Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive
Visitor Center at The Water Works: 105-B Sabine Street
Lighted areas: 6am – 11pm
Other areas: Dawn to dusk
Visitor Center at The Water Works: 9am – 7pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day
Restrooms: 8am – 8pm
Buffalo Bayou Park is the 160-acre green space just west of downtown Houston. Visitors can enjoy beautiful gardens and native landscaping; hike and bike trails; a nature play area; the go-to dog park; public art; and delightful places to picnic, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. Enhancement of this award-winning park was a collaboration of BBP, the Kinder Foundation, the City of Houston through Houston Parks & Recreation Department, and Harris County Flood Control District.
Here, you will find the Wortham Insurance Visitor Center with restrooms, bike rentals, and staff available to answer your questions and provide directions. Visitors can also enjoy food trucks, stunning views of the downtown skyline from The Brown Foundation Lawn, and frequent performances and events at the Hobby Family Pavilion.
Learn more about renting The Water Works for your own event here.
Open daily from 9am – 6pm
Open daily from 8am – 8pm
Constructed in 1926, the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern was one of Houston’s first underground drinking water reservoirs. It provided decades of service until it was decommissioned in 2007. With generous support from The Brown Foundation, BBP restored the Cistern and transformed it into a magnificent public space. Visitors can take tours highlighting the site’s unique history and architecture, and the space also hosts a robust series of immersive installations by renowned artists.
Click here for the complete tour schedule and to purchase tickets. Please note the Cistern will be closed to the public on Thursday, June 29 through Friday, July 7 due to Freedom Over Texas.
ART AT THE CISTERN
Local and national advisors assist Buffalo Bayou Partnership in developing programming for the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Ideas and suggestions for artistic programming in the Cistern may be emailed to email@example.com. Suggestions are reviewed quarterly; therefore, response times range from 30 – 90 days.
The Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area is a popular destination for families, and is designed to inspire a love of nature within children. The play area features a boulder rock scramble, rolling lawn, a stream and waterfall, climbing logs and stones, and a 33-foot slide. Kids especially enjoy the tri-level tree house/boat deck and climbing net. Families have easy access to parking and restrooms at The Water Works nearby.
The play area’s picnic pavilion is available to rent for child-oriented special events and birthday parties. Find out more here.
Named in honor of the late City Council Member and civic activist Eleanor Tinsley, this “park within a park” is one of Houston’s most popular outdoor spaces with the signature Bud Light Amphitheater lawn and open-air Nau Family Pavilion. Visitors can also enjoy the Eleanor Tinsley Garden and the tranquil Jane Gregory Garden nearby.
Volleyball Court Rentals
The sand volleyball court at Eleanor Tinsley Park is available to rent here.
The late Houston landscape architect Charles Tapley designed this inspirational site in the late 1970s, featuring a bayou tributary, riparian plantings, granite steps, and seating areas. BBP later added a wetland, native Texas prairie, footbridge, the Vale-Asche Foundation Spring, and the Charles Tapley, FAIA Overlook.
Late Texas artist Jesús Bautista Moroles’ Houston Police Officers’ Memorial commemorates the 113+ Houston Police Department officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty. Shaped like an Aztec pyramid, the sculpture symbolizes a royal tomb. The Police Officers’ Memorial and surrounding grounds are guarded 24 hours a day. This is also the site of an annual procession and wreath-laying ceremony.
At the center of this grove is the Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain, affectionately known as the “dandelion.” The fountain’s brass starburst of pipes sprays joggers, cyclists, and walkers, offering a cool respite from the heat. Points of interest at this favorite meeting spot include: Cullen Foundation Overlook; John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Overlook; and the Fountain Gardens, a gift from River Oaks Garden Club.
Unless you know it’s there, the Green Tree Nature Area may be difficult to find. Located south of Memorial Drive at Waugh Drive, this heavily forested trail is a nature lover’s delight. You will find birds, squirrels, and even a rabbit or two on any given day.
