– Scientifically based –
The Bayou City
Houston was founded by the Allen brothers in 1836 on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou at it's junction with White Oak Bayou. Just east of downtown, Buffalo Bayou becomes the deep water ship channel that was completed in 1914.
Buffalo Bayou is a popular training area for folks wanting to get in some hill work and for runners working downtown. The ~5 mile loop around the bayou runs along Memorial Drive (to the north), Allen Parkway (to the south), Sabine (to the east), and Shepherd (to the west).
Some interesting facts about Buffalo Bayou include:
The historical significance of Sims Bayou goes back to 1836...remember the Alamo? General Sam Houston's army destroyed Vince's Bridge (spanning Sims Bayou) to prevent General Santa Anna from escaping or receiving reinforcements. When Santa Anna arrived at the burning bridge, his retreat was delayed and he was eventually captured.
Sims Bayou runs west to east; south of the 610 loop. A plan to build a ~14 miles of trails connecting six city parks, a golf course, and enlarging the bayou is underway.
Important historical note: Some recounts of the bridge indicate that Vince's Bridge spanned Vince's Bayou. However, it is unlikely that Vince's Bayou was where Santa Anna was delayed as: A) He thought he was at either Buffalo Bayou or the Brazos River (much larger bodies of water than Vince's Bayou), and B) Vince's Bayou was very shallow, not likely to stop reinforcements from reaching the Mexicans.
Another popular bayou that begins west of Houston, runs south of the Medical Center, Herman Park, and Rice University, and drains into Buffalo Bayou east and south of the City. Brays Bayou is key for flood control in Houston and surrounding neighborhoods. Although no longer in it's full natural state (i.e., normal water flow is along a big concrete ditch), it has an asphalt path that allows for many miles of uninterrupted biking and running.
The Bayou City Road Runners (BCRR) run along this bayou every Wednesday evening at 6:00pm. See the BCRR web site for details of the run.
White Oak Bayou is a popular running area for folks in the Heights area of Houston. White Oak begins west and northwest of Houston, runs north of, and parallel to, Buffalo Bayou before heading south and joining it in downtown Houston.
Armand Bayou lies in a biological transition zone and is surrounded by the southern mixed hardwood forest, the coastal prairie, and the coastal salt marshes. The Armand Bayou Nature Center manages the preservation of Armand Bayou. The bayou is one of the last bayous in the Houston area that is not channeled.
Greens Bayou is the largest tributary to Buffalo Bayou and discharges to the Houston Ship Channel. The Atascocita Trail, just north of the bayou, was established early in the 18th century by French and Spanish trader and explorers. The Atascocita Trail was an important trading route between Texas and Louisiana.
Hunting Bayou, a tributary of Buffalo Bayou, was named for the good hunting that was possible in the early days of Houston. During Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001, the Hunting watershed area received over 32" of rainfall and was one of the worst hit areas of Houston.
Send mail to
questions or comments about this