In a city that’s home to 371 parks that span 37,000 acres, it’s not difficult to find a quiet, out-of-the-way outdoor space at which to relax or recreate here in Houston. Here are some of our favorites.
Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park
This conservation area in Houston’s East End was named after a local civic leader and serves as the premier location for Houstonians who want to escape from the busy-ness of city life for a little while. This park features native plants, ponds, and hiking and biking trails. It’s the perfect spot to get in a little quiet time, a walk in the fresh air, or just to sit down for a bit of bird watching.
Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary
This sanctuary, hidden away from Houston’s fast urban pace, is perfect for those who need a little bit of shade. Take your time wandering this beautiful natural area and watching the birds and wildlife, enjoying the warmth of those patches of sun that filter through the trees. You’ll find yourself refreshed and renewed by the end of your visit.
Terry Hershey Park
With 500 acres of grass and native plants, this park qualifies for “out of the way” just by virtue of its size. It’s easy to stop and slow down while cocooned from the city in this beautiful, sprawling natural area. Enjoy the many biking and hiking trails as you take in that Texas sunshine, or simply wander for a bit, getting to know the local birds and wildlife. The park is home to owls, armadillos, rabbits, and turtles, just to name a few.
Nestled into one of the most well-known parks in the city, Buffalo Bayou Park, rests this little riparian site designed by Houston landscape architect Charles Tapley. Though this park is located in the heart of Houston, the bayou tributary is tucked away among the trees and features a footbridge, granite steps, and a seating area. The trick is to go on a weekday when it’s nice and quiet.
For more information on the best places for eating, shopping, and playing, check out The Ranch at Shadow Lake’s Neighborhood page.