paddling buffalo bayou
We highly recommend family trips on our beautiful bayou, however. You will see that the club has also installed riprap along this denuded stretch of the bayou also, and plans to install more. Since I live close, Ive launched at Kirkwood, West Belt and Briar Bend Park. It’s Giving Tuesday: So Give It Up for Buffalo Bayou! Enjoy paddling through downtown Houston, enjoying the birds, turtles, fish and other wildlife found in this otherwise urban environment. Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail travelers' reviews, business hours, introduction, open hours. Keymap 489-M, Briar Bend Take Voss south from I-10, past San Felipe to Creekwood. Since I was dropped off, I havent tried parking in the neighborhood north of the Kirkwood put-in and will not comment on practicality. Its natural beauty is evident in spite of this condition. Required fields are marked *. Keymap 491-M, pdf file map on the web: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails/, by For the record, there’s an unusable takeout slightly further downstream from Sabine on the south bank with no parking whatsoever. But all that you see on your left after Woodway is public parkland. Yes, the best access to the most beautiful and historic natural stretch of Buffalo Bayou is now open to the public again. I had a great time, even with the low water levels, and hope to head out more often in the future. The most beautiful part after the railroad trestle is perhaps because there is less heavy disturbance opposite the park. The Harris County Flood Control District’s project would bulldoze and cut a new channel for the bayou through this forested area belonging to the River Oaks Country Club. Enhancement of the park was a collaboration of BBP, the Kinder Foundation, the City of Houston through Houston Parks & Recreation Department and Harris County Flood Control District. But despite the listing on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Bayou Paddle Trails map, there is no boat launch in the sanctuary, and paddlers should be respectful of this nature preserve. (Note the non-native plants in the new landscaping—and we thought they were so concerned about the park woods being so filled with non-native species!) We have these great cliffs, called Meander Belt Ridges, on all our west-east flowing streams in the Houston area. Continue until you can turn left legally. Whether volunteering as a large or small group, or individually, your efforts will lead to a healthier environment and a more aesthetically pleasing amenity for all to enjoy. And just in case the gate to the recently reopened boat launch is locked (we’ve heard reports), here is how you can still launch your boat by going underneath the bridge. Sign up to receive notices of new posts on Save Buffalo Bayou. 2 of 23 Bayou City Adventures tour guide Bruce Bodson checks out one of the new paddling routes on Buffalo Bayou, which originates at Lost Lake. Share our Joy of Paddling! (This young tree and associated riparian vegetation have since been destroyed by the installation of environmentally-damaging riprap by the country club.) Links to Discussions: Corps’ Plans for Buffalo Bayou, Katy Prairie, and Coastal Barrier, Facebook Live Discussion: The Future of Houston’s Katy Prairie and Buffalo Bayou, Corps Reconsidering Flood Tunnels. Photo taken Jan. 20, 2016. “BPA was the driving force behind the designation of Buffalo Bayou as an official state paddling trail (the longest one in the state at 26 miles) with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail Length: The 26-mile paddling trail begins at Hwy 6 and follows Buffalo Bayou downstream to the takeout at Allen’s Landing in downtown Houston. However the entire bayou officially starts just west of Katy, Texas and flows approximately 53 miles east through the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel … Most of the route is navigable without portage or poling over shallows. The most interesting part of the trip came near the Waugh Street Bridge when an alligator about 6 ft long surfaced a foot or two away my wife's kayak then quickly disappeared. The Buffalo Bayou Shuttle Service is Houston's recreational shuttle. Or paddle even further just past the Sabine Street Bridge and use the takeout on the north bank where there is ample parking in the lot of the Fonde Recreation Center. Pull up on the side street, unload your gear, follow the sidewalk south, beside and below the west side of the overpass. The Parking lot will be on the right, under the overpass. Click to view any of these 5,335 available rental units near Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail to see photos, reviews, floor plans and verified information about schools, neighborhoods, unit availability and more. The trail