60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Houston: Includes Huntsville, Galveston, and Beaumont

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9780897329316: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Houston: Includes Huntsville, Galveston, and Beaumont
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60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Houston uncovers hikes around Houston that previously had gone unnoticed. This is the essential guide to this area, from the Big Thicket of east Texas to the coast of Galveston Island. Explore most of the 138-mile Lone Star Trail with over a dozen hikes breaking up the trail into manageable segments. Hikes lead to old native homesteads, native prairies, deep forests, riparian woodlands, urban byways, wildlife preserves along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, wetlands, and numerous bayous and waterways. Each chapter serves as both a navigational aide and an interpretive guide to familiarize hikers with wondrous destinations in and around The Bayou City.

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About the Author:

A native of Houston, Laurie Roddy has been writing for over 35 years on everything from computers to sports to the outdoors. She started her own company, Roddy Communications, Inc., in 1997 after working as a technical writer for Compaq Computer Corporation for ten years. She is the author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Houston and Easy Hikes Close to Home: Houston. She has hiked the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Olympia, Mt. Rainier, the Davis Mountains, Big Bend, the Smoky Mountains, St. Johns in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and, of course, all around the Houston area. She is a Texas Master Naturalist, through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and is an Ambassador for Bayou Land Conservancy. She curates the inclusive outdoor website GetOutHereHouston.org, which lists all the outdoor events in and around the Houston area. She is an advisory board member of Houston Wilderness and a committee member for Bayou Land Conservancy.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Memorial Park: Cambodia Trail

KEY AT-A-GLANCE INFORMATION

Length : 3.4 miles

Configuration : Out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Scenery: Creek beds, woodlands, kudzu field

Exposure : Shady

Trail Traffic : Moderate

Trail surface : Dirt

Hiking time : 2 hours

Driving Distance : Inside the 610 Loop, 0.6 miles from the intersection of the 610 Loop and Woodway Drive.

Access : Free

Maps : USGS Houston Heights; trail map available at trailhead

Wheelchair Access : None

Facilities : Restrooms, picnicking, baseball fields, trail signs

Special comments : The Cambodia Trail is heavily used on the weekends by cyclists but is used only sparingly during the week. This up-and-down trail can be challenging for those with limited abilities but is still easily hiked by most people. The trail has numerous color-coded trail markers to help you navigate the park. There is heavy car traffic on weekends, so those with a respiratory condition should be cautious.

In Brief: Memorial Park, the largest urban park in Texas, is often called the Central Park of Houston. It includes an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, football and soccer fields, picnic sites, a 3-mile jogging trail, swimming pool, croquet, volleyball, in-line skating, cycling, and hiking. The 1,600-acre park was acquired by William C. Hogg from the U.S. government in 1918; he subsequently turned it over to the City of Houston. The park already contains many hiking and biking trails, but there are plans to add additional trails. All the wooded areas on the south side of the park are crisscrossed by trails, many of which run along Buffalo Bayou and other smaller creeks.

Description: The Cambodia Trail starts from the next entrance off Memorial Drive, but because this entrance is often closed, park at the entrance directly past the second stoplight. There are restrooms and water fountains near the parking lots. Once parked, go east toward the park road that runs parallel to Memorial Drive. Hike along the road past a small parking lot on the right until you come to an entrance gate farther along Memorial Drive. Go around the front of the gate to the green trailhead marker across the entrance road. Head straight into the woods and then go left, following the trail. The dirt trail surface is only about 3 feet wide and is not wide enough for hikers and cyclists at the same time, so look ahead and listen from behind at all times. Step to the right if you see or hear a cyclist coming. The winding trail has a deep creek bed to the right and Memorial Drive to the left. As it goes toward Memorial Drive, the trail heads downhill and right. This descent is quite steep in some areas, so watch your footing and take it slowly if you are not wearing proper hiking shoes. Continue on the trail uphill and to the right as it takes you away from Memorial Drive and back into the trees.

These mixed pine and oak woodlands, which are hemmed in by urban sprawl from all directions, contain a diverse population of birds, including the yellow-crowned night heron, the pileated woodpecker, and during winter months, the great horned owl. Pine, oak, and hickory trees border most of the trail, and you can also find parsley hawthorn, American beauty berry, snowdrop tree, sweet bay magnolia, eastern redbud, Texas mountain laurel, coral honeysuckle, coral bean, and southern wax myrtle. Animals to watch for include Virginia opossum, gray squirrel, eastern mole, fox squirrel, evening bat, nine-banded armadillo, raccoon, swamp rabbit, coyote; venomous snakes here are coral snakes and copperheads.

Go past a trail marker on your left and one on your right. Follow the marker on your right to head back into the trees with the creek bed on your right. The ground on the left goes uphill, away from the trail. The trail narrows slightly, so be even more vigilant about watching for cyclists. Continue past another trail marker and go left and downhill over numerous tree roots. As the trail takes a big bend to the right, go through the next intersection heading straight ahead. At the next trail marker on the left, continue straight. The trail winds right and then sharply left, with a lot of accumulated sand on the trail surface. Head downhill and then back up the other side of the hill, hiking over tree roots and packed dirt. At the next intersection, go left. The cyclists like to take the steeper right fork, but it’s best for hikers to take the high embankment on the left. Continue straight at the next intersection where the two trails meet.

