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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Memorial Park - Three Mile Circle

Introduction: The most popular walking and jogging trail in Memorial Park (and possibly in the city) is the three mile loop. Memorial Park is the largest urban park in Texas and covers approximately 1,466 acres. It is inside the 610 loop and not that far from downtown Houston.

Location:The park is located at 6501 Memorial Drive. From downtown, go west on Memorial Drive past Shepherd, past Westcott. Park is on both sides of Memorial Drive, north and south. The 3 mile loop is on the north side (right side going from downtown to Galleria). Turn right on the Memorial Loop road and park in designated spots or lots. I park near the tennis courts on the street. Maps are available at http://www.memorialparkconservancy.org/index.cfm?menuitemid=151

Hours:6 am to 11 pm (although I've seen joggers and walkers walking this path later than 11 pm!) Paths are lighted for night walks.

Scoring: Walking = 4.5 Nature = 3.5
Walking: Points lost for noise as most of walk is on busy Memorial Drive or streets. It also is a very busy walk with too many people on it for my comfort.

Nature: While it is in Memorial Park which is beautiful, the walk itself simply circles the woodlands, and does not go through it. You can see the trees, but you're not in them.

Background:Memorial Park used to be part of Camp Logan, a WWI training center outside the city limits of Houston. It was built in 1917. It was used for training and also for caring for wounded soldiers at times. The infamous Houston Riot of 1917 occurred there caused by trouble between the local police force and black soldiers stationed at the camp. Declaration of martial law ensued. After the war, the land was acquired by the Hogg family and sold to the City of Houston at cost. This later became Memorial Park.

Within the park are the Arboretum and Nature Center, a golf course, miles of hiking, biking and jogging trails, tennis courts, volleyball courts, roads for inline skating, softball fields, swimming and other sports. There are also picnic tables and benches for sitting along the roads and some trails. The Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail is the same as the 3 mile loop so there are exercise "stations" along the path where you can stretch, do chin-ups, etc.

Coolest Thing About Walk: Great people watching!

Trails: This trail is crushed granite and wide enough for several to walk abreast. The trails are very busy all during the day, even on weekdays. It is well lighted for night walking. The trails are fairly even and have decent drainage. They can be muddy after heavy rains. There are bathrooms and water available on this trail. It is mostly shaded. The trail is in a loop around the golf course and runs along the road/loop through the north side of the park. Because of this, it is fairly noisy. Due to this heavy traffic, if you have respiratory illness or sensitivity to environmental conditions, you should take caution. You will see all types of walkers and runners - women pushing baby carriages, elders walking and jogging, fit 20 and 30 somethings, and dog-walkers.

Other things you'll want to know:

1. As with all walking, be sure to take your cell phone and identification as well as water in the hot summer months.
2. Park only in designated spots, they are plenty and easy to find.
3. Trail has good lighting for night walking and jogging.

Feel free to add any comments you think would be useful to others about this trail.

Photography by Mary Anne Fields.
All blog content is copyrighted, all rights reserved, Mary Anne Fields and Life Unfolds, 2006


At Tue Oct 30, 10:58:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...thanks for this post and your blog in general. I've been in a rut going round and round Rice U. each day. I'd always heard Memorial had the most popular trails but it was out of the way for me and I'd never tried it.

Think I'll go today!

At Thu Jun 16, 04:27:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best trail to run on in Houston. I used the Heights Boulevard trail but had to stop too many times for crossings. There is also a very visible police presence and lack of thugs.I run it 4 times a week and look forward to it each time.


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