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.
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.
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:
- Free to park free to enter, need I say more?
- Trail length is an adequate distance to get a legitimate workout, run out half the distance you care to run and then turn around.
- 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.
- The trail width is adequate for my double stroller to pass oncoming runners who are also double stacked.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not too many people and not too few. Sometimes seclusion can be as much a hazard as too many people.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!