Houston rates first among the nation's 10 most populous cities in total acreage of parkland, beating out Phoenix's 45,020 acres and San Diego's 47,383 acres, according to a 2011 report by The Trust for Public Land . Houston has 49,643 acres of total park space, with 22 acres per 1,000 residents. The national average is 12.4 acres per 1,000 residents.
Located just 15 minutes south of Downtown Houston, 288 Lake is a freshwater sports training facility and outdoor event venue.
The 20-acre facility featuring the pristine, spring-fed lake is a great place to maintain that competitive edge in the water for locals and those visiting Houston. Individuals and groups of up to 200 can visit 288 Lake to train or simply enjoy the lush surroundings. Five docks, a sandy beach shore, six sunken boats, training platforms and more provide divers a great place to hone their skills. 288 Lake is available to certified divers, and those interested in kayaking and open water swimming.
The spring/aquifer-fed water at the lake is naturally filtered, providing visibility ranges from four to 25 feet. The environment is also rife with plant and animal life.
288 Lake also offers seasonal swim passes and is available for groups and special events.
Alexander Deussen (1882-1959), a petroleum geologist, donated a 309-acre site on Lake Houston to Harris County in 1956. The site was converted into a public park and named the Alexander Deussen Park.
The highlight of the park is a herd of buffalo, giving visitors the opportunity to view these large and beautiful creatures in a natural setting.
There is no charge to use the boat ramps at Alexander Deussen Park, and fishing is permitted from piers.
The 2.5-mile jogging trail has an asphalt surface with exercise equipment along the trail.
There are 3 multi-purpose fields located in this park. These fields can be used for baseball/softball, football and/or soccer. The fields can be reserved, however reservations are not required. Lighting is not available.
Reservations of 150 people or more is required for the use of the Open Air Pavilion. Kitchen facilities, lights, and electrical outlets are available. Wood and charcoal barbeque grilling is also available. Seating capacity for the Open Air Pavilion is 400. Volleyball poles are available for use. Nets and balls not provided.
There are 230 cement picnic tables available, in which some are handicap accessible.
New play structures with shade canopies were recently installed.
Often described as “Houston's heart” and Houston's “Plymouth Rock,” Allen's Landing is an area that truly defines Houston. It was here in 1836 that August C. and John K. Allen stepped ashore and claimed Houston as their own. The confluence of Buffalo and White Oak bayous also became Houston's first port and a thriving commercial hub.
After years of deterioration and numerous planning efforts, Allen's Landing is undergoing major revitalization and rejuvenation. Already completed is a concrete paved wharf designed to replicate the original port, a promenade, terrace overlooking the bayou, trail/walkway, entry plaza at intersection of Commerce and Main, terraced grass lawn, and text-based Public Artwork.
Improvements are being made west and east of the existing park, including the downtown streetscape enhancement project, which will feature pedestrian connections from Commerce Street to the bayou. Four major entryways will also include stairs, ramps, landscaping, signage, and public art.
* Trash Receptacles
* Drinking Fountain
* Bike Rack
* Decorative Lighting
In Anahauc National Wildlife Refuge, the chorus of thousands of waterfowl, wind moving through the coastal prairie, the splash of an alligator going for a swim, and a high-pitched call of a fulvous whistling duck are heard during visits. The meandering bayous of Anahuac NWR cut through ancient flood plains, creating expanses of coastal marsh and prairie bordering Galveston Bay in southeast Texas. These coastal marshes and prairies are host or home to an abundance of wildlife, from migratory birds to alligators to bobcats and more.
The park features, a coastal prairie and marsh, are home to many migratory birds and alligators such as muskrat, nutria, opossum, skunk, raccoon, and coyotes with characteristics of red wolves. Between October and March, there are as many as 27 species of duck present in refuge, including green-winged teal, gadwall, shoveler, ruddy duck, and northern pintail. Huge groups of snow geese, sometimes in excess of 80,000, feed on rice fields near Shoveler Pond; secretive yellow rails usually live in refuge, also roseate spoonbill, ibis, egrets.
* Outdoor educational programming (free, K-5th)
* Wildlife observation
Armand Bayou Nature Center is one of the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S., protecting 2,500 acres of natural wetlands, forest, prairie, and marsh habitats once abundant in the Houston/Galveston area. ABNC is home to more than 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, along with thousands of native plants.
Reconnect with nature at this remarkable part of the Texas Gulf Coast. Recognized as one of the top birding locations in the Galveston Bay area, ABNC attracts visitors from around the world. Hiking and paddle trails provide easy public access to unique outdoor experiences. Turn the clock back at the restored 1890's Martyn Family Farm site. Or consider a bayou cruise, canoe trip or night owl prowl.
See native wildlife including American alligators, hawks, river otters, white-tail deer, several turtle species and much more. Visit with the resident bison that graze one of the center's prairies. For an up-close look, visit the facility's education center, home to animals including snakes and spiders.
Arthur Storey Park, blends the importance of storm water detention with a park environment that includes amenities provided through a local initiative. Every weekend, hundreds of Harris County residents enjoy all that Arthur Storey Park has to offer.
Situated southeast of Jersey Village, Texas—on 18 acres off the intersection of 290 and the Sam Houston Tollway— Bane Park remains a popular outdoor destination for visitors of all ages and abilities.
The multi-use park makes room for a sand volleyball court, rainbow trout-stocked, five-acre wheelchair-accessible fishing lake, rock climbing wall and barbecue grills that accompany the picnic pavilions and tables. There are also convenient restroom facilities, two lighted baseball fields, as well as a paved walking trail.
Gather the family for an all-day event full of different sporting activities, fishing (catch-and release fishing is encouraged) and horsing around on the playground. Keep cool under the pavilions, on the shaded trail covered by lush trees or by running through the splash pad with the kids.
