Over Thanksgiving weekend city workers opened a portion of the proposed hike-and-hike trail that will one day link downtown and Acres Homes.
Work began last October on this new section, one that heads west from the MKT hike-and-bike trail’s former official western terminus at Lawrence Park, under the N. Shepherd Dr. and N. Durham Dr. overpasses, and over White Oak Bayou, west to Cottage Grove and north towards an eventual link with the existing White Oak Bayou trail.
This link legitimizes a an unsanctioned though fairly popular “ninja route” long used by off-trail cyclists, who had been pedaling the gravel path from the park to a rickety, burned-out White Oak Bayou railway trestle known to as the “Bridge of Death,” seen below in a 2012 photo.
That’s been demolished and replaced with a sturdy span of of concrete and steel, complete with fancy, built-in insignia, and skyline and AIG building vistas.
The old gravel path has been paved, and much of the sunflower-abundant underbrush along its verges hacked back and replaced with manicured landscaping and a few dozen saplings — mostly pines.
Below are views from 2012 and last week, looking west from N. Shepherd:
This section of trail connects the Heights and Timbergrove Manor to Cottage Grove: after you cross the bridge at the end of the section of trail above, you skirt the Eureka Rail Yard, a junkyard, and Texas Outhouse’s Porta-Potty storage lot.
As seen in the photo second from top, the new segment also snakes north along the bayou’s west bank to TC Jester Blvd., which you see in the distance. However, as of Friday evening, that section was incomplete, stopping just short of the bridge.
Still a ways off: the planned link-up with the existing White Oak Bayou hike-and-bike trail at W. 11th St. and TC Jester. Once complete, cyclists will be able to ride off-road all the way from UH-Downtown up to the intersection of Antoine Dr. and W. Little York Rd. in Acres Homes.
- Previously on Swamplot: Here Comes More Greenway Mileage for White Oak Bayou; Off-Trailing with Houstonâ€™s Northwest Bike Path Pioneers.
Photos: Stephen Donato, (bridge decor, view of TC Jester bridge); Elly Blue (cyclists on gravel path); Swamplot inbox (all others).