Terry Hershey Park

12.50 Miles
1point5stars (1.89)9
1star (1.17)
1star (1.00)
15200 Memorial Drive
More Info
Happy Trails!
A sight every serious hiker enjoys - hiking all day until the sun sets. :) (Photo by Lone_Star)
End Of Robin Trail
This is the view of the far end of Robin trail at Whittington Drive. At this point, it loops back. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Robin Loop
This is the long loop trail known as Robin Loop. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Bike Bridges
Nice bike bridges constructed by the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (www.ghorba.org). (Photo by Lone_Star)
Another Jump
It's not very obvious in this photo, but riding off this little wooden ramp launches you off a small cliff down to the ground below. Serious air! (Photo by Lone_Star)
Not For The Faint-Hearted
A better view of one of the dirt bike jumps. It's a good 15-20 feet from ramp to ramp. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Hidden Dirt Bike Course
This unnamed dirt bike course is just east of the clearing where the power lines run parallel to Wilcrest Drive. It features a number of advanced jumps and berms. Cool place! (Photo by Lone_Star)
Jake Hershey Bridge
This is a view of the Jake Hershey bridge as seen from the south bank of Buffalo Bayou. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Bayou Trail
The dirt trail takes you right along Buffalo Bayou. (Photo by Lone_Star)
At several point the trail forks in various directions. Don't about which one to take - they all end up in the same place. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Beware Of Speeding Bikers
Mountain bikers love this trail. If you hear "Biker!", step off the path as they can come barrelling down the trail. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Anthills Trailhead
Once you cross Buffalo Bayou, you will see this dirt trail. It is the Anthills trail, but there is no sign announcing this. I do not think it is an official park trail. (Photo by Lone_Star)

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Log Entries
By Lone_Star on 7/3/2016
Rating: halfstar Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: halfstar
Distance: 8.53 Miles Duration: N/A

Nature hike with my kids.

Nice Walk
By Lone_Star on 3/12/2016
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 8.10 Miles Duration: N/A

2.5 hours through various parts of Hershey Park and out to George Bush Park and back on a nice day.  I was surprised how high the water level of Buffalo Bayou was from recent rains.

Bayou Overflowed
By Lone_Star on 6/3/2015
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: halfstar
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 4 minutes

My girlfriend and I decided to hike Terry Hershey Park from the parking lot near Memorial Drive out to Beltway-8 and back.  Unfortunately, we were forced to turn around about 1/2 mile short of the beltway due to flooding.

I was blown away with how high the bayou water level was from recent rainstorms.  There were several low spots along the trail filled with water than we either had to circumvent or walk through.  It was still nice to get some miles in.

A Hike With My Kids
By Lone_Star on 4/21/2013
Rating: 1point5stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 5.40 Miles Duration: 2 hours

I did this hike with my 10 year old son and 15 year old daughter.  Up to this point, they haven't shown an interest in hiking at all, so I was pleasantly surprised when my son asked me if he could try it out.

We did the Anthills trail and hike/bike trail along the bayou down to Kirkwood Road and back.  The trail was busy with mountain bikers so we had to stay alert and jump off the trail as they went by, but otherwise it was a nice hike.  Along the way, I tried to teach them about the plants, animals and general habitat so it was an educational experience for them.  They asked a lot of great questions and we had a lot of fun together.  They were pretty pooped by the end even though I was the only one carrying a pack, but they did real good for a first-time hike.  I was proud of them.

The big pay day came at the end of the hike when my kids told me they liked the experience and would be interested in doing it again sometime! :)

Hike Along The Bayou!
By Lone_Star on 2/14/2013
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 12.80 Miles Duration: N/A

This is my third visit to Terry Hershey Park.  I came back to finish hiking some trails I was unable to hike on my previous visits and this time I struck GOLD!  What a nice, unexpected Valentine's Day gift from Mother Nature!

