on the town! The Buffalo Bayou Trail at Downtown Houston will not disappoint come explore our city up close let me know what you think!

Happy (running) Trails!

Priscilla

If you run in Houston you know or at least have heard of Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area which consists of a magnificent 500 acres that stretch along northwest Houston. So many Houston runners make this their go-to trail, and it makes sense: with it's towering trees and the babbling buffalo bayou you almost forget I-10 is a stone's throw away at times.Terry Hershey Park of the Houston Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area

While I love getting out for a run I feel even more passionate about getting out on trails that are tree covered especially when it is the middle of Summer and the temperature is in the 90's with a heat index of another 10 degrees due to humidity. Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area is such a great place to meet friends for a run, and of course, it has the necessary amenities for the kids like playgrounds and picnic areas.

Terry Hershey Park Running Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


With so many trails in the Bayou City, how do Houstonians choose? Some prefer proximity and convenience, some require a particular trail material, gravel or asphalt, some people just don't want their car to be broken into, others want a view of the scantily clad. This trail meets my personal standards for comfort and safety while running a trail with my children. Check out the

Terry Hershey 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)  3
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  3
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  2
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  2
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 2
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

Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area overall score is a: 33 which means I will be back to visit the Terry Hershey Park and Running Trail. Since I know many people are too busy to read a detailed rubric itemizing and scoring each characteristic I personally find desirable in a running trail I provide the following summary of the Trail Running Rubric.

12 Reasons to Run Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area:

  1. Free to park free to enter, need I say more?
  2. Trail length is an adequate distance to get a legitimate workout, run out half the distance you care to run and then turn around.
  3. The trail material is a firm asphalt/ cement surface, which some may complain damages the joints, but for me running on loose sand or gravel causes my joints to twist when my foot pushes off and if it is dry conditions I end up sucking in dirt which is kicked up into the air giving me an asthma attack so for me I strongly prefer the trail material at Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area.
  4. The trail width is adequate for my double stroller to pass oncoming runners who are also double stacked.
  5.  Yes, of course, there are bugs, but none chased me aggressively, none ate me, and I didn't choke on any swarms. So good in my book. We did stop on the side of the trail and found ourselves in an ant bed, which required some evasive maneuvers but the kids and I came out bite free.
  6.  Great view. This is subjective no doubt, but for me, I like to see water (trail runs parallel to Buffalo Bayou), I like to see trees, I like to feel the shade of the trees, I like to have some hills for a sprint challenge but they are also a nice change of scenery in this coastal prairie.
  7.  Not too many people and not too few. Sometimes seclusion can be as much a hazard as too many people.
  8. The culture of the trail made me feel safe and comfortable. I didn't see people shooting up or passed out under bridges. People kept to themselves and respectfully scooched over when needed.
  9.  The park and trail both clean, I didn't see trash or graffiti on the trail as far as I made it. I saw trash cans in the park and on the trail.
  10.  Safe park and trail, as far as the trail being maintained. I felt reasonably safe with the crowd. There are bikers so caution is necessary and of course, the chance of some man eating alligator crawling out of the bayou is always on my mind in the Bayou City. The trail was closed at the Eldridge lot due to high water. Some of the reviews I read said the trail does get flooded with even small amounts of rain fall, I suggest following signs and warnings posted. Use common sense as conditions on the trail can change from day to day or even hour to hour.
  11. Parking is found in various places around the Terry Hershey Trail and I always choose a place that has close proximity to a bathroom. It is free to park, and in a lot which had pleanty of spots, I saw a couple of other places to park along the trail.
  12. Amenities are comfortable and maintained. Bathrooms with plumbing, water fountains, benches, gazeebo, picknic tables, playground. Not all parts of the trail have direct access to these creature comforts. I suggest parking at the park on Memorial Dr. for direct access to these things. You will find water, trashes, a shower (I dont know why) toilets and benches along the trail as well.

You should check out Terry Hershey Park Running Trail of the Houston Area and let me know what you think. This is one of those trails I suggest during the Summer months since the sun can get intense and decrease motivation to get out and exercise. Hope it suits you and your trail running needs here in the Houston area.

Happy (Running) Trails!

Priscilla