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Brays Bayou Greenway

Overview and History

Project Updates

Brays Bayou Greenway between Mason Park and Gus Wortham Golf Course. Photo by F. Carter Smith.

Brays Bayou Greenway

Brays Bayou begins in northern Fort Bend County and flows east past the Texas Medical Center and University of Houston toward the Ship Channel. Near its junction with Buffalo Bayou was the early settlement of Harrisburg, founded in 1826, a decade before Houston. Historians differ on the origin of the bayou’s name. Some say it honors James Brays, a land surveyor for Stephen F. Austin’s Mexican colony. Others say it is a variation of the Scottish word “braes,” which means sloping bank or hillside.

As part of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project, Houston Parks Board and its project partners are transforming Brays Bayou into Brays Bayou Greenway.

Brays Bayou Greenway will offer a ribbon of green space and hike-and-bike trails – approximately 30 miles from the Ship Channel to Eldridge – that connect surrounding communities to parks, nature, and one another. Those parks include: Mike Driscoll Park, Arthur Storey Park, Braeburn Glen Park, Hermann Park, MacGregor Park, Fonde Park, Gragg Park, Spurlock Park and Mason Park.

Various wildlife call Brays Bayou home. Take a stroll along the bayou and you’ll likely spot turtles, toads, Great Blue Herons, Channel Catfish and even bats.

Ready to explore? Discover super places along Brays Bayou Greenway here!

From left to right, photo courtesy of SWA Group, photo by Tom Flaherty, photo by F. Carter Smith.

Brays Bayou Greenway Projects


On Nov. 13, 2014, Houston Parks Board — along with Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department — held the first ribbon cutting of Bayou Greenways 2020 and officially opened 2.75 miles of new parkland and trails. The new section of Brays Bayou Greenway runs from Mason Park to Old Spanish Trail near Wheeler Street. The new segment gives Houstonians in the East End access to one of Houston’s most scenic stretches of bayou in a densely populated part of the city.

On March 9, 2017, Houston Parks Board — along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Department of Transportation and University of Houston — celebrated the opening of a new 1.6 mile-segment of Brays Bayou Greenway. The new segment starts at Old Spanish Trail and extends west to Martin Luther King Blvd., connecting Gragg Park, Fonde Park, UH and UH Energy Research Park. We thank University of Houston for their vital contributions to this project.

This project is one of six bike/pedestrian projects funded through a $15 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the City of Houston in 2012. In addition to the ribbon cutting, we also celebrated the start of construction of the University Connections Bridge that will connect the University of Houston across Brays Bayou to MacGregor Park. Click here to read more about the ceremony.

Under Construction

Updated: 11/16
New trail segments near Hermann Park under construction

We are adding new trail segments to fill in the gaps near Hermann Park on the north side of Brays Bayou Greenway. In addition, a portion of trail beneath the Almeda bridge is being replaced. Construction begins November 2016 and will last until February 2017.

During construction, pieces of trail may be closed. Trail users are asked to follow the detour signs that are posted in the area.

Updated: 2/17
New Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Coming Soon to Brays Bayou Greenway

Construction has begun on a new pedestrian/bike bridge across Brays Bayou as an extension of the Brays Bayou Greenway hike-and-bike trails. The new bridge will connect the University of Houston across Brays Bayou to MacGregor Park. The pedestrian bridge will run parallel to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and the METRO Rail Purple Line. Construction of the pedestrian/bike is expected to be complete fall 2017. Click here to read the full construction announcement.

In Design

Updated: 2/17
Braeburn Glen to Eldridge Pkwy.

Design is underway on this ambitious length of greenway, which spans over eight miles of bayou and connects to more than four additional miles of county-built trails along Brays Bayou west of Eldridge Pkwy. This project will bring linear parks to a densely populated and under-parked part of town.

Updated: 2/17
Bridge over Brays Bayou at Mason Park — design is complete. Construction to begin in 2017.

Closures and Detours

Updated: 11/15
Brays Bayou Greenway Trail Closure

A portion of the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail just west of Scott St. on the south side of the bayou is closed due to damage from recent flooding. In June, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) made temporary repairs to the bayou's bank. However, back-to-back weekends of flooding caused a slope failure, which damaged both the retaining wall and the Brays Bayou Greenway trail. This section of trail is not safe for pedestrians and cyclists to use. Barriers have been installed to block off the trail.

During the closure, signs will direct everyone to the trail on the north side of the bayou as indicated in the map below:

HCFCD is working to repair the damage which could take 6 to 12 months. After the wall is repaired, we will rebuild that section of the Brays Bayou Greenway trail.

Updated: 10/16
Brays Bayou Greenway Trail Closure

A detour is in place along the north side of Brays Bayou Greenway between Brompton Rd. and Buffalo Speedway due to Harris County Flood Control District's ongoing work to widen the channel. For more information, click here.