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Burroughs Park

Trail (2.80)5
(1.80) (2.90)
3.23 Miles N/A
No No
Yes Yes
Free More Info
9738 Hufsmith Rd
Tomball Harris
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Photos

Entrance Sign This is the sign to the entrance of the park off Hufsmith Road. (Photo by Lone_Star) Trail Map #1 This one was made by the Boy Scouts. Nice, but somewhat confusing. (Photo by Lone_Star) Trail Map #2 Huh? (Photo by Lone_Star)
Trail Map #3 OK, this map looks like the one you can print off the internet, but this one has distances. However, it doesn't show the undocumented trails that criss cross thru the park. Be sure to pay attention to the trail colors! (Photo by Lone_Star) Trailhead Notice the orange stripe. This is the color code for the Coon Trail. However, it should also have a gold stripe since it is the start/end of the Deer Trail. Just one example of the confusing trail markers. (Photo by Lone_Star) Direction Sign Notice this sign is not planted, but is leaning against the tree. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Another Uprooted Sign This is one of the many signs telling you not where to go, but how to get back. Notice this sign is also not planted, but just leaning up against some bushes. (Photo by Lone_Star) Trap This looks like a small improvised animal trap. (Photo by Lone_Star) Spring Creek Spring Creek runs along the northern border of the trail park. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Wetlands There are some low lying areas where it can get muddy. (Photo by Lone_Star)

Log Entries

Get Lost!
By Lone_Star on 2/24/2013
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

OK, if you've read my logs, you know that poor signage is a pet peeve of mine.  It makes no sense to me why you would go through all the time, effort and money to create trails for the public to enjoy and then fail to put proper signage in place.  My sense is that the people that make the trails know where they go so they don't see the need to put direction signs in place.

Also, just a point of clarification.  Loner556's log mentions Cypress Creek, but it is actually Spring Creek.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let me start my review.  Burroughs Park is a fairly large park in the country woods of Tomball.  The common areas of the park are really nice and include sporting fields, picnic areas, a dog park, a large scenic lake for fishing and a long, paved jogging trail that goes around the park.  I rate this part of the park very high.  It is a nice place to spend the day with family and friends.

The problem I have with Burroughs Park is with the trails area.  In fact, I have several problems.

First, the Harris County Precinct 4 website boasts "over 8 miles in nature trails", but this is way off, even if you include the paved jogging trail.  The reality is the hiking trail is less than half that distance.  This brings me to the next point.

Second, at the trailhead, you are presented with not one display map of the trail system, but three.  That sounds wonderful, but it really adds a lot of confusion.  This should have been my first warning sign.

There are basically three documented trails - a short loop known as the Coon Trail (0.63 miles), another slightly larger loop known as the Hog Trail (1.4 miles), and finally the Deer Trail which is a walk around the trail park that includes the Coon and Hog trail loops as well as another unnamed loop near Spring Creek (for a total distance of 3.23 miles).  If you look at the park map, the Coon Trail is the small loop that starts near the parking lot, the Hog trail is the middle loop in the center of the wooded area, and the Deer Trail is basically a perimeter hike out to Spring Creek and back.

Sounds simple, right?  Well, the problem is there are a lot of unmarked/undocumented trails and utility service roads that criss cross throughout the park.  If you miss one trail marker and you don't have a GPS, you'll soon find yourself walking around aimlessly.

I know some of you are thinking that all you need to do, then, is pay attention and follow the trail markers.  True, but the problem is that some direction signs use the name of the trail (Coon, Hog, and Deer) and other signs use a color band system.  If you didn't memorize the trail color code system before you departed, oh well!  Furthermore, many of the direction markers were damaged or fallen over.  I'm not sure if storms knocked them down or if someone decided to pull a prank, but a lot of the signs were not planted.

Third, and last, there are a number of signs prominently sprinkled throughout the trail intersections that do not tell you which way to go, but point you back to the Parking Area.  So, instead of signs telling me where to go, I kept running into signs telling me where I did not want to go.  The chi energy was all wrong in this park.  Instead of the park inviting you to explore it's beauty and wonder, it was as if these signs were saying "Go Back To The Parking Lot", "Leave", "You're Not Wanted Here", "Get Out!".

So, in summary, the trails take you back through a nice, wooded area and through some lowland areas, but I couldn't enjoy it because I was constantly looking for indicators as to where I was.  I actually hiked the park TWICE, but not by choice.  The first time, I got lost and walked around for an hour and a half.  The only thing preventing me from truly getting lost was the barbed wire park boundary fence and tens of "<-- Parking Area" signs.  When I got back to the trailhead, I looked at the three maps again more carefully and decided to try again.  I got much further this second time, sometimes as a result of making some lucky guesses when I ran into forks in the trail that were not marked, but eventually I got lost again.  I soon realized that I had hiked all the way back into the park (where Spring Creek is) the first time.  At this point, I was pretty disgusted with the whole situation.  It was spoiling my day, so I decided to just "let it go" and just walk wherever my heart pleased.  The park isn't that large and it is contained by the boundary fence, so you really can't stray off the reservation.  The length of my hike was determined by hiking continuously for 3 hours.

I know some of the earlier reviews claimed the trails were well-marked, but I did not find that to be the case.  Perhaps it is because that was at least 4 or more years ago.  I also did not see any wildlife like AnOceanSpirit described.

This park has some true potential, but the parks and recreation folks need to improve the signage and trail markers.  This is low hanging fruit that shouldn't cost much at all.

Interesting
By Kempf1 on 11/7/2009
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 37 minutes

There was no real rhyme to reason with this hike.  However, the weather was beautiful and we didn't seem to mind.

By loner556 on 10/14/2009
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A

I've taken my 2 yr old daughter out here several times in a backpack carrier.   We usually hike back to Cypress Creek, then back out to the parking lot.  Mosquitos are really bad towards the back of the park.

OK hike and it's close to home.  Great time with my daughter.  Always see at least a bike or two on the trail but it's never crowded.

Great Hike
By Jon on 1/17/2009
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours

great well marked hike, close to home, took my two cattle dogs and they loved it.

By AnOceanSpirit on 2/16/2005
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: N/A
I haven't been out to Burroughs in a few months, but I used to go pretty regularly. Not sure why there's a "No Dogs" policy listed here, because I've never had a problem bringing my dogs (as long as they're kept on leashes, but the area's not too well patrolled once you get away from the picnic area). The trails are heavily wooded, mostly flat, and the solitude factor largely depends on where you are and what time of day/week/year you're out there, though on a whole, once you get well on the trail, you probably won't run into too many people. The trail eventually leads to a pretty little creek, where my hiking buddy and I often sit to enjoy the view and give the dogs a chance to drink. There's plenty of wildlife: deer, armadillo, snakes (I've seen water moccassins, corals, and copperheads on the trail), and a variety of birds. I've heard there's a bobcat out there, as well as fox, but I've never seen either. It gets muddy in the rainy months (I'd recommend giving the area a few days to dry after a storm), with a heavy mosquito population, so bring bug spray. It's a beautiful hike, and I have a ton of fun out there!

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