Changes in the New Year

That Bend in Winter. Happy Trails!

Jan. 8, 2024

The piles of tree trunks, forbidding wire and “No Entry” signs are gone! What a delight to see that, after more than four years, the entrance to the trails through the bayou woods on the southeast side of Memorial Park is now open.

The sandy paths through the enchanting wild woods, regularly cleared by anonymous volunteers, were used by park lovers anyway. Hikers and runners have been scrambling over stacks of logs and wire fencing. The “unofficial” trails appear in grey on the parks’ trail map. They connect to the green and blue trails.

Winter sunrise over that bend in Buffalo Bayou. Looking downstream from the same high bank in Memorial Park with the River Oaks Country Club golf course on the right. Photo Dec. 31, 2023 by SC

It’s true that high banks on the bayou should be treated with caution and respect. Not so much because they are dangerous but because putting weight on the bank stresses our vertically slumping banks.

We were there to take our winter photo of that Bend in the River, part of our seasonal series documenting the same bend for almost ten years now. As usual, the sun rose faster than we did. But miraculously, with a helping hand, we were still able to get decent shot.

Looking upstream along the path on that high bank. It is recommended that hikers and runners use another, more stable path to the north through the woods.

The Memorial Park Conservancy is the private nonprofit organization the runs our great public park. We asked them for comment on the removal of the obstructions and signs but have not yet received a response. According to a frequent user of the trails, the obstacles apparently were removed within the past month.


The newly opened gate leading to the unofficial path through the bayou woods on the southeast side of Memorial Park.