Walk Along The Bayou

Blue Jay Trail
This is the trail you will walk as you leave the parking lot off Memorial Drive. The Buffalo Bayou is not visible in this photo, but it is off to the right.
User: Lone_Star - 2/12/2013

Location: Terry Hershey Park

Rating: 2stars
Difficulty: 1star  Solitude: 1star
Miles Hiked: 11.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: 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.

Log Photos
Blue Jay Trail
Buffalo Bayou
Eldridge Parkway Bridge
Drainage Into Buffalo Bayou
Bird Nest City
Beautiful Rest Stops
Dairy Ashford Bridge
Pretty Wildflowers
Kirkwood Bridge
Jake Hershey Bridge
Wilcrest Bridge
Beltway 8 Bridge
Massive Bridge
Area around Terry Hershey Park
Recommended Item
Recommended Item 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Houston: Including Huntsville and Galveston
Laurie Roddy
List Price: $18.95 Your price: $15.99 Buy Now
It’s Time to Take a Hike in Texas!

The best way to experience Houston is by hiking it. Explore Buffalo Bayou Park, one of the top urban parks in the country. Nature-watch at the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, or challenge yourself with a long hike on the Lone Star Hiking Trail. Local author and hiking expert Laurie Roddy has selected the best hikes within a 60-mile radius of the city. This perfect blend of popular trails and hidden gems transports you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings that renew your spirit and recharge your body.

With Roddy as your guide, you’ll learn about the area and experience nature through 60 of its best hikes. The author provides expert tips about where to go and what to expect when you get there. Plus, each hike description features key at-a-glance information on distance & configuration, hiking time, difficulty, scenery, traffic, trail surface, and accessibility, as well as details about the history and natural history of the area. GPS-based trail maps and elevation profiles, along with clear directions to the trailheads, help to ensure that you always know where you are and where you’re going.

Whether you’re a local looking for new places to explore or a visitor to the area, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Houston provides plenty of options for a couple hours or a full day of adventure, all within about an hour from Houston and the surrounding communities.