The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is a 30,000-square-foot in-ground facility overlooking Buffalo Bayou. View skaters of all levels work on their kickflip, ollie, fakie big spin or simply learn to stay balanced! The park is free and open to the public. Helmets are required.
Transformation of Buffalo Bayou Park is well underway. Scheduled for completion in mid-2015, keep up-to-date with construction news by visiting www.buffalobayoupark.org.
With its sloping hills and deep ravines, Eleanor Tinsley Park is one of Houston’s most popular outdoor spaces for recreation and gathering. 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. In 2014, the large, low open area extending toward downtown was transformed into the park’s signature lawn and named the Bud Light Amphitheater. Additionally, the park received upgraded landscaping, redesigned parking spaces, an improved garden area and a trail with a direct connection to Sabine Promenade. Other points of interest are: Nau Family Pavilion, volleyball court, Hines Meadow and Jane Gregory Garden.
Houston landscape architect Charles Tapley designed this inspirational site in the late 1970s to feature a bayou tributary, riparian plantings, granite steps and seating areas. Recent improvements include a wetland, native Texas prairie and a footbridge. Besides being a place to picnic and to view the downtown skyline, Tapley and other nearby tributaries have become wonderful outdoor learning centers.
Texas artist Jesús Bautista Moroles’ Houston Police Officers’ Memorial commemorates the 112 Houston Police Department officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty. Shaped like a pyramid, the sculpture symbolizes a royal tomb. The Police Officers’ Memorial and surrounding grounds are guarded 24 hours a day. Each year, this is the site of an annual procession and wreath-laying ceremony.
One of Buffalo Bayou Park’s most active destinations is the Johnny Steele Dog Park, a two-acre site located near Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard. Features include large and small dog ponds, shade structures, water play features, a dog washing station, benches 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: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
The dog park may be closed during bad weather or for maintenance.
- 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 displayed 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 age 12 or under are allowed in the dog park. Children ages 13 through 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Permitted children must be supervised by the adult and behave appropriately. No running, shouting, chasing dogs or petting other people’s dogs without their permission.
- No dog or people food are allowed in the dog park.
- No smoking in the dog park or elsewhere in the park.
- Violation of City Code results in fines and no further use of the dog park.
For emergencies – Dial 911
Questions or concerns – Dial 311
Enjoy the park!
Every evening at sunset, more than 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from crevices found in the Waugh Drive Bridge. These creatures are non-migratory and call the bayou home year-round. You can learn more about the bats through interpretive signage found at the site. Stop by any night and view this amazing sight!
The Water Works at Sabine Street will be a new major destination and park entry point made possible by reclaiming a four-acre abandoned City of Houston water system site. Atop a partially buried water reservoir will be The Brown Foundation Lawn, a grassy plateau framed by trees. With the open-air Hobby Family Pavilion, this elevated site will be popular for performances and events. Visitors can also expect restrooms and a bike rental facility at The Wortham Insurance Visitor Center, food trucks in an entry court and parking.
Near The Water Works and the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion will be one of the park’s most popular destinations. Designed to inspire a love of nature within children, features of the play area include: a boulder rock scramble, a rolling lawn, a stream and waterfall, climbing logs and stones, and 33-foot slide. The most compelling component will be a tri-level tree house/boat deck with climbing net.
Parents will have easy access to parking, restrooms, park staff and the option of renting the play area’s picnic pavilion for special events and birthday parties.
Thanks to the Ray C. Fish Foundation for its generous $1 million grant for this play area.
Near Allen Parkway and Dunlavy Street, Lost Lake will feature lush wetland gardens surrounding a restored pond that is situated near a visitor center housing restrooms and paddle craft rentals.
This is also the location of The Dunlavy, the multi-purpose private event space under the development of Clark Cooper Concepts scheduled to open in Fall 2015. If you are interested in booking an event, please complete an inquiry form.
Park users will be able to enjoy breakfast and lunch daily from The Kitchen at The Dunlavy, a grab-and-go counter service inside the event space.
Approximately 81 new parking spaces will be available at Lost Lake.