Watching more than 300,000 Mexican free-tailed bats emerge every evening from the crevices of the Waugh Drive Bridge is truly a spectacular sight. Unlike in other colonies, a large number of these bats remain through the winter months, providing viewing opportunities on warm nights. Stop by at sunset to witness this natural wonder and learn more about the bats through interpretive signage at the viewing platform.
Lost Lake is the site of a former pond that was lost in the 1970s, when its dam across a natural ravine broke. The pond was restored and is now a tranquil area for reflection, surrounded by beautiful plantings and gentle cascades. Visitors will also find public restrooms and a restaurant here.
FLORA Restaurant at Lost Lake
Please visit the FLORA website for reservations and information.
One of Buffalo Bayou Park’s most beloved destinations is the Johnny Steele Dog Park. Dogs have plenty of space to run, swim, and play, while their owners can relax on benches and take advantage of dog washing stations and drinking fountains (complete with spigots for dogs). Limited parking for the dog park is available along the frontage road of Allen Parkway.
DOG PARK REGULATIONS
Hours: 7am – 8pm (may be closed during bad weather or for maintenance)
Help us keep this popular destination safe for dogs and their owners by adhering to these rules:
- Owners are liable for damage or injury inflicted by their dog(s). This means owners are legally and financially responsible for their dog’s behavior. Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the City of Houston have no liability or responsibility for injuries in the dog park.
- Limit of two dogs per person per visit and one hour for each dog.
- Dogs taller than 15 inches may not use the small dog area.
- Dogs must be properly licensed and vaccinated with City of Houston registration and rabies tags visible on each dog’s collar.
- Dogs must be leashed before entering and upon leaving the dog park and must be leashed in the transition area. Owners must have a visible leash for each dog at all times.
- Owners must have disposable pet waste materials visible at all times and must pick up their dog’s fecal matter and dispose of it in a trash receptacle.
- Owners must have verbal and sight control of their dog(s) at all times and prevent aggressive behavior, fighting, biting, and aggressive barking. Never leave your dog(s) unattended.
- Dogs with a known history of dangerous behavior are prohibited. Immediately leash your dog and leave the park if your dog(s) behaves aggressively.
- No puppies under four months of age are allowed in the dog park.
- No female dogs in heat are allowed in the dog park.
- No children aged 12 or under are allowed in the dog park. An adult must accompany children ages 13 through 18. Permitted children must be supervised by an adult and behave appropriately. No running, shouting, chasing dogs, or petting other people’s dogs without their permission.
- No dog or people food is allowed in the dog park.
- No smoking in the dog park or elsewhere in the park.
- Violation of the City Code results in fines and no further dog park use.
The art in Buffalo Bayou Park is for everyone. From landmark historic sculptures by world renowned artists, to site-specific activations by emerging practitioners, artworks are one of the park’s most distinguishing features. Many iconic works are part of the City of Houston’s Civic Art Collection, while others were commissioned by Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
The Sandy Reed Memorial Trail is the ten-foot-wide concrete trail that stretches the length of Buffalo Bayou Park on both sides of the waterway. This busy trail is enjoyed by walkers, joggers, and cyclists, and weaves through the park’s varying landscapes. The five-foot-wide asphalt Kinder Footpath is for walkers and joggers only and is found closer to the bayou’s banks.
For the safety and well-being of all visitors, it’s important to be respectful of fellow park users and stay alert when using the hike and bike trails.
- Always keep to the right on trails to avoid faster-moving traffic.
- Do your best to anticipate the actions of other users and know the limits of your abilities.
- Keep pets on a short leash.
- Announce “passing on left” or ring a bell when trying to get around someone in front of you.
- Look ahead and behind you before turning around on the trail.
- Pull over to the right or completely off the trail when stopping.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet.
- Watch your speed and always keep at least a three-foot distance from pedestrians.
- Use of headphones/earbuds is discouraged, but if you do, consider removing the device from one side, so you are aware of the sounds around you.
- Watch children carefully – don’t allow young children on trails without supervision.
- When in a group, stay in a single file line.
- Obey all traffic signals when crossing major intersections. Never cross an area without a designated pedestrian traffic signal.
- Look both ways before crossing or merging with another trail.
View trail closures along Buffalo Bayou here.