Memorial park is one of the largest urban parks in the nation. It Doubles the size of the central park in NY, located at 6501 Memorial Drive, near the I-10 & I-610 West Loop intersection. It was opened to the public in 1929 and covers approximately 6 km2. Memorial Park used to be a war training camp ground from 1917 to 1923. In 1924, Houston city took the ownership of the land and named Memorial Park in memory of the solders died during the World War I serving the country. Much of the Park is located on the grounds of a World War I military facility known as Camp Logan. The camp served as home and training facility to thousands of US soldiers. Some vestiges can be seen while venturing inside the park.
What To Do:
Memorial Golf Course:
This golf course is quite impressive, started as a 9 hole and later extended to a 18 hole. It is one of the best municipal golf courses in the nation. Over 60.000 golfers play golf annually. If you are a golfer, make your reservation and enjoy this great course. If you need any assistance, ask the clubhouse. They are very helpful. The course is closed on Tuesdays and it would cost around $38 on weekends and $30 during the week. The practice range is available for $7 for a bucket of 90 balls. During summer months try to get there early. Golfers enjoy the course year-round.
The Seymour Lieberman Jogging Trail:
This trail is the most popular jogging trail in Houston. Three million people frequent it annually. It runs around the memorial park. It’s the 3 mile memorial loop. If you drive by, you wont miss it. It’s the busiest trail I have even seen. The trail gets more traffic during the weekends. You would enjoy the trail any time of the day but during summer months, the trail gets hot and busier. It’s a dirt trail with packed granite and asphalt. There are few exercise stations alone the way especially in front of the golf course. If you are thirsty, few water fountains can be found along the trail. The trail is well lighted for night runs or walks, even tough it’s safe, try to be out by 11pm. Dogs are allowed on leash only.
Memorial Picnic Area:
This is a great place to picnic. The area is huge with all the facilities you can find. It is almost covered with huge trees shading the picnic grounds during the hot summer days. It seems like even for holidays, the park has plenty of spots available. Most Houstonians picnic when they can to avoid the heat of the summer months. The temperature can climb up to 110 in Houston.
Memorial Park Picnic Loop:
located on the south side of loop and it’s a paved road with plenty of picnic table along the side with enough room to park your car. Bikers, in-line skaters, traditional roller skate enthusiasts, runners and hikers frequent this multi-use trail during park hours. Cars are allowed Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends and holidays only. Picnic facilities and restroom facilities are available along the loop. During the weekends, the entrance for the park is open until 6 pm. Remember to park your car outside the park if you think you will be coming out late.
Mountain bikers will find some of the best trails in the area for off-road biking at Memorial Park. Numerous ravines and slopes along Buffalo Bayou relieve Houston’s relentless flatness and provide the adventurous with challenging terrain. And those out for a leisurely ride will not be disappointed. Check the trail maps outside the park before hitting the trails. All trails are color-coded and indicate the difficulty level.
Remember: These trails are two-way multi-use trails so be mindful of others, including hikers. Be sure to call “RIDER!” before reaching a blind turn so people know you are coming. Likewise, be sure to yield when you hear the biker.
Memorial Park Tennis Center:
Check out the Tennis center if you are interested in tennis. It is located inside of Memorial Park at 1500 Memorial Loop, right off the Exercise Trail. Amenities include 18 hard-surface courts, a practice wall, a pro shop with lockers, and shower facilities available for a nominal fee. Lessons, tournaments, leagues and other events can be arranged.
Phone: (713) 867-0440
The Mountain Bike Trails:
On the south side of the memorial drive. There are miles of trails through the woods. It’s a mini forest, one can enjoy the beauty of it. It seems like a never-ending journey. Where one trail ends the other starts. This is a mountain biker’s paradise but be careful. There are some trails not to be taken easily. All the trails are color-coded and bikes are not allowed in some areas but you might find few bikers riding bikes illegally. Try going there with someone. You might get lost easily if you frequent the place for the first few times. Further down, you might encounter a creek runs through the park. This is a great place for dogs to swim and enjoy. These trails are dog friendly but make sure that your dog is with you if you run. Some bikers might hit them.
Remember: some trails is for mountain bikers and they ride fast and if you happen to be there. Just smile at them. Some riders might get angry with people for slowing them down.
Fitness Center: If you are looking for a gym while visiting Houston, this is the place to go. It is a great place to get fit right in the middle of Memorial Park. Located at 6402, Arnott Street, the center is open year-round and provides Houstonians with a variety of free-weight and resistance equipment as well as lockers and shower facilities. Daily or monthly memberships are available for a small fee.
Memorial Park Swimming Pool: is a 33-meter rectangular outdoor pool. It is adjacent to the Fitness Center, the pool is open throughout the summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with no fee charged. See Aquatics for pool hours.
Other sports facilities include baseball diamonds, a croquet field, sand volleyball courts and the Vale-Asche Foundation Playground without Limits. Phone: (713) 672-5859