Since 2012, when Westchase District broke ground on the Library Loop Trail, the District has been executing a long-term vision first developed by our Board of Directors in 2004, which states: “The community is known for having entertainment/recreation amenities, and there are inter-connecting hiking, biking, and pedestrian ways, linking a set of community gathering areas.”
Now with 5-miles of trails that connect to Terry Hershey Trail on the north, and Harris County’s trail system on the south, Westchase District is proud to join area partners in participating in National Bike Month. This year’s “bike anywhere” theme complements the traditional “bike to work” theme as many employees continue to work from home. Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in National Bike Month by riding their bike and posting their adventures on social media. Westchase District staff will be out and about daily between May 17th and 21st to engage with area cyclists and distribute refreshments and prizes.
Deerwood Side-Path to Terry Hershey Trail
Day 1 of Bike Week features our most recently-constructed trail, which connects Westheimer to the Terry Hershey Trail. New, 8-foot wide continuous sidewalks have been installed on the west side of CityWest Blvd. between Westheimer and Briar Forest. The signalized intersection at Briar Forest and CityWest Blvd allows pedestrians and cyclists to connect to the north side of Briar Forest where the path continues until it reaches Walnut Bend Lane. There, the path follows the existing City of Houston on-street bike route on Blue Willow Drive until reaching Riverview/Deerwood. The sidewalk on the north side of Deerwood has been reconstructed and widened to accommodate pedestrian traffic. And a dedicated two-way bike lane, separated from vehicle traffic, has been installed. All of this connects to a new, widened sidewalk that runs adjacent to the West Sam Houston Tollway frontage road until it connects to the existing pedestrian bridge that leads to the Terry Hershey Trail. Along this route, cyclists can enjoy several murals that were commissioned by Westchase District and painted by mural artist Larry Crawford. Join us between 7 and 8 am. We’ll have a table set up along Deerwood and will be distributing water and cooling towels to all cyclists.
HCC CAMPUS TRAIL TO TRAILSIDE PARK
Day 2 offers an opportunity to explore the shortest (but no less important) link in the Westchase District Trail System. The HCC Campus Trail is one of the first to be built in Harris County in a utility easement. It runs just west of Wilcrest Drive, between Westheimer and Richmond, with a crosswalk at Meadowglen Lane. Construction limitations within the utility corridor prevent us from landscaping or adding the usual amenities along the trail. But we compensated by building Trailside Park at the southern end of the path. This one-quarter acre park features a ZipKrooz playground zip line, picnic table, fixed seating, interactive art and a drinking fountain with a “pup cup.” If you walk the length of the trail, you’ll also enjoy several pieces of public art, including a large mural that faces the trail from the back of the Market at Westchase shopping center. Join us between 12 and 1 pm at the HCC entrance to the trail for water and giveaways.
LIBRARY LOOP TRAIL TO BRAYS BAYOU CONNECTOR TRAIL
As the most mature trail in the system, Library Loop Trail also features the most amenities. Walk or ride this 1.6-mile trail loop and you’ll find an exercise station, butterfly garden, three Little Free Libraries and several large, wall-size murals. Stop to read the informational spikes along the route and you’ll learn more about the history of the Westchase area, the importance of transportation in Westchase District, and the wildlife you might see along the trail. The Library Loop Trail is immediately adjacent to the Robinson-Westchase Library and the site of the future Wilcrest Park. It connects to the Brays Bayou Connector Trail at the underground crossing at Richmond Ave. Join us on Day 3 of Bike to Work week when we’ll have a tent along the trail near the library from 12 – 1 pm.
BRAYS BAYOU CONNECTOR TRAIL TO ART STOREY PARK
Westchase District’s 2.9-mile Brays Bayou Connector Trail runs south from Richmond Avenue to Bellaire Boulevard, connecting to both Harwin Park and Art Storey Park. With underground crossings at Richmond, Westpark, Westpark Tollway, Harwin and Bellaire, outdoor enthusiasts can safely enjoy the trail without worrying about vehicular traffic. Along the route, they’ll experience aquatic life, informational signs, public art, benches, water fountains and animals in their natural habitats. This section of trail also features an exercise station and a bike fix-it station so that cyclists may address any unexpected bike maintenance issues along the route. You might even spot one of our Westchase District bike patrol officers riding the trail as well. On day 4 of Bike to Work (or anywhere) Week, look for us between 4 and 5 pm near the exercise station just south of Harwin.
Day 5 features the Westpark Trail, which is built in the utility corridor that runs parallel to the Westpark Tollway. It connects to the Gesssner Park & Ride on the east and Briarpark Drive on the west . While construction limitations prevent the installation of any amenities in the corridor, this trail will connect to the ultimate amenity — Woodchase Park. The 3.2-acre park is under construction right now and will open in the fall of 2021. When construction is complete, cyclists and pedestrians along the Westpark Trail will be able to connect all the way to Westheimer via the Elmside/Woodchase Trail. This 1.25-mile path is being ungraded with wider, continuous sidewalks and improved landscaping. Seat walls, an exercise station and bike racks are also being installed to enhance the experience. And new murals have been painted along Briarpark Drive and Elmside Drive. We’ll be set-up on the west end of Westpark Trail (near Briarpark Drive) between 4 and 5 pm on Friday.
Follow this link for a map that illustrates the connectivity between the individual sections of the Westchase District Trail System.