51 "Super" Places along the Bayou Greenways
Through the Bayou Greenways 2020 project, Houston is in the midst of developing 150 miles of greenways and trails along its extensive network of bayous, which will offer a whole new way to see and explore the city.
To give you an idea of the kinds of adventures the Bayou Greenways have in store, every week leading up to Super Bowl 51 on February 5, 2017, the Houston Parks Board will be publishing new “super places” near the existing and future Bayou Greenways and trails.
This list is just a starting point for exploring the bayous. We hope you will share with us the “super places” you find as you explore the Bayou Greenways and the surrounding neighborhoods. Tag your posts on social media with #BayouGreenways!
Click here to download a printable version to take with you.
Click a bayou below to explore:
1. Mount Rush Hour, 1400 Elder St.
American Statesman Park is the official name of this tiny park at the end of Edwards Street—and adjacent to highway interchange (I-10 and I-45). In addition to the highway view, it features four, 24-foot-tall, “Mount Rushmore-like” concrete sculptures of Texas leaders Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston and U.S. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
2. Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South St.
Vacant historic (1919) elementary school renovated in 2011 for assembly space and service facility. Stunning Downtown views from south side of building overlooking White Oak Bayou and Hogg Park. Brand new trail connection spirals down to the White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail. Rent a bicycle ($5 for 24 hours) from the B-cycle stand at this location and pedal 2.5 miles west along White Oak Bayou Greenway to Stude Park.
3. Stude Park, 998 Usener St.
Complete with trails, a baseball field and skyline views, Stude Park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Step-up your Instagram game with a picture of the giant red sculpture titled “Houston” sitting along the White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail on the western edge of the park. Grab a refreshing fresh juice or sno-cone from Mango Beach across the street from the park. Rent a bicycle ($5 for 24 hours) from the B-cycle stand at this location and explore the historic Heights neighborhood. Located within walking distance, White Oak Drive is home to dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants.
4. Fitzgerald’s, 2706 White Oak Dr.
The city’s most historic music venue, the “Fitz” has featured such acts as James Brown, REM and ZZ Top since its opening in 1977. Fitzgerald’s is housed in a former Polish dance hall dating to 1918. Access by White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail, three blocks north on the corner of White Oak Drive and Studemont Street.
5. El Gallo de Jalisco, 3220 White Oak Dr.
This small Mexican restaurant is a popular breakfast spot, especially on Sunday mornings when it attracts a devoted following of 20-plus “cruiser bikes.” Access on Heights Hike and Bike Trail, three blocks northwest of White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail (between Studemont St. and Katy Freeway).
6. Olivewood Cemetery, 1300 Court St.
Founded in 1875 on a bend in White Oak Bayou, this eight-acre cemetery is the city’s oldest African-American burial ground. Among the 3,800 buried here are early community leaders, including the nation’s first ordained black Methodist minister. Located west of Studemont Street, south of White Oak Bayou.
7. Downtown View, 2799 Moy St.
Take in a picture-perfect view of the downtown skyline before taking a stroll along White Oak Bayou Greenway. New pedestrian bridge (2015) replaced a wood railroad trestle and provides improved access between the Greater Heights and Lazybrook/Timbergrove neighborhoods via the Heights Bike Trail.
8. Live Oaks Meeting House, 1318 W. 26th St.
A James Turrell “skyspace” is the centerpiece of this Quaker meeting house, designed by Leslie Elkins (2000). Located six blocks northeast of White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail, the “skyspace” is open to the public on Friday nights
9. Doyle’s Restaurant, 2136 W. 34th St.
American-Italian restaurant, which dates to the 1950s, is known for its pizza, Reuben sandwiches, and “Spaghetti Works.” Located one half-mile east of the White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail.
10. Frisbee Golf Course, 4201 TC Jester Blvd.
Located in TC Jester Park, this is one of city’s top “disc” golf courses, attracting pro-level competitors. Features “holes” that force players to launch discs across White Oak Bayou.
11. Mytiburger, 2211 W. 43rd St.
Oak Forest neighborhood burger place—founded in 1967—is located one block east of White Oak Bayou Greenway. Known for its Texas-style burgers, hot dogs and onion rings.
