When I was a kid, Terry Hershey Park was a one and a half mile loop just west of Eldridge Parkway off of Memorial Drive. Soon, an extra loop was added that was accessed under Memorial and headed towards I-10. At the time, my mom would run the loop while I rolled around on my rollerblades or walked our Airedale terrier.
Today, Terry Hershey Park is nearly 12 1/2 miles and growing. According to their website, they plan to start a trail north of I-10 to the Addicks Dam. For the inner loop resident, is the trek out to West Houston to TH worth it? Absolutely!
As a multi-dog mom, I find the best time to go is late morning to early afternoon on weekdays. If I have someone walking with me, then the time is more flexible. Single dog parents, bikers, and runners can go anytime. I opt for late morning to early afternoon because I want my dogs, others on the path, and me to enjoy TH to the fullest. If we go at a busy bike time or right when families are going for walks, it makes things tougher on everyone. Instead of doing the intervals we enjoy (fast walk, medium speed, stop and smell every blade of grass, and potty speed), we would have to be more collected and stay out of people’s way.
The trail follows along the Buffalo Bayou and is paved. We typically park near Beltway 8 and walk to Kirkwood and back (5.39 miles). One of the great things about TH is never having to set foot on the street and watch for cars. The path winds with the bayou, up and down hills, and under major north and south streets. If you are heading west, the bayou is on your left. On your right, you’ll find all the extras: huge meadows great for a dog to roll or play ball, playgrounds, and benches. West Houston has really focused on making TH an important part of the landscape and neighborhood culture.
There are only two real downsides to TH: few water fountains and crazy cyclists. I always carry water with me on this trail, making the first problem a non-issue. The cyclists here are even faster and crazier than those riding through TC Jester Park. Part of the problem is the terrain. Although the path is paved, there are numerous steep hills with tight turns. Due to the trees, you can’t see if someone is coming around the bend too late. I always make sure my dogs are very close to me at these points.
You and your dogs can have a great walk here. If you don’t typically go on really long walks, be careful. Always remember that you have to turn around and walk back. I recommend walking 20-30 minutes, resting, and heading back if this will be your first visit to TH. Wear some sunscreen, grab some water, and lace up your shoes!
For more information on Terry Hershey Park, please visit http://www.terryhersheypark.org