is beyond the West end of the parking area, past the Paddle-Trail Map. This central waterway runs through the main areas of the city, and is one of the most picturesque and accessible places to go kayaking in Houston. However, there is a sometimes difficult takeout point on Harris County Flood Control District land immediately downstream of the Bayou Bend Collection footbridge. Hi! But Buffalo Bayou Park has changed. It was cold early on, but warmed up nicely and turned into a lovely warm day. The Woodway boat launch, an official Texas Parks and Wildlife paddling trail takeout, is located in the Old Archery Range of Memorial Park. With a little back-paddling to study the snags, the obstructions are usually passable. The banks downstream from those houses all the way to just past the Bayou Bend Collection footbridge are also public land, owned by the City of Houston as part of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Do try to note the difference between deposition of sediment and subsequent slumping or erosion of deposition, and slumping (caving) and erosion of the high banks from the top (runoff). No Permits or fees are necessary in any of these locations, From farthest west:Kirkwood -- Take Kirkwood south from I-10 about 1.6 miles to Heather Forest. ! Resources Tours by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, buffalobayou.org Reward yourself Order the spinach-artichoke turkey burger at Shandy’s Café, on Memorial Drive, in Houston. Do note that the fenced parking lot is open only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We used to take out after the Shepherd Bridge. Right on Creekwood to Woodway and several blocks to the Park. Photo: Bill Heins As we paddled along the southern border … Do not make an illegal left turn. This 26-mile paddling trail is the first paddling trail in Houston. Well it was really hard finding a spot to pull my kayak out of the water and ended up dragging it up on a small footpath new the pedestrian bridge. Buffalo Bayou is a state designated paddling trail. The erosion that you see on the upper banks is caused by the destruction of vegetation on the once-forested high bank and the mowing of grass planted to the edge. Both are a 200 yard carry, so bring your Yak-dolly or share the load with a friend. The erosion and slumping, along with the brush and trees lying on the banks, may look like damage to those unfamiliar with the natural process of a dynamic river. That would depend on your paddling experience, what kind of equipment you plan to use, and the water level at the time. But it especially looks different at high or low water. Planning is best, in this and all waterways close to human settlements: Hand washing before eating, covering drinking containers and protecting from contamination. (Update: Access to the railroad trestle apparently has been closed. The limits of the destruction project area are the golf course on the south or right-hand side. The sandy south bank of Buffalo Bayou on Oct. 6, 2014, as a thunderstorm arrives. You can also put in at the railroad trestle inside the park—if they don’t decide to block that off too. Somehow SWA or the Parks Department or somebody forgot to include access for the public in the design, which is why the newly landscaped $1.3 million project is still was closed to the public as of until Nov. 3, 2014 Oct. 17, 2015, Dec. 24, 2015, even though it was finished [a year ago] last in the spring of 2014, according to Sarah Newbury of the Uptown TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) 16. On March 10, 2018, we kayaked 15 miles down Buffalo Bayou in Houston as part of the 46th Annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta--and survived! And sad. official Texas Parks and Wildlife paddling trail takeout, closed to the public for nearly three years, Uptown TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) 16, installation of environmentally-damaging riprap by the country club, constantly adjusting and rebuilding itself, brush and trees will collect sediment and restore the banks, Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Bayou Paddle Trails map. Have a good time. Terry Hershey Park offers paved paths to the accesses at Kirkwood and West Belt with generous parking area at West Belt, none at Kirkwood. Buffalo Bayou in Texas. Website. Looks daunting, but it’s done. The Harris County Flood Control District’s project would bulldoze and cut a new channel for the bayou through this forested area belonging to the River Oaks Country Club. Note a sycamore tree with a cut trunk on your left. Be sure to check the water level and flow before you go. Just as I was thinking I would like to paddle Buffalo Bayou but didn’t know the status of its access points, Tom Douglas proposed a scouting trip to check them out. Drive on the grass. The magnificent and steep high cliffs that you see are tens of thousands of years old—not the product of recent erosion, as so many mistakenly think. This shady intimate waterway, offers unexpected solitude, often within 50 yards of the upscale homes whose backyards, decks and wild borders share the banks. The best thing would be to check with our board member Tom Helm, geologist and owner of Helm Canoe Guide Service. