Looking for a new spot to run in Houston? I’m excited to announce that all that messy construction that has taken the Yale and I-10 intersection out of commission for the past year is wrapping up and the new Bayou Greenways trail along White Oak Bayou is nearly finished! By my standards — do I have to hop over construction zones or fences? no! — it’s complete!
I’ve been running on the completed sections of this trail for the past few weeks and have gradually come to see the entire trail get paved off and come to completion. This section of White Oak Bayou is part of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project and can be accessed at a few different points. It starts off at the Heights Hike and Bike Trail near Stude Park, continues below I-10 and has access points at Heights Boulevard and Yale Street, and then stretches undisrupted under I-10 again, Shepherd, and Dunlavy until it links up with the White Oak Bayou Trail on TC Jester and the other end of the Heights Hike and Bike Trail.
If you run the loop described above, it’s just under 4 miles. It’s entirely paved and even has some dashed yellow lines at parts to direct traffic. The past few times that I’ve done the loop this week, the trail has been quite busy with runners, roller skaters, strollers and bikers. There is little shade on the trail since it runs along the bayou, so I recommend going early in the morning or late afternoon so that you can catch some of the shadows from the hills and streets to break up the Houston heat. There are no water fountains or bathrooms on White Oak Bayou, but if you loop off onto the Heights Hike and Bike Trail you can find some at the Heights Boulevard intersection.
White Oak Bayou Trail now stretches from Downtown (see map here), along this new course, and then up along TC Jester past 6-10 and Beltway 8 (see map here). Unfortunately, the bit that ends at Stude Park doesn’t link up coherently with the new section without forcing you to cross a few roads, but the trail is definitely getting there! If you’re looking to do a long bike ride or run, this is definitely a great new route to check out! Plus, you get some pretty spectacular downtown skyline views at a few points that make any Houstonians heart soar!
Downtown views from Heights Hike and Bike Trail intersection