The trail bends sharply left and uphill over an eroded stretch. The center of the trail is at least two feet below the sides. The trail then curves right with the creek bed still on your right. You can still clearly hear the traffic on Memorial Drive, to your left. Continue past a trail marker on your right and go straight to stay on the trail. There are numerous vines hanging from the trees, and the vegetation is thick; however, visibility into the trees is good. Go past another trail marker on the left and head downhill over another eroded part of the trail. Once downhill, go to the right and head back uphill. The trail continues to wind back and forth going up and downhill many times before coming to another trail marker on the right. Head downhill and to the right, past the marker. Go uphill and follow the trail as it winds uphill over big tree roots. Pass another trail marker on the right. The trail, which levels some, is not quite so up and down here. Go between two trees―hard for a bike but on foot quite easy. As the trail takes a big turn to the left, it heads downhill before leveling again.

Continue past another marker as you step up and over a small embankment. The trail takes a quick left and then goes right, heading downhill. A big bend left takes the trail uphill. Head slightly left to stay on the trail and then climb steeply uphill. Go around a fallen tree and then head right. Cross a small bridge and then follow the trail as it winds back and forth. After a big bend to the left, the trail heads uphill gradually to another trail marker on the right. Go straight to the next trail marker and a sign on the right that states no bikes beyond this point. After the sign the trail winds left and then right passing more no-bikes signs on the left. The trail is much flatter here with little elevation change. Continue straight past another trail marker on the right. As the trail curves left, it narrows some. Hike past a nursery on your left and follow the marker on the right. The trail takes a big right turn before going past two benches and another trail marker. Go right onto a narrower part of the trail and then past another trail marker on the right before a big bend to the left.

Go over a fallen tree in the middle of the trail and past a marker on the right and another no-bikes sign. Continue past another marker and no-bikes sign as the trail winds back and forth, downhill and then back uphill the other side. As the trail bends right and then takes a quick left, head downhill steeply. Look to your right and you can see the trail that you will be on shortly. Hike past more no-bikes signs on the left and some houses that you can see just over the trees on the left. As the trail swings back to the right, head away from the creek bed and into an opening with a trail marker pointing straight ahead. Go straight into a large field of overgrown kudzu vines, a plant that was brought over from Japan for erosion in 1876 and heavily propagated throughout the South in the 1930s. It is one of the most invasive nonnative plants in the southeastern United States, growing up to a foot a day in summer and killing many native plants. Head through the kudzu on both sides of the trail to the next intersection and take the left fork. Head downhill steeply and to the right before going back to the left. Go straight up the trail over rocks and dirt as you leave the kudzu field. At the next intersection, go left until you come to the opening you were in at the start of the kudzu field. Head to the right at the intersection and head back up the trail the same way you came.

Nearby Activities: Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, (713) 681-8433, is only 0.25 miles west of the trailhead, off Woodway Drive. Additional Memorial Park activities include the Memorial Park Golf Course, (713) 862-4033, Memorial Park Tennis Center, (713) 867-0440, and the Memorial Park Swimming and Fitness Center, (713) 802-1662. The Galleria, one of the top shopping areas in the United States, is just west of the park with downtown Houston located to the east. Buffalo Bayou Park, White Oak Bayou Hike and Bike Trail, and Tranquility Park are also close by.

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Book Description Menasha Ridge Press Inc., United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Houston uncovers hikes around Houston that previously had gone unnoticed. This is the essential guide to this area, from the Big Thicket of east Texas to the coast of Galveston Island. Explore most of the 138-mile Lone Star Trail with over a dozen hikes breaking up the trail into manageable segments. Hikes lead to old native homesteads, native prairies, deep forests, riparian woodlands, urban byways, wildlife preserves along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, wetlands, and numerous bayous and waterways. Each chapter serves as both a navigational aide and an interpretive guide to familiarize hikers with wondrous destinations in and around The Bayou City. Seller Inventory # AAC9780897329316

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Book Description Menasha Ridge Press Inc., United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Houston uncovers hikes around Houston that previously had gone unnoticed. This is the essential guide to this area, from the Big Thicket of east Texas to the coast of Galveston Island. Explore most of the 138-mile Lone Star Trail with over a dozen hikes breaking up the trail into manageable segments. Hikes lead to old native homesteads, native prairies, deep forests, riparian woodlands, urban byways, wildlife preserves along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, wetlands, and numerous bayous and waterways. Each chapter serves as both a navigational aide and an interpretive guide to familiarize hikers with wondrous destinations in and around The Bayou City. Seller Inventory # AAC9780897329316

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Book Description Menasha Ridge Press Inc., United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Houston uncovers hikes around Houston that previously had gone unnoticed. This is the essential guide to this area, from the Big Thicket of east Texas to the coast of Galveston Island. Explore most of the 138-mile Lone Star Trail with over a dozen hikes breaking up the trail into manageable segments. Hikes lead to old native homesteads, native prairies, deep forests, riparian woodlands, urban byways, wildlife preserves along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, wetlands, and numerous bayous and waterways. Each chapter serves as both a navigational aide and an interpretive guide to familiarize hikers with wondrous destinations in and around The Bayou City. Seller Inventory # BZE9780897329316

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Book Description Menasha Ridge Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 312 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.8in.60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Houston uncovers hikes around Houston that previously had gone unnoticed. This is the essential guide to this area, from the Big Thicket of east Texas to the coast of Galveston Island. Explore most of the 138-mile Lone Star Trail with over a dozen hikes breaking up the trail into manageable segments. Hikes lead to old native homesteads, native prairies, deep forests, riparian woodlands, urban byways, wildlife preserves along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, wetlands, and numerous bayous and waterways. Each chapter serves as both a navigational aide and an interpretive guide to familiarize hikers with wondrous destinations in and around The Bayou City. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780897329316

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