My previous visit was a walk along the Bayou.  This was a hike along the Bayou!  I started my hike at the Parking Lot off Memorial Drive near Eldridge Parkway.  I walked down to where Eldridge crosses over Buffalo Bayou.  There, I caught the bridge over the Bayou and then took the Anthills trail south.  It's a dirt trail that forks at many different points and is popular among mountain bikers.  My intent was to take the Anthills trail to the long loop (known as Robin Loop) between S. Dairy Ashford Road and Kirkwood Road, but while going under the S. Dairy Ashford bridge I inadventently took the trail down along Buffalo Bayou.  There is a paved path (known as Robin Trail) that runs parallel to the bayou, but is higher in elevation than the bayou trail.

Not a problem for me, though.  The bayou trail is really nice and gives you a much more satisfying experience than walking along it on the other side of the bank.  I kept hiking this trail until I passed under Wilcrest Drive.  After passing the clearing where the high voltage power lines are, the trail became very difficult to follow.  What I did find, however, was a really cool improvised dirt bike course featuring a number of jumps and berms.  I asked some of the biker dudes if the trail continued on towards Beltway 8 (and indeed Googlemaps shows it does), but they didn't think it did and I could not discern where the trail went at this point.  It seemed to end and it was late in the afternoon so I decided to turnaround so I didn;t run out of daylight.

On my way back, I did find the long loop that I described earlier and walked it down to Whittington Drive and back.  I saw a few white herons fishing in the drainage stream.  It should be noted that this particular loop path crosses Briar Forest Road, which can be very busy at certain times of day.  Exercise caution.

In summary, if you want to do some actual hiking or mountain biking, the dirt trail that runs along the south side is the one to take.  The paved path on the north side of the bayou is nice and takes you all the way to Beltway 8, but that is not a hike, but rather a long walk in the park.

Walk Along The Bayou
By Lone_Star on 2/12/2013
Rating: 2stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 11.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

This is my second time back to this park.

This time, I took the Buffalo Bayou Bike And Hike Trail (I think the actual name the park gives it is the Blue Jay Trail, but when you get to Eldridge Parkway it becomes the Quail Trail) from the parking lot off Memorial Drive near Eldridge Parkway all the way out to where it ends by Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway).  The trail was approximately 5.5 miles each way.  If you walk to the end, there is a parking lot where a friend can wait and pick you up.  If you do not have a ride back, realize that you will be hiking a good distance (11 miles).  I would not recommend it if you are elderly or in poor health.

This is not a hike, per se, but more of a nice long walk through the park.  The park is frequented by joggers, cyclists, and people walking their pets and this trail is paved asphalt and concrete the entire way.  It is relatively flat, although there are small hills to climb/descend along the way.  There are numerous grassy glens with beautiful wildflowers growing (when in season).  The trail parallels Buffalo Bayou and you are constantly afforded some nice views of it.  Along the path, you will cross several small bridges that span creeks that drain into the bayou.  You will also walk under several road bridges for vehicles driving over/the park.  The Beltway 8 bridge is massive and an impressive engineering feat.  It is at these points when there is no solitude.

If you don't want to walk along the water bank, the trail branches off at several points and gives you a different path further away from the bayou.  One of my gripes about this park is that the signage is sparse and poor.  There are no printed trail maps available and where the trail forks, there is no information as to where they go.  This causes unnecessary confusion and can get you lost unless you have a GPS or good sense of direction.

You also stand a good chance of seeing wildlife.  There are a lot of birds and it seems almost every tree has a nest in it.  I saw a Blue Heron, but only briefly.  Apparently he saw or heard me first, so he became startled and took off in flight.  Seeing those large birds fly is a treat.  I also saw some turtles along the bayou.

I am almost done hiking all of the trails in this park.  I may need one more visit as GoogleMaps shows a dirt trail on the other side of the bayou called Anthills.  I'm not sure if it's even a park trail, but it may be nice to view the bayou from the other side next time.

