Cypress Creek in Texas

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Cypress Creek is a great creek and I recommend the trip to anyone who wants a few hours of peaceful boating, but I made the mistake of going on Mothers day. My wife was not at all happy and I paid dearly for it on this trip as you will see.

We established the plan on Friday the 6th. I called Mercer Arboretum (the put in) to make sure what time they opened and a nice lady informed me that they opened at 8 am. ** I asked twice more to make sure she understood we would be there on Sunday, and she informed me again 8 am. So the big day came and we arrived at their locked gates at 9 am. So being an adventurous duo my father and I decided to put our canoes in on the opposite shore. I unloaded the canoes and my father and reluctant wife ran the shuttle vehicle to the take-out at Jesse Jones Park. The put in could be referred to as a straight drop down a clay embankment on the north side of the creek, which was interesting to ski down while being pulled by a 120lb pelican canoe but I got the boats in the water and my father was dropped off by my wife (wife did not speak to me). The water level was very low because we have not had rain in about a month, but it was a passable level. 15 minutes into the trip we hear loads of thunder from a storm that should have passed 20 miles NW of us, but we press on. By the time we hit the first bridge crossing it is a monsoon, and I decide to pull over under the bridge to wait it out, because what else could go wrong today??? As I stepped out of my canoe to catch my father in his I managed to step on a piece of 1/4 in. rebar and impale myself 2.5 inches on it. While waiting for the rain to pass (It never did. It rained for 24 hours) I tried to get as much of the junk out of my foot as possible in vain, so we push on like the troopers (or fools) we are.

Now I am in a great deal of pain at this point, but I will never let my father know that, because it is his first day in his new canoe, and he seemed to be enjoying it very much. I figured surely we would be okay now that I have paid for my mothers day sin, little did I know this was apparently a bigger sin than I thought. Another mile passes by and we hit a shallow rock garden type chute. Now my father has not been in anything but a lake in 27 years and he did not like the looks of this minor ripple (whitewater certain death!!!) so the first rock that he hits he throws his paddle straight in the air both legs out and both arms out. He landed in the back of his canoe, which was now on its side in the middle of the creek in @ 8 inches of water, and he cannot get up. I beached my canoe and waded out to him, rolled him out into the water and got his boat over to the side, went back and stood him up. After we emptied his canoe he decided to line it down the rest of the chute, and I took mine on through. Surely my sins are paid now right? Wrong. Another mile passes and another chute. Sure enough after we had just been over the procedure of moving forward in the boat, the first rock sends his paddle flying and lands him in the back of the canoe on its sideyadayada. Now keep in mind this is all being done in a down pour with no rain gear, because it wasn't supposed to rain. To make a long painful story shorter here is a summary of the next 3 hours:

  • 2 log jams had to be lined
  • I slid in from a clay bank that was like greased glass and had to be roped out
  • 1 80 yard portage
  • 1 more father in the water incident

Now we were 6 hours into a 6 hour trip and we had made it 2/3 of the way to our take out and the rain and lightning is just too much. So the next bridge that we got to we called my wife in shame, and she took great joy from seeing two wet exhausted men, one of which bleeding and limping when she got there to pick us up. Unfortunately the banks where we took out were too steep to bring my canoe up, so we only got his out, and mine HOPEFULLY is still tied up under that bridge. After another 4 hours in the emergency room I made it home to my warm dry bed, and under heavy pain killers fell fast asleep to dream about the rest of our trip. Now that the infection is gone from my foot and I can walk again I will try tomorrow morning to finish the Mothers Day trip 2005.

All that being said it would be a great trip with no rain and another foot of water in the creek.


Check in at Mercer arboretum, and they will contact Jesse Jones State Park to let them know when you are leaving and the time you should arrive there. If you don't make it they call out the search party. Both put in and takeout have full bathroom facilities.




From downtown Houston take I-45 north to FM 1960. Turn right and continue for about 3 miles to Aldine Westfield. Turn Left and continue for 2 miles. Mercer arboretum is on both sides of the road just before the bridge crossing cypress creek.

To get to the takeout head back south on Aldine Westfield to FM 1960 and turn left. Continue about 6 miles to Kenswick and turn Left. Continue on Kenswick until it dead ends into the park.

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location