12. Watonga Bridge Bat Colony, 4721 Watonga Blvd.
Beneath this bridge over the bayou—north of 43rd Street (and south of TC Jester Boulevard)—is one of Houston’s largest bat roosts. The emergence of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats each night at dusk is known to attract crowds. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn as you watch the sunset and wait for the bats.
13. Sylvester Turner Park, 2800 W. Little York Rd.
Located in Acres Homes, the childhood—and current—neighborhood of Mayor Sylvester Turner. This largely wooded neighborhood developed in the 1920s on large lots and is nicknamed “The 44,” due to its location on the No. 44 Metro bus route. The park was named in Turner’s honor in 2006.
14. Bayou View, Alabonson Road and Vinewood Drive.
A new (2015) pedestrian bridge connects once-divided portions of the Inwood neighborhood, offering a panorama of a non-channelized portion of White Oak Bayou. The open space had been the former Inwood Forest golf course, which was saved from commercial redevelopment.
15. Treesearch Farms, 7625 Alabonson Rd.
One of the city’s best nurseries specializing in native and drought-resistant plants. Located just west of White Oak Bayou Greenway
16. Eagles Nest, 12895 Greens Bayou St.
A nesting pair of bald eagles has been spotted near Thomas Bell Foster Park and the Normandy Street Bridge. Best seen by kayaking the 7.5-mile “paddle trail” extending from Brock Park to Thomas Bell Foster Park (contact Bayou City Adventures for “Greens Bayou Eagle Tour”).
17. Jordan’s Gully, 400 Westmont Dr.
This tributary north of the bayou opens up into a wide section, featuring large Bald Cypress trees and American Crinum Lilies. It is bordered by Crooker Moody Park. Access by kayak.
18. Maxey Bark Park, 601 Maxey Rd.
These 13 acres, bordered by the bayou, rank among the city’s top dog parks. The park features shade trees, drinking fountains, and doggy showers.
19. Texaco Country Club, 12800 Texaco Rd.
One of the city’s best golf holes, the 563-yard site is bordered by the bayou and features a picturesque Cypress Pond. The club was built by the Texaco oil company in 1924 and is the oldest private golf course still in its original location. It is now semi-private.
20. North Houston (aka Spring) Skatepark, 12351 Kuykendahl Rd.
This 10-acre facility was one of the world’s largest when it opened in 2014, featuring bowls, pipes, ramps, and street skating obstacles. The adjacent Dylan Park has a playground for special needs children. Located about one mile north of bayou, just west of I-45.
21. Yellow Benches, 9119 Arvin Street.
These park benches on the Baxter Family property demonstrate a gracious sense of community.
22. Playground Without Limits, 9720 Spaulding.
This facility was designed for children with disabilities and 90% of its features are accessible to those with mobility issues. The playground is located in 84-acre Tidwell Park, whose north entrance is accessed directly from Halls Bayou Greenway Trail, which connects the park to Forest Brook Middle School.
23. George Foreman’s Church, 2501 Lone Oak Dr.
Former heavyweight boxing champion, who grew up in the 5th Ward, has long been a preacher at this church. Located two blocks northwest of Little York Road crossing of the Halls Bayou Trail.
24. Keith-Weiss Park, 12300 Aldine Westfield Rd.
A former site of a dairy farm and bootlegging activity (1915-25), it was donated as parkland in 1979 by a family with oil and timber interests. This 500-acre park includes 140 acres of old growth forest, playing fields, trails, and 110 acres of wetlands designed for flood control. At confluence of Greens and Halls bayous.
25. Herman Brown Park, 400 Mercury Dr.
Densely-forested, 750-acre park is bisected by Hunting and Greens bayous, as well as U.S. highway 90. Features nature trails, including a half-mile walk connecting to a neighborhood east of the park named for founder of the Brown & Root construction company, who died in 1962.
26. Kashmere High School, 6900 Wileyvale Rd.
Former home of the legendary Kashmere Stage Band, which dominated national band competitions in the 1970s. Its eight influential jazz-funk albums were the subject of the 2011 documentary, “Thunder Soul.” High school is located one mile north of Hutcheson Park and Hunting Bayou, on Lockwood Drive.
27. Mickey Leland Memorial Park, 3701 Cavalcade St.
Half-acre park includes sculpture and historic markers honoring pioneering U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland (1944-89), who died in a plane crash while on a mission in Ethiopia. Located in the Kashmere Gardens neighborhood, park is at the terminus of a seven-block-long spur of the Hunting Bayou Hike and Bike Trail.