Great Place To Exercise
By Lone_Star on 2/7/2013
Rating: 2stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 16.50 Miles Duration: 5 hours

This review covers parts of Terry Hershey Park and the adjoining George Bush Park.

It would be helpful to reference a map of the area when reading this review so you know which areas I covered.  The reason is some areas are still being constructed and George Bush Park doesn't show up very well at all on GoogleMaps.

My hike started at 12:30pm.  I parked in the lot off Memorial Drive near Eldridge Parkway and took the paved path heading north along the stream of water coming from the Addicks Reservoir.  I walked under Memorial Drive and in the vicinity of I-10, I was thrilled to see an extension trail was being built so I decided to take it.  It was all dirt (actually mud since it rained the day before), but passable.  The path headed to the Addicks Dam, then west along the border of the dam.  Just prior to reaching State Hwy 6, the path cut south and ended at the Park N Ride at Park Row.  From there, rather than go back through the mud, I chose to head east and follow Park Row out to the feeder road along I-10.  I walked east until I was able to catch the trail going under I-10.

I then caught the Buffalo Bayou Hike/Bike Trail on the west side of the water and headed south until I got to Mockingbird Trail, then headed west until I reached Hwy 6.  There, I crossed under the Hwy and took the George Bush Park Hike and Bike Trail that goes arounds the Barker Reservoir and headed north.  The path was long and seemingly neverending.  It was also full of cyclists.  Eventually the path turned west and I followed it all the way to the Sergeant JR Hatch Skate Park.  At this point I turned around, but instead of walking on the bike path I decided to walk up on top of the reservoir berm.  It was a rocky service road and a little more difficult on the feet, but the added 20-30 feet in elevation gave me a great view of the reservoir and the wildlife within.  I also didn't have to worry about dodging cyclists so the trade-off was definitely worth it.  It made it seem more of a nature hike rather than a park walk.

I followed the path all the way back around past the point where I started (near the reservoir dam) and continued south another mile or so to where the paved bicycle path ends (near Briar Forest Drive).  By this time the sun was started to dip low, so I headed back north to the dam, then east on Mockingbird Trail back into Terry Hershey Park and back to my car.

The scenery was nice in Terry Hershey Park.  There were a lot of exotic birds and nice bridges spanning the bayou and waterways.  The scenery was not so nice in George Bush Park.

On the day I did this, it was cloudy and fairly cool so it was an enjoyable walk.  On hot days, it could be punishing.  There were hardly any water fountains so I would strongly recommend you take something to drink and snack on.

The path is flat all the way with the exception of places where you go under roads and freeways.  I was a little putoff by the lack of restroom facilities so make sure you "go" before you get going.  Also, the maps provided by the park are terrible and sparse.  It's hard to get lost, but it's easy to get disoriented.  A GPS would be helpful since printed maps are not available.

I made this trek on a weekday so the pedestrian traffic was not too bad, but there were a lot of cyclists.  In the late afternoon when people got off work and out of school, the volume of bikers and joggers picked up considerably.  On weekends, I imagine it could be congested.

It is hard to rate the solitude of the park since there are places where it is calm and tranquil and other spots where you're deafened by the roar of freeway traffic.  I would not consider this a place to go hiking, but rather a place for exercising.  It's a nice area if you're a cyclist.  The long straight paths at George Bush Park are even better for cyclists since they can push their speed to their limits.

Despite walking all afternoon, I did not complete this park.  There are some other paths in Terry Hershey Park that I did not walk and some long bike paths in George Bush Park that actually take you into the area of the reservoir.  I will have to do those another day, but for now, it's time to soak my aching bones... :)

Update:  I hiked the other trails in George Bush Park about 2 weeks later.  You can read that log entry here.

Very Hot and Very Crowded
By Eveline on 6/3/2006
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
Had some sort of bike event today, so the trail was very crowded.
By Eveline on 11/20/1999
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
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