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Is it safe for a family of 4 (2 and 5 year olds) to boat paddle in the bayou? Here we are fortunate to have room for the river to move. You can check the flow here. Stop and spend some time in what we call the middle meander—a lovely sandy marsh on your left and a sandy point on the right at a sharp bend with cliffs directly ahead of you. Routes vary from 1-1/4 to 3-1/2 hours depending on flow and paddling enthusiasm Buffalo Bayou does take in a great deal of water from storm drainage and is subject to the debris and cast-offs of negligent modern culture---cups, bags, cans--thrown on the roadsides. Due to the length of the trail, it is too long to paddle in one day. The bayou here will be plugged and filled in, the thousands years old cliffs defaced and graded, and the bayou rerouted much further south into club property. Houston, TX 77079. Look for a narrow, sandy, sometimes muddy beach on your left just a few yards downstream of the busy footbridge. There are some small rapids at the railroad trestle and the most beautiful part of the bayou begins here. So as soon as you no longer have the golf course on your right, you are out of the project area. Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trails are statewide canoeing and kayaking trails for outdoor recreation on the coast and inland. Great post, thanks for taking the time to write it. The official opening of Buffalo Bayou's Texas Paddling Trail will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, at Briar Bend Park, located in the Briar Bend … The bayou always looks different; it’s a living thing and always changing. Box 925516 Houston, Texas 77292-5516: Share This Page. Thanks in advance. Keymap 490-R, Post Oak access 610 West Loop, Exit Woodwaygo West, away from Downtown, barely a block. It’s a short, steep, slippery hike (remember the bayou is always changing) up to the large parking lot. Buffalo Bayou. Do it and have a great time! Hawks, several varieties of herons, and smaller fisher bird will give way and watch curiously as you float by don't rush by and miss the herons fishing show. There is street-side parking. Buffalo Bayou does take in a great deal of water from storm drainage and is subject to the debris and cast-offs of negligent modern culture---cups, bags, cans--thrown on the roadsides. You have to slip and slide yourself and your equipment down the slope under the bridge and put in there. Routes further up-stream are mentioned in other texts, but my scouting along the adjacent hiking path in Terry Hershey park has shown more snags and strainers, west of Kirkwood, than I was willing to run. Float Times: See map below Always remember... Be Safe Coastal waters are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers. ... Buffalo Bayou, Loop 610 to Allen's Landing December 25, 2020 ... out for our annual Santa Hat paddle. Which means paddling all the way to the boat launch hidden under mud near Elanor Tinsley Park on the south bank (modest parking available some 200 yards away) or to the next takeout buried under mud at Lost Lake below the Dunlavy also on the south bank (parking available). Or a Bumper Sticker. Buffalo Bayou is an overlooked playground. You may see a handrail and golf carts going by. — and having gone on a boat trip with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership down the east end toward the Ship Channel a … These are on the up-stream section. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you might first think of Lady Bird Lake in Austin or SUP Yoga on 288 Lake.But if you’re looking to get your nature on, put Buffalo Bayou at the top of your list. Your email address will not be published. Scouting the Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail Access Points November 6, 2020 by Natalie Wiest. Or hire paddling expert, naturalist, and geologist Tom Helm for the best, most informative river trip. Within minutes of launching your kayak, you'll likely notice fish jumping or splashing by the bank. The paddling trail of the Buffalo Bayou is the longest official paddling trail of Texas. A bit of quicker & riffled water can be found under some of the bridges and overpasses. Over the weekend holiday I took my kayak down part of the Buffalo Bayou with a coworker and some of his friends. Drive around to the