Tag Archive for: West Fork Greenway

Next Leg of San Jacinto West Fork Greenway Now Hike- and Bikeable

The second leg of the Houston Parks Board’s San Jacinto River West Fork Greenway is taking shape nicely. Contractors have apparently finished concrete work and landscaping. It can now be hiked and biked.

Route of San Jacinto West Fork Greenway

The first leg of the three-mile route starts near the entrance to River Grove Park at the south end of Woodland Hills Drive in Kingwood. It used existing residential streets and new trails to snake its way to the Forest Cove Community Center. Then construction paused until demolition of the flooded townhomes on Aqua Vista, Timberline, and Marina Drives finished.

The second leg (dark purple below) follows existing streets through the old townhome site. However, contractors narrowed the streets to one lane. That accommodates bicycle and foot traffic, but limits most vehicle access.

Route of West Fork Greenway between River Grove Park and Edgewater Park.

The newest portion of the trail now extends from the Community Center to Hamblen Road via Timberline Pass, Timberline Drive, Aqua Vista and Burning Tree Court. The last street terminates at Hamblen, just west of the old Forest Cove Golf Course.

A final leg will extend west to Precinct 3’s Edgewater Park, paralleling Hamblen Road, but south of it (light purple).

Timing and Connections

Timing for the final leg has not yet been determined. Houston Parks Board eventually hopes to connect multiple waterways and adjacent hike and bike trail systems in the northern part of Harris County. 

For instance, this project will connect to the Spring Creek Greenway across the old US 59 pedestrian bridge. When complete, it will create one of the longest urban hike-and-bike trail networks in the United States.

Photos of Newest Leg of West Fork Greenway

The pictures below, taken on 1/3/23, show the state of the most recent construction.

Landscaping along new trail (formerly part of Aqua Vista Drive. The trail is half the width of the old street. It should accommodate both hikers and bikers.
Construction on Marina Drive and Timberline Pass. Forest Cove Community Center and Pool in upper left. Looking East.
Reverse angle. Looking south from over Forest Cove Pool.
Looking west from the former turnaround at the end of Aqua Vista.
Facing west at trail connecting old Forest Cove townhome complex with Burning Tree Court. The latter turns north (right) and terminates at Hamblen Road.

More News to Follow When Plans Become Clear

The Parks Board plans to use some of the areas in the old townhome complex for parking. The fate of other streets remains unclear. Likewise, Harris County Precinct 3 has not yet announced plans for the long-awaited Edgewater Park. Harris County Flood Control District which bought out the townhome properties said it plans only to let the area return to green space.

Edgewater Park and this trail were one of the first good things to come out of Harvey. I just hope I live long enough to see them finished! Eventually, they will make a tremendous community asset.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/6/23

1956 days after Hurricane Harvey

West Fork Greenway Construction Resumes

Construction has resumed on the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway along the West Fork of the San Jacinto River between Woodland Hills Drive and US59. Once fully complete the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway will stretch for approximately 2.5 miles and create one of the longest continuously connected urban trail networks in North America.

Reason for Construction Pause

The Houston Parks Board began construction of the segment between River Grove Park and the Forest Cove Pool/Civic Center back in early 2021. However, they paused the project until the demolition of the last Forest Cove Townhomes in August.

Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin’s October 2022 newsletter said construction was resuming. So, I went down there today to see the progress.

Looking west toward Forest Cove pool at where construction has resumed.

The first thing you notice is partial demolition of the roads through the former townhome complex. Parts of Marina Drive, Aqua Vista Drive and Timberline Drive have been torn up. Along the path of the trail, contractors have ripped out one lane and left the other.

The remaining lane, I presume, will serve as the hike and bike trail.
Looking east along Aqua Visra Drive. West Fork on right. Martin’s press release mentions that parking for greenway users will be provided within the old townhome complex.
Looking west toward 59. The dedicated trail picks up again at the end of Aqua Vista.
And what a vista it is!
Looking west. Resumption of dedicated trail at the end of Aqua Vista Drive near Burning Tree Court. Note new, native trees.

Trail Route

Green length previously completed. Purple now under construction. From Houston Parks Board Bayou Greenways website.

San Jacinto Bayou Greenway will connect into and through Harris County Precinct 3’s Edgewater Park, currently in development, to the Spring Creek and Cypress Creek trail systems, also operated by Precinct 3.

Linear Park Features

Notable features of the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway include:

  • New off-street trails as well as the use of existing streets for the trail system
  • Trail connection for Kingwood residents at Woodland Hills Drive to access the greenway 
  • Parking for greenway users within the former Riverview Townhomes Community 
  • Planting of native trees, meadows, and wildflowers
  • Benches and seating areas
  • Interpretive and directional signage
  • Trash cans and recycling containers.

Martin says construction is expected to take another 3 months, weather permitting. During construction, the public should not enter areas surrounded by orange caution fencing.

Ongoing Maintenance Provided by Parks Board

Once construction is completed, the Houston Parks Board will continue maintenance of the San Jacinto Bayou Greenway, which includes weekly trash pickup, bi-weekly mowing of grass along the trail, upkeep of the trail and amenities, and any necessary flood cleanup. 

Part of Much Larger Network

San Jacinto Bayou Greenway is one of nine bayous being transformed as part of Bayou Greenways 2020, a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, the City of Houston, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

The initiative is implemented in close collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District, which manages the county’s bayous and creeks for drainage and flood risk reduction.

Bayou Greenways 2020 will transform 3,000 acres of underutilized land along nine major waterways and create a 150-mile network of connected parks and trails along Houston’s major waterways. Add the length of the trail networks in Kingwood and the Woodlands, and suddenly, you have what could be the longest connected urban trail network in the country.

This long linear park may be one of the first good things to come out of Harvey.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/9/22

1867 Days since Hurricane Harvey