Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: the Bayou City perpetually under construction
Bikes: 2001 DBR Axis TT, 1998 Trek 5500 OCLV, 1993 Trek 1100, 1971 Raleigh Grand Prix, 1972 Gitane Attic Beater
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Originally Posted by bkj
The Braes bayou trail had some bad cracks from the drought, but repairs are being made. Construction on the eastern parts continues. The trail along Allen Parkway is great in places and is undergoing a complete makeover. The Columbia Tap is a great connector from downtown to the Med Center/Hermann Park area. The Heights trail is a fun ride from the north side of downtown west to Shepherd, from there it's a quick connection to the TC Jester trail which currently has an irritating detour as it approaches the north loop. There's also a trail along Buffalo Bayou east of downtown to Lockwood, but you turn off sooner, work your way along Harrisburg and pick up a trail beside the Gus Wortham golf course. From there you have to go overland for a while but you can connect to the eastern end of the the Braes Bayou trail.
We've probably seen each other out on the Brays Bayou trail but didn't know it because I ride the western end nearly every day. If I hadn't pestered the precinct commissioners Larry Shuck and El Franco Lee with email requests we'd still be dodging cracks on that path from Rice blvd to past Buffalo Speedway. Now they're finally coating it over with asphalt because the patches are so numerous, and the cracks could swallow a tire and their first attempts just weren't adequate. The eastern end goes past the Medical Center almost to the University of Houston and is a nice quiet ride. The entire length of it may total over 10 miles. The part I travel is over 5-6 miles so both ways totals to over 10 miles, same with Terry Hershey.
The western end of the Brays Bayou path is outside the loop, so if the OP is willing to go outside the loop he might as well try the Terry Hershey park trail, nicest in the metro area because it follows Buffalo Bayou out west all the way to Bush Park and is heavily wooded, my old neighborhood, and smooth enough to use a road bike (10mph max speed though). The unpaved Anthills singletrack is on the south side of the bayou for MTB's. The closest parking lot to the city is near the Sam Houston Beltway and Memorial Drive along the northbound feeder on the east side, but there are several access points along the entire length.
But if he must stay inside the loop, I sometimes ride the White Oak trail which is in disrepair,and of course the TC Jester trail, but mainly the Buffalo Bayou Park trail that connects to the Memorial Park area on the west side of downtown. I even managed to get an email request out to Mayor last summer that may have got the ball rolling on the Buffalo Bayou redo, but never expected them to respond with such a nice upgrade. I recommend a MTB for that one just in case of sudden construction complications, however the Picnic Loop in the park is very popular with the Road bike crowd because you can travel it full speed with few interruptions. The Ho Chi Minh trail is also there south of Memorial drive.
Maps of all the Houston Hike and Bike trails are available for free at the local REI stores so call them and go pick one up or download them off the City's website in PDF format.
Update: I see now that the Buffalo Bayou redux near the downtown area is mainly for the runners in the US Olympic Team Trials Marathon, which is happening today, but when that's over it will be a nice ride for area cyclists.
Last edited by stonefree; 01-15-12 at 07:05 AM.
Reason: add link and update