Different people have different tolerance levels for Houston’s spring and summer weather but whether it’s in the (relative) cool of the early morning or evening, or even during the noonday sun, active readers shared their favorite running and walking trails.
“For the last four years I’ve run the streets of Garden Oaks and Shepherd Park Plaza and loved every minute of it,” said Vanessa Smith. “I literally run out my front door and can run six to seven miles without ever having to get in my car to go anywhere. Every week I get to see how the neighborhood changes.”
Sarah Cruise seconds this: “Apollo to Sue Barnett is just shy of a mile. I love seeing familiar faces.”
Kara D’Agostino sticks to Candlelight Plaza and Shepherd Park Plaza.
“There is a loop that goes around the outer edges of the neighborhood and it is about three miles long,” D’Agostino said. “It is a great loop when I am training for longer races. It is also easy to zig zag up and down the streets to get the miles in. The roads are also smooth with none of the holes that you can find in other places so it is a pretty easy run. The bonus is when training for the Houston Half and there are lots of long runs in December, you get to look at the amazing Christmas lights in the neighborhood.”
Other votes include the trail down Heights Boulevard where you can take in ‘Art Trek’, the latest installation of a unique sculpture project.
You can check out the Stude Park route on the USA Track & Field website at usatf.org which includes Heights Boulevard and is nine miles.
Natalie Griffin likes the Buffalo Bayou trails from Sabine Street and Allen Parkway to Memorial Park. For a run in a different direction, Candice Croker suggests starting at Spotts Park, 401 South Heights Blvd., and going along Allen Parkway all the way downtown along the bayou.
Casey Gage is a fan of the White Oak Bayou trail “especially now that it’s connected to the Heights trail.” Meredith Raine says the White Oak trail is also a favorite for her training for the AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer. Raine prefers Candlelight Park in Oak Forest for short, early morning walks. Ella Lee Forest residents know that the loop in their neighborhood is a little over a mile.
A number of people utilize the TC Jester Park trails for their exercise. Bethlehem, a long street which crosses both Candlelight Estates and Oak Forest, was singled out for its lack of traffic. For walkers, who don’t mind taking a drive first, the Houston Arboretum is a good spring and summer choice.
“I like that it’s dog friendly,” said Laurie Pitzer. “I love watching for critters and taking advantage of lots of shade.”
Did You Know
Running on a variety of surfaces instead of sticking to just one surface may help runners reduce their risk of injury. Officials with the USA Track and Field’s Sports Medicine and Science Committee recommend that runners vary their runs so they run on pavement, trails and tracks. While it helps to run on various surfaces, researchers do not believe one particular surface is better than another.
In fact, while running on asphalt has long been assumed to increase injury risk because of the presumption that harder surfaces produce greater impact forces on the body, a recent study from researchers at the Hannover Medical School Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery found that running on asphalt surfaces decreased mid-portion tendinopathy risk while running on sand surfaces increased that risk tenfold.