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Everything There Is to Do at Buffalo Bayou Park

Everything There Is to Do at Buffalo Bayou Park

As far as parks go, Buffalo Bayou Park is one of the largest and most exciting parks in Houston to explore. 

Besides exercising, there are plenty of things to see and do in Buffalo Bayou Park. Leave your book guide behind at the bookstore and let us give you a local’s tour of Buffalo Bayou Park.

What should I know about Buffalo Bayou Park? 

Website Buffalo Bayou Park
Address105 Sabine Street, Houston TX 77007
Contact Info[email protected]


Hours of OperationLighted Areas: 6 AM – 11PM

Other Areas: Dawn to Dusk

You will find Buffalo Bayou Park near downtown Houston. Aside from beautiful gardens and native landscaping, Buffalo Bayou Park has hiking and biking trails, paddle craft rental, dog parks, and public art. 

Moreover, the city has invested in recently adding a creative nature play area, two visitor centers, and gathering spots that allow visitors to picnic, relax, and participate in outdoor activities. 

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership funds the park’s maintenance and operation on an annual basis.

Bike rentals

Almost every day, cyclists fill the park. Don’t worry if you don’t own a bike: you can still go for a ride! 

Bike rentals are available in and around the park at several stations. There is a $3 fee per 30 minutes option and a monthly membership option.

Additionally, Houston Bike Barn offers bike rentals from its Sabine Plaza storefront on weekends. The rate for full-day rentals begins at $6 per hour, or customers may choose from half-day and full-day rentals.



The Buffalo Bayou Park area includes public parking at Lost Lake, Eleanor Tinsley Park, and The Water Works, along Allen Parkway, Memorial Drive, and city streets. 

The City of Houston’s Lot H has over 400 parking spaces available for public use. The price may vary depending on the day of the week. 

Parking is available on Allen Parkway Monday through Sunday between 9 AM and 7 PM. 

In the area between Sabine and Taft streets, there are 140 parking spots. Each space costs $1 per hour, with a maximum stay of three hours (including weekends).

What should I do at Buffalo Bayou Park? 

There are plenty of things to see and do along the Buffalo Bayou Park trials, not limited to hiking or birdwatching. Below are a few options for you the next time you find yourself at Buffalo Bayou Park.

Buffalo Bayou Park — Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street 

You can see and do some things along the Buffalo Bayou Park trails from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street.

Running and biking trails

Runners, walkers, and bikers have an endless selection of routes along the bayou’s numerous trails. Many bridges cross the bayou throughout the park, making it easy to get your run in. 

Bridges such as Shepherd, Rosemont, Jackson Hill, or Carruth provide a shorter route. 

Runners and walkers can avoid biking and rollerblading using the Kinder Footpath, which runs alongside most of the main path. This path runs closer to the bayou than the main path, allowing pedestrians to experience more of the surrounding environment. 

The park has meadows and open spaces that offer a shady, serene place to enjoy a picnic or a nap during your run.

Wortham Foundation Grove

Wortham Foundation Grove
Address2904 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019

Located in Buffalo Bayou Park

Hours of Operation6 AM to 10 PM

Gus S Wortham Memorial Fountain is a hotspot for aspiring photographers and influencers wanting to take an excellent selfie. 

Joggers can often spot rainbows emerging from the striking dandelion-shaped fountain, which offers a cool mist for those in the middle of sweaty runs. It is surrounded by trees, park benches, and drinking fountains.

Eleanor Tinsley Park

Eleanor Tinsley Park
Address18-3600 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019

Located in Buffalo Bayou Park

Contact Info832-394-8805
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours

Houstonians may know Eleanor Tinsley Park as the site of Freedom Over Texas or the Free Press Summer Festival. Still, the park is rich with activities even when no festival occurs. 

A game of beach volleyball can be played in the park’s sand pit, and frisbee can be played on the park’s flat, open fields. 

You’ll find a beautifully landscaped garden area within walking distance of the park. Nothing is more peaceful than strolling through the garden, filled with flowers and other greenery.

Buffalo Bayou Cistern

Address105b Sabine St Houston, TX 77007

Located in The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park

Hours of OperationWednesday - Thursday: 10 AM - 5 PM

Friday & Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM

Saturday: 11 AM - 6 PM

Underneath the park, a 1920s-era drinking water reservoir can be located at Buffalo Bayou Park’s Cistern. 

The cistern was removed from service in 2007 after engineers found an irreparable leak. This relic of the past is now open for public tours and hosts temporary art installations. 

You can take a tour every Wednesday and Friday afternoon for just $5, but you must make a reservation in advance. Thursday is the day for free tours.

Waugh Bat Colony

Waugh Bat Colony

Those who have walked beneath the Waugh Drive bridge over Buffalo Bayou will likely recognize its distinct smell. In the undergrowth of the bridge is a colony of 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats.

The bats may emerge from their bridge home without warning a few minutes before sunset or well after nightfall. On cold nights, the bats may not emerge at all. 

A Bat Chat is held each month on the first and third Friday nights. Thirty minutes before sunset, Bat Team volunteers gather at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive to answer questions and assist the public in safely observing the bats.

Due to limited parking along Allen Parkway, we recommend parking near Jackson Hill and Scotland Street along Memorial Drive.

Upon parking, walk over Memorial Drive and continue south toward Allen Parkway over Buffalo Bayou. Continue east towards Waugh Drive Bridge.

