Sesquicentennial Park along Buffalo Bayou in Downtown Houston – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time
Appropriate Age: Any age
Sesquicentennial Park is a long thin park that stretches along the water. You can access it from many points, but the easiest may be from Preston Street. On the Wortham Center side of the bridge, which crosses the bayou, you will see the a statue of James Baker III and big hill leading to the bayou. Here is a nice ramp that you can easily push a stroller down.
Sesquicentennial Park (which I can barely pronounce) has a trail along the bayou, lots of ducks, lots of bikers, some runners, a few kayaks, promenades and waterfalls. Go here for a map. You can wonder along the trail, feed the ducks and relax on the benches. Be sure to also visit the waterfall outside of the Wortham Center. There is also an audio tour, accessible by cell phone.
When we went, we parked closer to the Hobby Center and Sam Houston Park. I think this is technically outside of Sesquicentennial Park, but the same trail connects all of Downtown. On this part of the trail, there is a cool pedestrian bridge and lots of highway overpasses. The view is great but the traffic is pretty noisy, making it hard to hear the cyclist.
We walked up the trail, towards Preston Street Bridge and it got a lot quieter. We easily pushed the stroller, with 2 sleeping kids, along the path and enjoyed the scenery. At the Wortham Center, Joe was especially excited to find the waterfall cascading down from street level. He also found a few spots along the trail where he could get dangerously close to the bayou… and added plus.
We ended at the Baker Common and pushed our stroller up the ramp. (Since this was the best part of the walk, I recommend you start here.) We Burped the Bayou and then headed to Market Square Park for some Niko Nikos for lunch.
Metered parking is available on the streets of Downtown Houston. It is free after 6:00pm and on Sunday. There are no restrooms at Sesquicentennial Park but Market Square Park does have one that the Niko Nikos staff can open.
That said, Sesquicentennial Park is much less secluded than other parts of the bayou, with many overlooks and bridges crisscrossing over it, and it was quite busy with people exercising. I felt comfortable on the stretch by Preston Street Bridge, but would recommend taking another adult along for a longer adventure. Just in case.
I love urban spaces and I feel very comfortable in Downtown Houston, so don’t let my comments discourage you. I love the bayou trails and think it is a treasure that more people need to know about. Be sure to visit!
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