With the reconstruction of the Sandy Reed Memorial Trail by the City of Houston and Texas Department of Transportation, bicycling along the bayou has become even more popular. To accommodate residents and visitors who want to enjoy a walk or jog, asphalt footpaths are located closer to the waterway.
Download: Buffalo Bayou Trail Guide
- 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 own abilities.
- Keep pets on a short leash.
- Announce “passing on left” 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 for any reason.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet.
- Watch speeds on bicycles and keep at least a three-foot distance from pedestrians at all times.
- Use of headphones/ear buds 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 at an area without a designated pedestrian traffic signal.
- Look both ways before crossing or merging with another trail.
Lighted Areas: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, except as posted
Other Areas: Dawn to dusk
- Glass containers are prohibited.
- Alcohol consumption is prohibited.
- Littering is prohibited; use trash receptacles.
- Scooters, skateboards, rollerblading & skating are prohibited.
- Motorized vehicles prohibited off roadways & 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 is prohibited.
- No smoking in city parks.
- Dogs are to remain on leash at all times. (Dog Park Rules & Regulations)
- Pet owners required to pick up after pets. (Ord. 2003-1275, Sec. 6-24)
- Plants & animals are protected – do not remove or disturb.
- Control noise levels – please respect others.
- Destroying public property is prohibited. (Title 19, Chapt. 191 of the Government Code of Texas)
- No swimming.
Enjoy the park.
Questions or concerns – Dial 311
Emergencies – Dial 911
There are public parking spots available 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!
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 – Due to an influx in park patronage, 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. PLEASE NOTE: All garage and parallel parking within the American General Campus is private parking always reserved for office tenants.
Tolerance SculpturesJaume Plensa, 2011
At the base of the Rosemont Bridge on Allen Parkway and Montrose are Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance sculptures. The seven human figures representing the world’s seven continents are composed of stainless steel alphabet letters from many world languages. Resting on large boulders, the figures glow at night, creating a constellation of beacons.
Gus S. Wortham Memorial FountainWilliam Cannady, 1978
Affectionately known as the “Dandelion,” the fountain’s brass starburst of pipes spray joggers, cyclists and dog walkers offering a cool respite from Houston’s heat. The fountain is also a favorite meeting spot for many park users.
It Wasn’t a Dream, It was a FloodJohn Runnels, 2014
Serving as a major entry point to the bayou at Crosby Outfall, this 20-foot stainless steel canoe sculpture by John Runnels is supported by two stainless steel trees. It resembles 10 other canoe sculptures located at various eastward bayou access points.
Spindle SculptureHenry Moore, 1979
Located on a prominent knoll in Eleanor Tinsley Park is British sculptor Henry Moore’s Spindle piece. The cast bronze abstract sculpture was originally part of the artist’s Spindle series placed in London’s Hyde Park.
Passage Inachevé—House SculptureLinnea Glatt and Francis Thompson, 1990
This 28’ x 28’ art piece is constructed of galvanized steel set in a concrete slab. It takes the form of a house but is completely open to the elements and viewing from all sides. The seating and visual images highlight issues of human rights, freedom of expression, and historic and contemporary concerns.
Open Channel FlowMatthew Geller, 2009
Open Channel Flow, a sculpture by New York-based artist Matthew Geller, features a public outdoor shower activated by a hand pump. The nearby Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark ensures that a steady flow of skaters and passersby will indulge in a refreshing spritz on Houston’s infamously humid afternoons.
Pedestrian bridges have been constructed throughout the park, providing improved safety and important connectivity to nearby neighborhoods and park amenities.
A project of Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Houston, this pedestrian connection was installed below the existing Shepherd Drive Bridge.
You can cross this unique pedestrian bridge at two levels. Be sure to pause and enjoy the dramatic view of the bayou and downtown skyline. The bridge provides a valuable pedestrian connection to trails and neighborhoods to the north at Studemont Street, as well as to Spotts and Cleveland Parks to the west.
Jackson Hill Bridge
Soaring a dramatic 40 feet above the bayou, this 345-foot-long pedestrian bridge near Jackson Hill Street connects with the existing bridge over Memorial Drive, providing access to Allen Parkway.
The Carruth Bridge allows park users to access the Houston Police Officers’ Memorial from other areas of the park.