Another favorite walking trail! This time in northern Houston/Aldine area. At around 500 acres, Keith-Weiss is a beautiful expansive park with exceptionally wide-concrete trails encircling several water retention ponds. The densely forested area surrounding the cleared pond areas have been preserved and you'll find all trails start within the outer edges of the forest and end in or surround the vast pond areas. The park is so large and the encircling forest so deep it gives a remote quality. No freeway noise may be heard; no residential area may be seen. A beautiful setting that not only attracts locals
looking to exercise but also attracts birds of all kinds. We saw egrets, herons, cardinals, blue
jays, and heard a woodpecker although we
couldn't quite spot him.
We even saw a chicken running lose - probably escaped
from a local back yard. I think she was a little out of her element. Cluck, cluck.
Once you step out of your car and onto a concrete trail,
you'll find yourself completely entertained by the flowing changes in scenery.
Firstly, the tall trees, which provide amazing shade for parts of the path, finally give way to open area where the ponds can be seen from afar. Then, the path meanders
around towards the ponds, where you finally come across an observation deck which is positioned strategically in the middle of the largest pond. More meandering pathway takes you over a bridge, through more woods, and
around the pond to a curving boardwalk where you can catch some glimpses of the
fish living in the pond. The whole experience is nothing less than beautiful.
|Cardinal (left center)|
|Observation Deck (left)|
In addition to the approximate 2.5 miles of cement trails, there are also wide, fully maintained chipped bark trails, a rare treat for some runners I'm told. Although we've not walked the bark trails or the other off-cement trails, according to Google maps these trails go on for several miles. A bit more exploration is needed to confirm the length and quality of all of those trails.
The park itself is not an easy find. We needed to explore a bit to find the best entrances. To my knowledge, there are three understated parking areas in or at the edge of the park. Two paved lots are located on the west side off of Aldine Westfield Rd., and a smaller graveled lot is on the northeast corner of the park, opposite a residential area, along Orange Grove Dr. In addition to these entrances, Halls Bayou Hike and Bike Trail lets into the south side of the park via a nice bridge. A nice experience for cyclers and walkers alike who find themselves on this seldom used trail.
I can't say enough good things about the quality of the park. It's a walker's paradise. We'll be going back to see what types of birds show up in the Spring.
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|The lone chicken wandering the park.|