28. Sims Bayou Nature Center, 3997 River Rd.
This 1.1-acre bird sanctuary, along an original channel (oxbow) of the bayou, is owned by Houston Audubon. Located in the historic Park Place neighborhood, adjacent to Charlton Park and the Glenbrook Park Golf Course.
29. Harmony Wedding Chapel, 8120 Gulf Fwy.
This blue-and-white structure, which has been serving last-minute lovers since 1964, is “as close to Las Vegas as you can get in Houston,” according to the Houston Press. Located where the Gulf Freeway crosses the bayou, next to Sims Bayou Greenway.
30. Glenbrook Valley
This post-World War II planned community flanks Broadway Street, between Sims Bayou and Hobby Airport. Built between 1953 and 1962, it contains the city’s largest and most intact collection of Ranch style and Mid-Century Modern homes, many located on curving streets near the bayou. It was designated a local historic district in 2011.
31. Reveille Park, 7700 Oak Vista St.
Reveille Park is the put-in spot for a seven-mile canoe/kayak route that runs through Glenbrook Golf Course—and past three oxbows from the former channel—to Milby Park, 2001 Central St., just west of Hwy. 225. The park also has trails, picnic tables and a public pool.
32. Robert C. Stuart Park, 7250 Bellfort St.
This 27-acre site is under development as an environmental education center, with trails, boardwalks, prairie grasses and bird habitat.
33. Peacock Tourism of Garden Villas, 6720 S. Haywood Dr.
Several dozen of these wild birds roam free in this 1930s-era neighborhood, northwest of Hobby Airport. The 876-acre subdivision features a radial street plan and large lots designed to accommodate chicken coops, orchards, vegetable gardens…and now peacocks.
34. Margaret Jenkins Park, 10700 Rosehaven.
Built in 1978 as Scottcrest Park, it was renamed in honor of a community civic leader in 2012. The park is positioned right along Sims Bayou and has running trails with rolling, grassy views.
35. The Hill at Sims Greenway, 11808 Scott St.
This 75-acre mound features hiking trails and expansive views of the surrounding area. It was built of dirt excavated for a 106-acre “new age” detention pond owned by the Harris County Flood Control District.
36. Dynamos Training Field, 12131 Kirby Dr.
Houston Sports Park has seven soccer fields, including the training grounds for Houston’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team, which plays its games in a downtown stadium. The next phase of the complex will include 11 additional soccer fields.
37. Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce St.
This landmark commemorates the site where August C. and John K. Allen founded Houston’s original port in 1836—at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak bayous. Buffalo Bayou Partnership revitalized the site into an active destination along downtown's waterfront. Overlooking the site is the restored Sunset Coffee Building (1910), 1019 Commerce, which houses the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, a rooftop deck/café, and a view of the Main Street viaduct (1913). One block west, at Commerce and Travis, is the new storefront home of Architecture Center Houston. Access by Buffalo Bayou trails or transit (UH Downtown, Red Line).
38. Buffalo Bayou Park, 1800 Allen Pkwy.
Maintained and operated by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, this 160-acre park winds along the bayou into Downtown Houston. Complete with walking and biking trails, artwork, a dog park, a restaurant and meadows, Buffalo Bayou Park is a premiere gathering spot in Houston.
39. Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr.
Looped trails, ball fields, hiking paths and exercise stations make Memorial Park an oasis for runners and hikers. At 1,466 acres, Memorial Park is larger than Central Park in Manhattan. Memorial Park Conservancy oversees daily operations and maintenance of the park.
40. Mason Park Tidal Freshwater Wetlands, 541 S. 75th St.
This 104-acre park, which had its origins in 1928, includes a Spanish Mission-style community center, swimming pool, trails, hills and playing fields. In 2006, a series of ponds and wetlands were created as a 3.5-acre buffer—for flood and pollution control—between surrounding streets and the bayou. Stunning views of the bayou can be enjoyed from either side of the park.
41. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, 2999 S. Wayside Dr.
This modernist office complex (built 1956 for a construction company) served as the home for the Mercury Space Program from 1962 to 1964. It became the headquarters of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department in 1977. From the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail, walk two blocks south on Wayside Drive past Gragg Park.