Johnny Steele Dog Park

Address2929 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019

Located in Buffalo Bayou Park

Hours of OperationMonday - Sunday: 7 AM to 8 PM

There’s no shortage of dogs frolicking through the Johnny Steele Dog Park, no matter how big or small they are. 

The park’s amenities include separate areas for large and small dogs, with dog ponds, shade structures, water features, dog washing stations, benches, and dog-specific drinking fountains. 

It is located near Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard. It is open from 7 AM to 8 PM daily.

Houston Police Officer Memorial

Houston Police Officer Memorial

A pyramid-shaped memorial honors the HPD officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Designed to symbolize a royal tomb, the memorial is guarded 24 hours a day. 

Every year, the monument hosts a procession and wreath-laying ceremony for past Houstonian officers as well.

Lost Lake

Lost Lake is a hidden diamond in Buffalo Bayou Park just off the bayou. There was once a pond at this spot, but it drained away after a natural dam collapsed in the 1970s. 

Eventually, the pond was restored to its former glory and is now located near public restrooms and a visitor center.

Flora Mexican Kitchen 

Address3422 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019
Contact Info713-360-6477
Hours of OperationMonday - Thursday: 11 AM to 10 PM

Friday - Saturday: 11 AM to 11 PM

Sunday: 11 AM to 9 PM

A Mexican restaurant with trees and chandeliers, Flora Mexican Kitchen, offers a relaxing ambiance. The bold and gorgeous Flora Mexican Kitchen overlooks Lost Lake and the lush bayou. 

Dine under stunning chandeliers with full service, and a Texas-inspired twist on contemporary Mexican food will be available. 

The menu features charred octopus, red snapper ceviche, braised lamb barbecue, vibrant green mole, fish tacos, tres leches with flamenco meringue, killer cocktails, and a bottle of excellent wine, tequila, and mezcal list.

Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark

Address103 Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007
Contact Info713-222-5500
Hours of OperationMonday - Sunday: 9 AM to 10 PM

This 30,000-square-foot skatepark is open to skaters of all skill levels and was recently renovated. It is mandatory to wear helmets in the park, which is located just off Sabine Street. 

Free admission is available, but the park only accepts skateboards and inline skates.

Rosemont Bridge

These steel and concrete bridges that cross the bayou at different levels are not only beautiful but offer magnificent views of the downtown skyline.



Jaume Plensa’s sculptures have aluminum frames carved with words from around the world, fade into the fog, and the kneeling figures become ghostlike. It’s a must-see for art lovers.

The Water Works 

Houston’s abandoned water system site was reclaimed to create the Water Works, a significant park entrance. The Water Works is a popular attraction due to its proximity to the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area.

Buffalo Bayou Park — Downtown 

The Buffalo Bayou Park trails near downtown provide many opportunities to see and do things.

Sabine Promenade 

Sabine Promenade

This 23-acre waterfront park includes trail systems for hikers and cyclists, lush landscaping, a boat landing, a garden area at the Four Seasons Hotel Backyard, and a pedestrian bridge. 

At the major park entrances, visitors are greeted with stainless steel boats sculpted by Houston artist John Runnels.

Sesquicentennial Park 

Sesquicentennial Park
Address400 Texas Ave Houston, TX 77002
Contact Info832-395-7000
Hours of Operation6 AM to 10 PM

Among the public art in this park are Mel Chin’s stainless steel pillars, the Seven Wonders, Dean Ruck’s ceramic history photos, the Big Bubble, and sound installations. 

You can view the bubble emerging from the bayou waters by traveling up the Mosbacher Bridge and pressing the red button.

Buffalo Bayou East — Downtown to the Turning Basin

As visitors travel east along Buffalo Bayou’s hike and bike trails, these are some of the things you can do. 

Gravel Silos

Hiking and biking trails in the East End feature the area’s industrial past remnants. Buffalo Bayou Park owns several massive concrete gravel silos east of Jensen Drive. 

As well as being interpretive landscape elements, these structures are also the canvas for imaginative public art projects.

Guadalupe Plaza Park 

Guadalupe Plaza Park
Address2311 Runnels St Houston, TX 77003
Contact Info713-928-9916
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours

Among the sights and sounds of Guadalupe Plaza Park are mariachi and salsa music, ballet Folklorico, and seasonal festivals. The park includes biking and hiking trails, a splash pad, and a boat dock in addition to the performance area.

Mckee Street Bridge

Mckee Street Bridge

McKee Street Bridge enlivens the bayou landscape in aquamarine, purple, and lavender colors. It’s also the perfect place to pose for a new social media profile picture.

Japhet Creek 

Japhet Creek

An important bayou tributary running deep into Fifth Ward is Japhet Creek. 

To revitalize this historic tributary, Buffalo Bayou Park is implementing the enhancements: a native prairie, creekside nature trails, landscaping, lighting, parking, and a trail connection to the bayou.

Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park 

Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park
Address2300 Sgt Macario Garcia Dr, Houston TX 77011
Hours of OperationOpen 7 AM to 10 PM

Wetland ecosystems can be explored at Buffalo Bend Nature Park. The park occupies a 10-acre area. 

The park’s features are ponds, native plantings, interpretive displays, and trails. 

With everything there is to do at Buffalo Bayou Park and along its trails, it’s no wonder Buffalo Bayou Park is one of Houston’s most beloved places. 

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