HOUSTON – As Texas is easing stay-home restrictions, social distancing is still a protocol many Texans are trying to follow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors.
Many recreational spots in the Houston area have relaxed closure guidelines after the stay-home order was lifted by Gov. Greg Abbott at the end of April.
According to Baylor College of Medicine, some important guidelines on social distancing include the following:
- Avoid heavily-populated areas and crowds
- Avoid physical contact with others, including handshaking and hugging
- Avoid touching public use areas such as water fountains and playgrounds
- Bring your own water, hand sanitizer and exercise equipment
Ready to go outside? Here’s a list of parks, fishing spots and activities to visit and do and still maintain your social distance:
Parks and trails
Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail
At Buffalo Bayou, you can begin your trail at any sector of the park. From the West Sector which connects to Memorial Park, to the Downtown Sector which gives an amazing view of the skyline, and the East Sector which connects to White Oak Bayou and Allen’s Landing, the birthplace of Houston.
Willow Waterhole Greenspace
The park, located in the Westbury area of Houston, is home to diverse wildlife and several areas to hike, bike, fish, and/or enjoy some fresh air.
Halls Bayou Greenway Trail
Located in northeast Houston, Halls Bayou Greenway Trail brings plentiful of greenery and space to jog, bike, or walk. Some of the trails lead you to Keith-Wiess Park close to I-69.
One of the most popular Houston parks located next to Texas Medical Center, Hermann Park is open to all visitors as long as social distance is maintained. According to their official website, the Pinewood Cafe is open with limited hours from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Slide into the weekend with this #HermannParkMoment. This one features the iconic waterfall at the Mount in McGovern Centennial Gardens... now in slow motion! Enjoy, and take a moment today to slow down and appreciate the good things in your life. #HermannParkAtHomePosted by Hermann Park Conservancy on Friday, May 1, 2020
Memorial Park’s nature trails remain open amid the pandemic, with several areas of the park with beautiful wildlife and ecological areas to walk or run across such as the wetlands and the savanna.
Oyster Creek Trail
For exercise enthusiasts, Oyster Creek Trail is a great way to stretch your legs and explore the scenery. It includes a 2.3 mile bike path and connects to Sugar Land’s bike trail across from Dulles Avenue, according to the Missouri City Government website.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Although Lake Houston Wilderness Park is the only park that allows overnight camping, the park is open for day-use only for the time being. It spans over 4,000 acres of wooded parkland and is located 30 minutes north of downtown, according to the City of Houston website.
The park does not provide boating access to Lake Houston.
Fishing spots, beaches, and boating
Texas City Dike
The manmade dike located in Texas City brings out the best of fishing. Vehicular access is free to Texas City residents with a vehicle, non-residents are charged a $5 fee between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m during the summer months.
Thompson’s Fish Camp
Thompson’s is a family-owned boat ramp and fishing area that is popular in the Baytown area, just a short drive from Houston. They also offer live and dead bait for fishing enthusiasts to buy and catch their biggest fish.
Check their Facebook page to see live updates on their shrimp inventory and opening updates.
Lake Conroe, just almost an hour from Houston, has become a getaway for Houstonians for generations, according to the Lake Conroe website. Currently, the lake is open to boating and fishing along with certain limited activities.
Lake officials encourage visitors by limiting guests on their boat unless they are in the same household.
As a Texas State Park and largest lake in the state, Lake Livingston is open for day-use only. The Texas Parks & Wildlife website encourages visitors to make a reservation on their website to ensure a spot upon arrival.
Brazos Bend State Park
One of ‘nature lover’s paradise’ as stated by Texas Parks & Wildlife, wild animals thrive in this park. Walking shoes are required as spots can be rugged. Many fishing piers and docks are plentiful, and no fishing license is required.
The Brazos Bend State Park Facebook page provides daily updates on reservation availability. Check periodically when making plans to visit.
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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY We wanted to recognize, honor and thank all of the mothers in our community—on our team, the moms of our team members and the moms represented in our visitors, neighbors and partners. In all of nature, one characteristic that most species share is protectiveness, selflessness and fearlessness when it comes to raising and protecting their young. We see these same beautiful qualities in you. Mothers give so much, serve so much and love so much. To say that we are grateful for you —all of you— is not nearly enough. On behalf of our Brazos Bend State Park, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. [KINDLY NOTE: We are at capacity for day-use entrance permits for Sunday). #brazosbendstatepark #texasstateparks #getyourgreenon #happymothersday #mothers #moms #grateful
Other fun spots to enjoy
Find a little free library in your neighborhood
Need to increase literacy for the little ones? Since the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, mini libraries have popped up across the Houston area which brought great benefit for families.
With most libraries closed, these libraries have become more convenient. The Little Free Library organization website has a map of Houston area libraries, all you have to do is either search by zip code or expand by searching ‘Houston’ in the search bar.
Visit Froberg’s Farm
Located in Alvin, Froberg’s Farm offers farm-grown fruit and vegetables, most famously are their strawberries and blackberries. Some activities at the farm are weather permitting, click here for the latest and to see a list of activities open.
We have homegrown yellow squash, zucchini and patty squash for $1.29 per pound.Posted by Froberg Fruit and Vegetable Farm / Greak's Smokehouse, Alvin, Texas on Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Take a photography walk at Paul Carr Jogging Trail
Located in the Heights, this particular jogging trail has a ton of Instagram-worthy pictures to share of art structures and Victorian homes from a distance, according to Houstonia Magazine. Bring your camera and take a journey.