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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stude Park and White Oak Park Trails

Stude Park lies just north of the I10 immediately to the east of Studemont Street.  It joins White Oak Park, Woodland Park and Hogg Park to form an enticing “green patch” on the map which we just had to investigate further.  There is ample parking available - we chose the car park off Usener Street beside the baseball diamond.

We set off anticlockwise along the path by the bayou.  There were just enough people dotted around to make us feel comfortable walking here.  The asphalt path is in reasonable shape but will soon be much improved.  Construction is well underway and it looks like this part of the trail will link in to the Heights Bike Trail.  We can’t wait for the walking and cycling opportunities that will unfold when this work is completed. 
Spring is in full bloom this week and the grassy slopes are filled with an abundance of wildflowers. We enjoyed not only the many bluebonnets but the blues, reds and yellows of many flowers we could not put a name to! 

We also had the good fortune to spot a snapping turtle sunbathing on the banks of the bayou.  These are less frequently seen than the ubiquitous red-eared sliders and look almost prehistoric with their nobly shells and jagged tails. 

I would love to say it was a peaceful morning but sadly the noise from the freeway was constant and increased as we neared the intersection of the I10 and the I45 at the start of Woodland Park.  The paved trail ran out here and although the muddy trails through the Freed Art and Nature Park looked enticing we had neither the right footwear nor the will to tolerate the traffic noise.

So we turned north to walk back along White Oak Drive to give us a little distance from the freeway.  This turned out to be an excellent decision.  The traffic was sparse, the road was elevated giving us great views over the parks and Downtown and the architecture of the homes in this heritage area is varied and unique. 

Feeling very satisfied that we had visited another “new to us” part of the city, we headed off along White Oak Drive to Onion Creek Coffee House where we sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed our habitual cup of coffee.

Enjoy Houston


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