Dedicated to the memory of Barbara Jordan, an unforgettable force in Civil Rights for African-Americans and a hero to women and Americans with disabilities, the 6-acre Barbara Jordan Park features basketball courts, a community center, picnic areas and more.
The .5-mile jogging trail has an asphalt surface with exercise equipment along the trail.
Picnic areas are available with concrete tables. Some of the picnic tables are handicap accessible.
There are 2 tennis courts available with lighting. Reservations not required. Open everyday from 6:00am to 10:00pm.
There is one sand volleyball court available, net provided. Reservations not required.
There is one meeting room with full kitchen facilities available for public use in the Barbara Jordan Community Center. Reservations are required before use. For more information or to make reservations, please call the Northside Park Reservation Office at 281.591.6951. The seating capacity of this facility is 75-100 people.
Size: 6 acres
6:00AM - 9:00PM - Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 9:00PM - Saturday & Sunday
10:00AM - 9:00PM - Holidays
Situated on the east side of Houston—on 19.07 acres between Navigation and Clinton— Tony Marron Park remains a beautiful outdoor destination for visitors of all ages and abilities.
The park, which was acquired by the City of Houston in 1987, was successfully restored from a formerly underutilized green space by the Park People. The multi-use park makes room for soccer and baseball fields, children's playground, walking trails and beautiful landscaping. There are also convenient benches, trash cans, picnic tables and drinking fountains.
A short distance from downtown, head there on a quiet afternoon to enjoy lunch or jog the trail.
Tranquility Park, named for the Sea of Tranquility, is filled with grassy embankments and serene pools while situated right next to City Hall in downtown Houston. The cool oasis of fountains and walkways was built to commemorate the first landing on the moon by the Apollo 11 mission.
Opening to visitors in 1979, the park was dedicated on the tenth anniversary for the first lunar landing. Neil Armstrong's words from the moon, "Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has Landed," are written in many languages on plaques placed at the entrance of the park. The mounds and depressions on the park's surface represent the cratered lunar surface.
Each year, Tranquility Park becomes home to annual events such as the Children's Festival, Houston International Festival, and many more. This popular spot is great for individuals seeking shade or a place to have lunch during one of Houston's hot summer days.
Tranquility Park is located between Walker and Rusk Streets, east of Smith St. in downtown Houston.
Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect a remnant of the bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem along the Trinity River. The refuge is currently at 18,500 acres and continues to grow. This Refuge is located within the Lower Mississippi Joint Venture Project Area of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and, as such, is highly valuable habitat for a diversity of waterfowl species. A highly valuable habitat, it is used during migration or nesting by nearly 50 percent of the neotropical migratory bird species listed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Although not fully surveyed, the refuge contains more than 620 plant species and 400 vertebrate species.
Champion Lake (public use area) includes a bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem (one of 14 priority-one bottomland sites identified for protection in the Texas Bottomland Protection Plan), bottomland hardwood forested swamps, open water, wet pastures, upland cultivated pastures, natural pine forests, and mixed pine-hardwood forests sheltering a diversity of waterfowl species.
The refuge is home to white-tailed deer, squirrels, numerous other furbearers, freshwater turtles, alligators, snakes, river otters, and bald eagles.
Only small groups may use this site as restroom facilities are extremely limited. Guided tours are not available.
* Wildlife viewing
Urban Warzone Paintball , the only paintballing venue inside the 610 Loop, is easily accessible from anywhere in Houston. Whether you are an expert paintballer, occasional player, or just a beginner, Urban Warzone gives every participant a quality recreational experience. Equipped with a field, various bunkers, and rental gear, this is the place to get that the adrenaline rush you've been seeking.
Urban Warzone also does corporate events, team-building, birthdays and other special events. For just $19.95 per player you can equip up to 12 players with masks, automatic markers (paintball guns), protective vests, and unlimited CO2/N2 propellant for unlimited all day private play. This standard budget package to the deluxe or elite for even more amenities.
If you choose to go individually or with a few friends, you can expect a $15 entry fee and $12.50 for rentals, the prices going lower the more people you bring. Hours of operation are Friday 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Wake Nation is Houston's only full-scale cable wakeboarding park and one of only 10 such parks in the country. Wake Nation, along with its 12-acre lake, is equipped with a full pro shop, equipment rental shop, concessions area, huge outdoor observation deck, and other amenities.
This attraction boasts 35-foot steel towers carrying a unique overhead cable system enabling riders to wakeboard, water skate, water ski, and kneeboard without a boat around the lake. For novice riders, a practice pond is available for an "easy start" ride. For the more experience riders, the lake is outfitted with custom-built jumps, grind rails, and sliders.
With up to six people on the lake at the same time, riders are pulled up to speeds of 18-20 mph. You must be five years of age or older to ride and are required to wear a Coast Guard Approved life vest and helmet, which can be rented at Wake Nation.
This is a pay as you go facility, $25 for 2 hours, $30 for 3 hours, and $35 for a day pass.
The Waterborne Education Center's (WEC) homeport is Anahuac Harbor, located at the mouth of the Trinity where the river meets the bay. Field labs also take place regularly on the Houston Ship Channel and occasionally on the Sabine and Neches rivers.
The Waterborne Education Center (WEC) provides hands-on learning opportunities in science, ecology and other topics. Field labs are conducted aboard two renovated Coast Guard buoy tenders. The vessels have classroom space below deck, where microscopes and viewing monitors can be set up to enhance learning experiences. Passengers are encouraged to disembark in the marsh to engage all of their senses in the exciting environment.
* Field labs
* History Trips
* Wildlife viewing
* TEKS-aligned lessons