đź”’Mapped: These are the hills of Houston

Looking for an incline in the Houston area?

McGovern Centennial Gardens' Mount (Lifted Up Aerial Photography, Lifted Up Aerial Photography)

HOUSTON – Whether you’re a walker or runner looking for a harder workout, a child looking for a place to go “sledding” on a cardboard square or just someone in search of higher panoramas, Houston can be a challenge.

If you’ve flown over Texas or walked it, you’ll notice how flat our corner of the Lone Star State is, but there are hills in the Houston area if you look.

Houston sits just under 50 feet above sea level and reportedly is among the flattest major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

We did. It’s kind of charming that most of the hills are so special in their rarity that they even have names:

Miller Hill

Miller Outdoor Theatre (Copyright Aerphoto - Anthony Rathbun via Miller Outdoor Theatre)

Miller Outdoor Theatre - 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030

Miller Outdoor Theatre is a great place for enjoying a show, but also for enjoying a good hill. This hill is particularly beloved in Houston and where many kids remember playing on it, as famously shown in Richard Linklater’s film highlighting H-Town -- “Boyhood.”

The Mount/Circle Hill

McGovern Centennial Gardens' Mount (Lifted Up Aerial Photography)

McGovern Centennial Gardens - 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston, TX 77004

The McGovern Centennial Gardens provide a long circular incline that you can traverse up, up, up to a stunning vantage point above some of the most photogenic spots in the Houston area. On a hot day -- and who are we kidding, we live in Houston and there are a lot of them -- you can get quite a workout and a great payoff at the top of The Mount.

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park (Jill Jarvis)

Buffalo Bayou Park - Sabine Overlook 105b Sabine St (near the Cistern area)

Buffalo Bayou Park has many options to enjoy an incline. Stretching from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park has a number of valleys and hills that can be traversed straight up through the grass or on terraced cemented walkways. In the wintertime, children often ride down the hill on cardboard to mimic sled riding. There’s also a large slope at Allen Parkway that drops off at the bayou and numerous other options like the Sabine Overlook.

Coming Soon: Memorial Park Land Bridge

Memorial Park Land Bridge - 6501 Memorial Dr.

The video showing what’s coming at Memorial Park touts the ability to “climb higher” around the park’s land bridge. The video above shows people climbing large bricks to elevations above the tunnels.

Take a closer look at the project and its planned completion with our recent KPRC 2 report.

RELATED: All tunnels of Memorial Park Land Bridge set to open Tuesday

Barker Reservoir

Barker Reservoir has a manmade hill people can climb. See it here in the distance.

Here’s a map of all the locations:

Did we miss your favorite hill in the Houston area? Let us know in the comments. (Be sure to add the address so we can definitely find it!)


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.