Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail: Briar Bend Park to Woodway Memorial Park

This is a “catch-up” post from May 2020 to describe our second outing on the Buffalo Bayou.

Having successfully completed a solo outing the previous week, I persuaded Samuel to join me for the next leg. The days were getting hot, so a short trip was advised. Moving upstream from my previous outing, the next leg was from Briar Bend Park (point 5 on the map below) to Woodway Memorial Park at point 6, where I had started my previous trip.

I had scoped out the Briar Bend Park launch site, and it looked fine. Ample street parking, a short walk across a small park, and then down a stone path to the water’s edge. The path was steep and rocky so care would be needed.

This trip was from point 5 to 6.
The Briar Bend Park launch has an official name, named in honor of a significant contributor to Houston’s waterways. https://thcc.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=496051&module_id=115611
The “Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail” signage remains in tact!
We’ll find a way to get into that water.

On the day, we carefully carried our green bathtub down the path and into the water. Samuel was a bit hesitant about joining Dad on another crazy adventure, but the previous ones had generally worked out OK…

Are you sure about this?
Off we go!

I can’t remember why, but I took very few photos. Indeed, the one below is the only one I could find that I took during the trip.

With the water level low, we grounded out a few times, but that allowed me to stretch my legs! At least Samuel has a smile 🙂

The main memory from the trip is unexpected. I received a phone call from my boss’s boss, a big cheese at work who I had a lot of respect for. I was confused as it was a Sunday, and he would not call unless it was something vitally important. I saw the call come in on my watch but did not answer. Instead, I tried to find a sandbank to ground the kayak on so I could call him right back. I was imagining what he would possibly be calling me about. Unfortunately, my hasty attempt to maneuver the kayak by using the paddle as a punt broke the blade. Anyhow, I phoned back. The issue was surprisingly minor, just showing how hard he was working in the COVID response and just catching up on a Sunday. We were able to continue our journey without concerns, and if anything, Samuel was happier as he no longer had to paddle!

Where is the rest of the blade? I must admit that I left it stuck in the sand at the bottom of the bayou…

This trip was 5.3 miles and took 2.5 hours. The water was calm (there hadn’t been recent rain). We passed under several bridges that we often go over and could see golfers from the Houston Country Club. The takeout at Woodway Memorial Park is also straightforward as described in the previous post. This leg is a great introduction to paddling the bayou!

This page is linked to from my Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail home page.

Published by Peter Ireland

I am originally from England, and my wife Janet is from Louisiana. When we started Geocaching in 2002, we needed a name, and the Cajunlimeys were created, and that is the name I use for my blog. Even though Janet has no Cajun blood, her cooking is excellent! “Limeys” comes from the nickname for English sailors, who ate limes to prevent scurvy. We live in Houston, Texas, with Bailey and Samuel. We love adventures and want to share the experiences with others. When planning trips, I have found other people’s sites very useful, so I want to give back and add a different perspective.

5 thoughts on “Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail: Briar Bend Park to Woodway Memorial Park

  1. Sorry about your paddle! I am very curious about this kayak as I am am on a quest to find the smallest kayak that would fit in our campervan. It’s easy to find 10 footers, but I haven’t seen any that are two sitters. HOw is the back support?


    1. The kayak is the Lifetime Manta. It is rugged so was great for a rocky bayou. The main issue is that it takes more effort to paddle and does not run straight well, but I think that will be common for any 10-ft kayak. For two paddlers, it works probably as well as any could. We can both stretch out our legs, though me (at the back) had to find the right place. When we are both paddling, we have to be careful not to bash paddles. Steering from the front is hopeless. The backrests that come with the boat are “OK.” After the six hours paddling earlier this week, my back was not the issue. The bigger issue is that the boat is hard so my tailbone hurts. My kayaking partner sat on his PFD which was probably wise. This issue is likely common in any of this style of “ocean kayak,” where the priority is that it won’t sink! Regarding getting it in a campervan, ironically, I was researching that question myself! We are aiming to get a small RV/campervan (25ft) and this would not easily fit and I would not welcome this much weight. I was looking at the inflatable kayaks. They come in a wide range of prices and styles, and I think there is a lot of low quality cheap ones that won’t hold air. These might be more comfortable for the tailbone, but by sitting lower (like in a canoe), it might be worse for your back. Hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for all of the detail! We currently have an inflatable. It is a bit hard on my back as the seat’s back is not supportive enough. It held air very well, but unfortunately in our last trip it developed a mysterious puncture. This is mostly why we are looking for a rigid kayak.


      2. Ah! I’ve often had back discomfort when paddling, and I was trying to work out why I did not on this last trip. I would not say the back support is great, but it is something. I think it is also about how high you sit in relation to your legs and the water. The seat is a bit higher than the legs. Though when I have paddled canoes with the bench, that has seemed worse.

        Liked by 1 person

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