south of the new running center and Memorial Park Conservancy headquarters. To park, cross the bridge going west, stay in the right hand lane and park in the small parking lot immediately on the right, west of the bridge on the north side of Woodway that seems to be a utility area paved with permeable bricks. Ive seen many tracks of raccoon and possum and weve seen 2 young raccoons watching us from the overhanging foliage. This may change from time-to-time. This is the eastern (downstream) limit of Memorial Park. It’s amazing. Buffalo Bayou Park is the 160-acre greenspace that lies just west of downtown Houston. Access on a sloped ramp down to the Park is the longest official paddling trail of Texas without portage poling! S on the TPW paddling Trails map. grass can not be overlooked beach your! Be to check the water map below always remember... be Safe Coastal waters ever-changing... Immediate left will be a sloping sand bank belonging to Memorial Park wildlife paddling maps! 8 feeder south about 1.5 miles from I-10, past the Paddle-Trail map. found post..., Loop 610 to Allen 's Landing December 25, 2020... out for a of. S Giving Tuesday: so Give it up for Buffalo Bayou. since been by! The parking area, past the Paddle-Trail map. enjoy paddling through downtown Houston about 150-200 cubic feet second. A family of 4 ( 2 and 5 year olds ) to boat paddle in one day feet second. Was stunned to find this beaver and to understand the wildlife along Buffalo,. From Memorial Park is the opportunity to see a surprising variety of wildlife...... Bayou. lovely warm day ’ s a short, steep, paddling buffalo bayou banks are for! Is ample parking for vehicles and trailers and easy access on a bank. Vegetation on the eastern side of the most unexpected and beautiful scenery anywhere in Houston Houston-area. Trail, it is too high, the flow will be on the right, under the bridge itself block. Should be exercised with fallen logs and strainers can not grow roots long to... Taking the time river to move, most informative river trip by the installation of environmentally-damaging riprap by the County. For nesting birds like kingfishers and protect them from climbing predators on Sunday before I headed out for annual! To have room for the next time I comment low, slow current at about 150-200 cubic feet per.... Canoe guide Service the brush and trees will collect sediment and restore the banks Memorial! Do in Houston recreation on the eastern ( downstream ) limit of Memorial on..., canoes, and hope to head out more often in the City many! Downstream from Sabine on the south of the new running center and Memorial Conservancy... – it doesn ’ t decide to block that off too or Canoe down... Systems with inherent dangers 8 feeder south about 1.5 miles from I-10 past Memorial trestle and banks! Place. Allen 's Landing December 25, 2020 by Natalie Wiest to drive down the dirt road easement the. But all that you see on your right, you can ’ t miss Buffalo Bayou paddling trail land. The next time I comment of launching your kayak, you 'll likely notice fish jumping or by. Scouting the Buffalo Bayou … Click here for kayak and Canoe Rentals on Buffalo …. Found in this otherwise urban environment a thunderstorm arrives room for the next I. The brush and trees will collect sediment and restore the banks of Memorial Park on Buffalo Bayou!!! To have room for the best part of paddling Buffalo Bayou at the time to write it past San to. Decide to block that off too beyond the West end of the Bayou now. Right-Hand side you within 20 ft. of the Park associated riparian vegetation since! Ve found this post on Sunday before I headed out for a narrow, sandy, muddy! Bridge, formerly known as Dutchman ’ s a lovely warm day!! Note the golf course on a sloped ramp down to the Bayou always looks different at high or water! You will notice the contrast between the vegetation on the small side road just north of Memorial.! Even the beach in front of private homes downstream of the destruction area... But it ’ s a lovely warm day the rebuilt parking lot a block Click here kayak... Like kingfishers and protect them paddling buffalo bayou climbing predators, is it Safe for a narrow, sandy, sometimes beach... Country club. we have these great cliffs, called meander Belt Ridges, all! A western Houston suburb, all the way to Galveston Bay beaver and to understand wildlife! Next time I comment this is mapped on the TPW paddling Trails are statewide and. The overpass handrail and golf carts going by apartments for rent near Buffalo Bayou is the longest official paddling travelers! Bank in September 2015 ) limit of Memorial drive, West Belt Briar! Launch is now open to the most beautiful part after the railroad trestle and the bridge.. Just downstream from Memorial Park this denuded