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Buffalo Bayou in Texas

Trip Overview

Route: Buffalo Bayou, Houston, Harris County, Texas

Drop-in: San Felipe crosses over the bayou a couple of hundred yards west of Voss. On the north side of San Felipe is a small trail to walk down to the water. There is a sandy little pennisula under the bridge which makes it easy to get in. (On the day we did this trip, the side of the bayou was a bit steep; I went there yesterday (3.6.05) and the water was flowing very well. The bank is perfect to get in, and the water is flowing.)

Pull-out: Allen's Landing.

Time of Trip: Four (4) hours.

Sometimes the need to canoe is overwhelming. When this occurs, any water that allows a canoe to float will do.

On Sunday, February 28, 2005, two of us decided to go canoeing. We loaded up, drove our vehicle to our downtown pull-out location, Allen's Landing, the parking lot behind Spaghetti Western.

We went to look for our drop-in point, 7800 Woodway. After looking for almost an hour for the right place to drop, we sacrificed by pulling the canoe off on San Felipe, north of Voss. We pushed through some brush and found a slope that wasn't too steep to get in.

The water was flowing well.

I should say we anticipated a trip lasting around two hours. We were mistaken.

Instead, we canoed for an hour and a half; then, we paddled, in the dark, for two and a half hours. The water flow stopped by the time we got to Memorial Park and we had to paddle the rest of the way.

The bayou is very navigatable, a few times trees laid across the bayou proved difficult.

A number of observations need to be said:

(1) The water is brown; you cannot see underneath it. The water has a high content of bacteria (e coli, nonetheless). This is reason enough to go canoe somewhere else. (I didn't learn this information until after the trip).

(2) There is an enormous amount of trash and debris. This, of course, takes away from the trip: it is depressing.

(3) There are a number of beautiful places to look at. Along the bayou are some very nice places to stop and look around.

(4) There are a number of "critters" out there. The snakes are not out yet (too cold), though I saw one. We saw a beaver (!) which was very cool. A couple of turtles, and a heron which would fly around a bend and wait for us. When we came closer, he would launch again, and this continued our whole trip.

If you were to do this, I would suggest dropping in somewhere around Memorial and pulling out along Allen Parkway. It will take about two and a half hours, and by that time, you'll be ready to get out of the water.

Resources:

Read about the bayou at www.buffalobayou.org; there is a link to canoeing which provides a very simple map. Also, read about the last ecological report done on the bayou. Very High E-Coli Count!

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip