Park Hours

Buffalo Bayou Park

Monday – Sunday, lighted areas: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm; other areas: dawn to dusk

Johnny Steele Dog Park

Monday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area

Monday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark

Monday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm

Rules & Regulations

  • 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.

Questions or concerns – Dial 311
Emergencies – Dial 911


There are public parking areas 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. 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.

The Water Works

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 a stunning view of the downtown skyline. 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.

Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark

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.

Skatepark Hours and Info

Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion

Near The Water Works and the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion is 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.

Eleanor Tinsley Park

Named in honor of the late City Councilmember and civic activist, Eleanor Tinsley, this park is one of Houston’s most popular outdoor spaces for recreation and relaxation. Recent improvements include the signature lawn named the Bud Light Amphitheater, the open-air Nau Family Pavilion, and a trail providing a direct connection to Sabine Promenade. Other points of interest are Sandy Volleyball Court, Eleanor Tinsley Garden, and Jane Gregory Garden.

Tapley Tributary

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.

Houston Police Officers’ Memorial

Late Texas artist Jesús Bautista Moroles’ Houston Police Officers’ Memorial commemorates the 113 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.

Johnny Steele Dog Park

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, dog washing areas, 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!

Wortham Foundation Grove

Affectionately known as the “Dandelion,” the Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain’s brass starburst of pipes sprays joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers offering a cool respite from the Houston heat. The setting has been enhanced with a semi-circular grove of trees shading benches, site lighting, and open-air shelters surrounded by lush native perennial gardens.

Waugh Bridge Bat Colony

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!

Lost Lake

Near Allen Parkway and Dunlavy Street, Lost Lake features 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.

Hike and Bike Trails

The Sandy Reed Memorial Trail, the ten-foot wide concrete trail located on both sides of the bayou, accommodates cyclists, walkers and joggers. The five-foot wide asphalt Kinder Footpath, located along the bayou’s banks, is designed to accommodate park visitors who want to enjoy a walk or jog.

Download: Buffalo Bayou Trail Guide

  • Safety Tips

    Walkers/runners should:

    • 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.

    Bikers should:

    • 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.

Art at Buffalo Bayou Park

  • It Wasn’t a Dream, It was a Flood

    John 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.

  • Open Channel Flow

    Matthew 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.

  • Passage Inachevé

    Linnea 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.

  • Spindle

    Henry 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.

  • Tolerance

    Jaume Plensa, 2011

    At the base of the Rosemont Bridge on Allen Parkway and Montrose are Plensa’s Tolerance sculptures. The human figures representing the world’s seven continents are composed of stainless steel alphabet letters from many languages. Resting on large boulders, the figures glow at night creating a constellation of beacons.

  • Monumental Moments

    Anthony Thompson Schumate, 2015

    “Monumental Moments” is a series of 6 four-foot-tall sculptures crafted from 4” high density polyethylene, a material used in marine dock bumpers. The single word thoughts – Explore, Pause, Reflect, Listen, Emerge, and Observe – are placed at ground-level in unexpected areas along the bayou-side asphalt Kinder Footpaths.

Pedestrian Bridges

Pedestrian bridges have been constructed throughout the park, providing improved safety and important connectivity to nearby neighborhoods and park amenities.

  • Shepherd Bridge

    A project of Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Houston, this pedestrian connection was installed below the existing Shepherd Drive Bridge.

  • Rosemont 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.

  • Carruth Bridge

    The Carruth Bridge allows park users to access the Houston Police Officers’ Memorial from other areas of the park.

“Buffalo Bayou Revealed” Audio Tour

The Buffalo Bayou Revealed audio tour is presented by Houston Public Media. This audio experience provides you with interesting facts about areas along Buffalo Bayou Park.


Listen below, or download the tour as a .zip file.

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