The 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park is a collaboration of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the City of Houston through Houston Parks & Recreation Department and Harris County Flood Control District. Over the 30-year life of the project, Downtown TIRZ #3 will contribute $2 million per year for the park’s maintenance and operations. The Kinder Foundation committed a $30 million gift. Buffalo Bayou Partnership raised $23.5 million to complete the project.
The official “gateway” to Buffalo Bayou Park, this elevated skylawn and pavilion will offer stunning views of Houston’s skyline. more info
Named in honor of the late City Councilmember and civic activist, Eleanor Tinsley, the park is home to the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration and other large-scale festivals and events. more info
The Johnny Steele Dog Park features large and small dog ponds, shade structures, water play features, dog washing areas, benches and drinking fountains. more info
Lost Lake features lush wetland gardens surrounding a restored pond that is situated near a visitor center housing restrooms and paddle craft rentals; The Dunlavy, a private event space; and The Kitchen at The Dunlavy, a grab-and-go food counter offering breakfast and lunch daily. more info
West of Downtown
After passing the Barker Reservoir near Beltway 8, Buffalo Bayou runs through the 500-acre Terry Hershey Park and through the Memorial area to the Houston Arboretum and Memorial Park, and the River Oaks area. Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s jurisdiction officially begins when Buffalo Bayou hits Shepherd Drive and stretches to the Turning Basin of the Port of Houston. Enjoy exploring and discovering the numerous parks located along this waterway.
The Buffalo Bayou Guide will guide you as you walk, run or cycle along the waterway and visit the many parks and historic sites.
Things to Do
- Walk, jog and bike the trails
- Rent a bicycle from Bike Barn and ride along the hike and bike trails
- Rent a canoe or kayak from Bayou City Adventures and paddle on Buffalo Bayou
- Picnic on the banks
- Hop aboard the Spirit of the Bayou for a private charter tour, bat tour or history tour
- Experience the sights and sounds of over 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats at Waugh Drive Bridge
- Catch a glimpse of the resident hawks and owls
- Play frisbee or volleyball
- Take a self-guided public art walk and look for works by artists Henry Moore, Mel Chin, John Runnels and more
- Enjoy a docent-led walking tour through the prairie
- Press the secret red button located at Preston Street Bridge to see artist Dean Ruck s Big Bubble
Bike & Boat Rentals
Visitors can rent bicycles and paddle crafts from Buffalo Bayou Park. Reservations can be made in-person or online. Please visit the concessionaires respective websites for more information about rentals and hours.
- Bicycle rentals from Bike Barn at The Water Works (105 Sabine Street)
- Paddle craft rentals from Bayou City Adventures at Lost Lake (3422 Allen Parkway)
There are public parking areas available at Lost Lake, Eleanor Tinsley Park and The Water Works, as well as along Allen Parkway, Memorial Drive, and city streets surrounding Buffalo Bayou Park. When parking along city streets, please pay close attention to signage, be neighborly and use the pedestrian bridges to safely access the park. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
Restricted Temporary Parking Options:
- City of Houston Lot H – Over 400 spaces available for public parking on weekends and after 6 pm on weekdays. Buffalo Bayou Park trails can be accessed from Sabine Promenade.
- American General Campus Surface Lot – The American General Campus is temporarily offering free weekend parking to park visitors. To access this parking on Saturdays and Sundays, proceed east on the Allen Parkway (inbound) feeder from Waugh. Turn right into entrance 4, then turn left to enter the surface lot. Once parked, please use paved paths and sidewalks to proceed to the crosswalk at Studemont to safely cross Allen Parkway to Buffalo Bayou Park. All garage and parallel parking within the American General Campus is private parking and reserved for office tenants only.
- Parking on Allen Parkway – Parking is available 9 am – 7 pm Monday-Sunday. There are 140 parking spots between Sabine and Taft streets with pricing at $1 per hour for a 3 hour max (including Saturday and Sunday).
Park Rules & Regulations
- Park hours are from 6am-11pm in lit areas and dawn to dusk in all other areas of the park.
- Glass containers are prohibited.
- Alcoholic beverage consumption is prohibited (unless otherwise indicated).
- Littering is prohibited. Use trash receptacles.
- Scooters and skateboards prohibited.
- Motorized vehicles prohibited off roadways and beyond parking areas.
- Improperly parked vehicles will be towed.
- Two hour parking for patrons only.
- Vending or sales prohibited without permit.
- Hunting or use of firearms prohibited.
- Dogs are to remain on leash at all times.
- Pet owners are required to pick up after pets, Ordinance 2003-1275, Sec. 6-24 .
- Plants and animals are protected do not remove or molest.
- Control noise levels please be respectful of others.
- Destroying public property is prohibited by Title 19, Chapter 191 of the Government Code of Texas.
- No smoking allowed in any City of Houston park interior and exterior spaces/facilities. Effective Date September 2, 2014. Enacted under Ordiinance #2006-1054; Sec. 21-243
There are plenty of ways to get involved with maintaining and improving Buffalo Bayou! Check out our Volunteer Opportunities or make an online donation to Buffalo Bayou Partnership today!