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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Newcastle Street Trail

If you think that Houston is intended just for cars then look a little closer!  You may be as surprised as we are to find such a variety of easily accessible small parks and hike and bike trails.  

Today we were in Bellaire just inside the 610 West Loop South.  The bike/hike path which runs along Newcastle Street stretches for just over 2 miles from Beechnut St in the south due north to Glenmont Drive – making the round trip a nice easy 4 ½ mile walk on a good smooth surface. 

Russ Pitman Park
We started our walk at Russ Pitman Park on Evergreen because there is convenient free parking on both the north and south side of this small 4 acre nature park.  We could see from the information boards, the bird boxes, and the well planned pathways that this is a well used and well looked after little park with a good variety of native plants.  

From the park we walked north, admiring the many delightful mature houses and well stocked gardens along the way.  Beautiful roses scented the air, the azaleas were just starting to burst into bloom and we only just resisted picking a pomegranate from a laden tree! There was some traffic along Newcastle Street but not enough to interrupt our conversation.  That could be very different at a busier hour of the day!   We also had to pause at the lights to cross both Bellaire Boulevard and Bissonet but again it was no problem at this quiet time of day. 

 This is a quiet residential area with little in the way of facilities, although we did see a gas station and a donut shop on the corner of Bissonet and Newcastle. A couple of times we were tempted down one of the side roads, once by a particularly interesting yard and then by an avenue of old live oaks.  On the return journey we continued past the park all the way to the southernmost end of the path at Beechnut, before returning to our cars. Even in the middle of this big city the birds thrive and we sighted a very large hawk on Beechnut and enjoyed watching a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers in the park.

No morning stroll is complete without a coffee so we drove off to Bellaire Blvd for refreshments to round off a very pleasant morning.  

Enjoy Houston

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