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Brays Bayou Greenway

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Overview and History

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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. The settlement of Harrisburg was founded at the confluence of Brays and Buffalo Bayous 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 provides approximately 30 miles of public greenspace and hike-and-bike trails 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. There's plenty to do and see along the way. Discover super places along Brays Bayou Greenway here

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? Click here to view an interactive map of Brays Bayou Greenway.

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. 

• In September 2018, Houston Parks Board added 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 has been replaced.

• On Nov. 10, 2018, Houston Parks Board — along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, District I Council Member Robert Gallegos, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One Rodney Ellis, State Representative Carol Alvarado, State Representative Ana Hernandez, Houston Parks and Recreation Department Director Steve Wright, Texas Department of Transportation, Houston-Galveston Area Council, and representatives of various elected officials' offices  — celebrated the opening of the Mason Park Ped/Bike Bridge. The bridge, located in Houston’s East End in Mason Park, was eagerly anticipated by community members and facilitates safe pedestrian and bike crossings of Brays Bayou. It will also give residents on either side of the park access to the 30-mile Brays Bayou Greenway trail network, which is currently in development.

Read about the event here.

Under Construction


Updated: 01/3/19 
New Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Coming Soon to Brays Bayou Greenway

In March 2017, construction began 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 early 2019. Click here to read the full construction announcement.

In Design

Updated: 01/3/19
Braeburn Glen to Eldridge Pkwy.

Design is almost complete 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.

Closures and Detours

Updated: 01/3/19 

Due to ongoing channel widening by Harris County Flood Control District, a trail detour is in place along the south side of Brays Bayou Greenway from Buffalo Speedway to Stella Link Road. The trail will be removed while HCFCD works to widen the channel. The trail will be replaced after HCFCD is finished with their work in the area. See below map or click the above link to see the construction work and detours.

Updated: 01/14/19

This week, a contractor started repairs and replacement of the asphalt trail on the Brays Bayou Greenway behind the Spires Apartments. Work will first begin at the connector trail from the nearby bus stop, which will be removed and replaced. Once they complete this segment, they will replace the asphalt on the main Bayou Greenway trail. The trails will be closed for at least one week. In the meantime, trail users are asked to use the detour identified on the map.