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100 Acre Wood Preserve in Houston: Our Discovery and Photographic Journey

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Collage photo of the 100 Acre Wood Preserve

Collage photo of the 100 Acre Wood Preserve

The 100 Acre Wood Preserve Is One of the "Precinct 4" Parks

The 100 Acre Wood Preserve is one of the many precinct four parks in Harris County. The address is 14236 W. Cypress Forest Drive, Houston, Texas, 77040.

The trails through this site connect with an ever-expanding network of hiking and biking trails in Houston, making life more pleasurable for residents who wish to get some fresh air and exercise.

My husband and I, for some reason, initially had a hard time finding the address of this preserve. We knew that it was not very far from the fantastic Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. Still, after a fruitless search, we had to return another time to find it.

The gravel parking lot is at the northern end of West Cypress Forest Drive. Cypresswood Drive is the cross street. The gate is open, as is the park, from 8:30 A.M. to dusk. The entrance is free. A portable restroom is adjacent to the parking lot.

Size of Preserve: Almost 100 Acres

This 100 Acre Wood Preserve is a bit shy of 100 acres but close enough to deserve that name. It is forested, with some hills, has a large open prairie area near the parking lot, and has wetlands, particularly after significant rainfalls.

Norchester Subdivision is on the southern end of the park. Cypress Creek is on the northern end of the park.

How the Park Became Protected

Thanks to a donation by the charitable foundation known as Houston Endowment, this land exists in its natural state. Harris County owns it.

Secondly, as a result of the active involvement of the Bayou Land Conservancy, the protection of this preserve against any commercial development is assured. The Bayou Land Conservancy's objective is, first, to preserve land along streams for flood control; second, to achieve clean water; and thirdly to protect wildlife.

The 100 Acre Wood Preserve grand opening was in April of 2013.

Trails Through the 100 Acre Wood Preserve

There are a variety of trails in the 100 Acre Wood Preserve. One of them is one mile long, after traversing a dirt path from the parking lot to the entrance of the forested area. That paved trail accommodates an ADA (Americans with Disabilities) path through the heart of this preserve.

Off on each side of the paved path are more primitive trails. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on leashes.

Hiking and Biking on Unpaved Trails

We had no idea when we started hiking the more primitive paths how rustic and challenging they would be. Even the wooden bridges that tilted at crazy angles were hard to navigate.

At one point, after I had inched my way down a steep path by holding onto some branches and roots and balancing on some rocks, my husband did not think that he could follow me. He had recovered from some spinal issues and did not wish to have a setback concerning his health.

Climbing back up and retracing our steps going back did not appeal to either one of us. After some encouragement on my part and telling him that he could support himself by counterbalancing against me, my husband was gingerly making his way down that obstacle when we heard a rustling sound.

Some Trails Are More Suited to Mountain Bikers

Around a curve appeared a mountain biker who stopped in time before running into us! What we did not realize at the time was that the intent of these treacherous pathways was more suited for the use of biking than it was for hikers. With the forward energy and inertia of a bike in motion, what seemed like almost impossible paths would be easy for mountain bikers.

We still had a way to go to extricate ourselves from this predicament and reach the paved path. I did hear some grumbling coming from my husband, who had wished to stay on the paved surface. We did get to see more of nature in the wild, but he made me promise that we would never repeat that adventure in this place again.

Because of hiking the primitive path on one side of the paved one, I did get some good photos along Cypress Creek and some nature photos that we would not have spotted from the paved path.

On the other side of the pavement, we did spot a sign that said foot traffic only. For some reason, my husband had had enough hiking for the day. Looking at that path, it appeared every bit as challenging as the one we had taken.

Biking is the idea way to enjoy this portion of the preserve.

Biking is the idea way to enjoy this portion of the preserve.

Mountain biking helps people become environmentalists. A mountain bike is a vehicle to appreciate the backcountry.

— Ned Overend

Trail Etiquette Posting

When we finally got back to the parking lot, I then read a sign with the following information posted upon it. Had I read it first before our hike, I might have surmised that it was more for biking than hiking. Live and learn, as they say!

"Trail Etiquette

Respect other users of the trail. Keep to the right, slow down and pass on the left, and call out upon approach of any other trail user. Pets should be under voice control or on a leash. Headphones are discouraged to ensure all trail users can communicate with one another for a safe experience.

Please don't ride trails when they are wet, muddy, or soft. Riding wet, muddy or soft trails degrades the condition of the trail, causes a longer recovery time, accelerates trail erosion, and results in quicker wear on your bike's drivetrain.

Please don't disturb wildlife or cut roots. Animals are in their natural habitat here, and all of them are part of a delicate ecosystem. Root systems are critical to preventing erosion and maintaining the longevity of our trail. Please stay on existing trails."

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

— John Muir

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 01, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I am happy to be able to show you more of what Houston has to offer residents and visitors. Thanks for your comment.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 01, 2020:

Peggy a great discovery and so interesting to know about Houston.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 30, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

He was not a happy camper that day. At least we survived the adventure! The youngsters on mountain bikes are probably still wondering why we were on "their trail." Ha!

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 30, 2020:

Peggy, I bet you were in a little bit of trouble for it! Best of luck to your husband.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 30, 2020:

Hi Mary,

My knees are no longer like they were when I was younger. The path we were on turned out to be quite a challenge for both of us. I am glad that I got to see it, however, and get some photos. Thanks for the visit.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 30, 2020:

It's nice to have areas like this 100-acre wood preserve. I stick to the easy paths now as climbing is getting harder with age.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 30, 2020:

Hi Diana Carol,

The trail that we were taking did become a bit too arduous, as it turns out. It was mostly meant for those on mountain bikes. Live and learn! Ha! At least I got some good photos. Thanks for your comment.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on November 30, 2020:

Beautiful photos and hiking opportunities. We also love going on short trails that are picturesque, but not too arduous.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 29, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

He is much better now, but he does have some lingering side-effects. Hiking in that kind of a place will remain off of our list. Of course, we did not know that until we were in the thick of it. Ha! It is a beautiful natural area.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 28, 2020:

What a lovely place and your husband is quite the trooper given his medical issues that he is recovering from. I hope he continues to recover. I’d love to have access to a park like this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 28, 2020:

Hi Liz,

It is wonderful that you also share the love of walking with your husband on park trails. I am so pleased that you enjoyed viewing my photos.

Liza from USA on November 28, 2020:

Amazing discovery! That's how I can describe it, Peggy. I love walking in the park, especially if there's a trail that I can explore. It's like one of my favorite things to do with my husband. By the way, the photos you've taken were lovely. I love flowers and the butterfly. Voted! Thanks for sharing the wood preserve in Houston, Peggy.