42. Orange Show at Smither Park, 2401-41 Munger St.
The Orange Show was the creation of folk artist Jeff McKissack (1956-80) and includes over 3,000 square feet of outsider-style folk art—centered around the theme of oranges— including a wishing well, pond, and chimes. The adjacent Smither Park provides a venue for new mosaic artists, who can be seen working on Saturdays. Located five blocks north of Brays Bayou Greenway Trail and Fonde Park.
43. MacGregor Park, home of Bayou Greenway Day 2017, 5225 Calhoun Rd.
This 83-acre park is located just south of University of Houston on Brays Bayou Greenway. The park was developed in 1929 and was linked to Hermann Park by landscaped roadways, built on either side of Brays Bayou. On April 29, 2017, Houston Parks Board will host the third-annual Bayou Greenway Day at MacGregor Park. A free outdoor-festival celebrating Houston's parks and bayous, Bayou Greenway Day offers surrounding communities an opportunity to get to know their bayou and their neighbors. The park features a Mission Style community center, swimming pool, disc golf course, the ballpark of the Texas Southern University’s baseball team, and a statue of the park’s namesake, Peggy MacGregor, by the sculptor of Mount Rushmore.
44. TDECU Stadium, 3874 Holman St.
This 40,000-seat stadium, which was built in 2014 for the University of Houston, occupies the former site of Robertson Stadium, which built in 1942 for high school football. “The Rob” later became the original home of the Houston Oilers pro football team (1960-64), the UH college and soccer teams, and the Houston Dynamos pro soccer team (2006-12). Walkable from Brays Bayou Greenway Trail or exit at Robertson/UH/TSU METRORail Purple Line station.
45. Beyonce’s Childhood Park, 3400 Parkwood Dr.
Pop stars Beyonce and Solange Knowles grew up in the Riverside Terrace neighborhood, one block from wooded Parkwood Park and one block south of Brays Bayou. Beyonce’s clothing line, Ivy Park, references her daughter (Blue Ivy) and this park.
46. Columbia Tap Trail Bridge, near 3000 Ennis St.
This four-mile trail crosses Brays Bayou Greenway one block west of Sampson Street. The trail, which opened in 2009, follows the old Columbia Tap Railroad route northeast from the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail, through the beautiful campus of Texas Southern University, to downtown near Minute Maid ballpark and Dynamo Stadium.
47. Hermann Park, between Cambridge and Main streets.
The Hermann Park Conservancy maintains and operates this historic 445-acre park, which dates to 1899. Hermann Park is home to numerous cultural institutions, including the Houston Zoo, Museum of Natural Science, and one of the nation’s earliest desegregated public golf courses (1954). Visitors travel along tree-lined trails to popular attractions at the park, including the Miller Outdoor Theatre, Japanese Garden, picnic areas, McGovern Lake and Pinewood Cafe. Access via Brays Bayou Greenway Trail or Hermann Park-Rice U station on METRORail Red Line.
48. Rice Stadium at Rice University, 6100 S. Main St.
This 70,000-seat stadium was built in 1950 for the Rice University football team—and was the site of Super Bowl VIII in 1974. President John F. Kennedy gave his “man to the Moon” speech here in 1962 and—from 1965 to 1968—it was the home field of the Houston Oilers pro football team. Walk west on University Drive from the Dryden/TMC METRORail station or north of the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail on Greenbriar Drive.
49. Arthur Storey Park, 7114 W. Sam Houston pkwy
This 220-acre park borders Brays Bayou and is centered on a large stormwater detention basin, encircled by a walking trail. To serve area residents there is a Tai Chi court and Teo Chew Temple. A 3.5-mile canoe/kayak trail also begins here and ends at Braeburn Glen Park.
50. Chinatown, 11200-12100 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston has the second-largest Indochinese population in the U.S. (behind Los Angeles). The area’s grocery stores and restaurants—including the Hong Kong City Mall—are largely concentrated on Bellaire and Harwin boulevards.
51. NRG Stadium, home of Super Bowl 51!
Exceeding 70,000 seats, NRG Stadium will host Super Bowl 51 on February 5, 2017. During the year, the stadium is home to the Houston Texans and hosts the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The site is also home to the famous Astrodome, the 52-year-old, 18-story tall, circular structure built to house the Houston Astros baseball club (1965-99). The Astrodome later became home to the Houston Oilers football team (1968-96).