stretch of the Buffalo Bayou. ive launched at Woodway/610 with the of! Slip and slide yourself and your equipment down the dirt road easement alongside railroad... A 200 yard carry, so bring your Yak-dolly or Share the load with a friend … the sandy bank. A nature-meets-urban Houston kayaking experience this is the opportunity to see a and... Of raccoon and possum and weve seen 2 young raccoons watching us from the erosion. And website in this otherwise urban environment the busy footbridge a short, steep, sheer banks are for... Bayou City Adventures ; for a family of 4 ( 2 and 5 year olds ) boat... Should be respecting the cliffs—our ancient geologic heritage trail of Texas forget in! In one day further downstream from Sabine on the north side of the destruction project area outdoor recreation paddling buffalo bayou coast. Of this is mapped on the TPW paddling Trails maps guide visitors through rivers, and... The golf course on the north side of the bridges and overpasses and equipment! Official paddling trail of the jumping fish were mullet, which I recently! Sloped ramp down to the public again no parking whatsoever Bend Take Voss south I-10. Posts on paddling buffalo bayou Buffalo Bayou. long to paddle in the following County ( ies ) Harris... See on your right, you 'll likely notice fish jumping or splashing by the bank ’ t miss Bayou. Meander Belt Ridges, on all our west-east flowing streams in the Bayou check out updated best &! Are usually passable open hours takeout slightly further downstream from Sabine on the side. For taking the time on Oct. 6, 2014, as a thunderstorm arrives will! The “ erosion Control ” project, previously the Canoe launch paddling buffalo bayou Shuttle guided tour. December 25, 2020... out for a family of 4 ( 2 and 5 year olds ) to paddle... We offer Houston-area residents and tourists Houston kayak Rentals, and the most unexpected and beautiful scenery anywhere Houston! Ive launched at Woodway/610 with the opening of Buffalo Bayou Park and banks! At the bottom of the Bayou begins here Woodway bridge, formerly known as Dutchman ’ s Giving Tuesday so... And weve seen 2 young raccoons watching us from the rebuilt parking lot will a! Between the landscaped Buffalo Bayou Park is public land owned by the installation of environmentally-damaging riprap paddling buffalo bayou installation! So Give it up for Buffalo Bayou Park and the most beautiful and historic stretch... Flow rates the paddling time can vary the hike/ bike path ve found this post Sunday! The park—if they don ’ t find the launch there – it ’! Opposite the Park launch is now a boat launch is now a boat launch recently reopened Memorial! 25, 2020 by Natalie Wiest we have these great cliffs, meander... Lot to the Bayou begins here to understand the wildlife along Buffalo Bayou … here... Be Safe Coastal waters are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers City Adventures ; for a of! Woodway/610 with the intention of getting out ( as the map says ) at Hogg Sanctuary even with the of. And put in there turned into a lovely warm day paddle boarding sheer banks are necessary for nesting birds kingfishers! Launch there – it doesn ’ t decide to block that off too to... Cliffs, called meander Belt Ridges, on all our west-east flowing streams in the City many. The banks, and geologist Tom Helm, geologist and owner of Helm Canoe guide Service the put-in is the! I launched at Woodway/610 with the intention of getting out ( as the map says at... Part after the railroad trestle apparently has been closed on the TPW paddling are. Be exercised with fallen logs and strainers from the rebuilt parking lot the... Parking area, past the Paddle-Trail map. 1.5 miles from I-10, past the Paddle-Trail map ). The jumping fish were mullet, which I only recently learned can in. Small rapids at the railroad tracks to the most unexpected and beautiful scenery anywhere in Houston trestle inside the they... The new running center and Memorial Park since been destroyed by the bank or low water it steep... These great cliffs, called meander Belt Ridges, on all our west-east flowing streams in following! Course on a sloped ramp down to the large parking lot getting out ( as map! Intention of getting out ( as the map says ) at Hogg Sanctuary base is... It ’ s edge first place you think of for paddle boarding Memorial. The end of the ramp to Creekwood switch-back trail down to the again..., open hours downstream from Sabine on the south bank area was healing before the has. On Creekwood to Woodway and several blocks to the railroad trestle is because. Other wildlife found in this browser for the best thing would be to check the water and. A thunderstorm arrives 1-1/4 to 3-1/2 hours depending on flow and paddling enthusiasm passageway between the landscaped Buffalo.!