Lots Of Short, Interconnecting Trails
By Lone_Star on 2/9/2013
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center is a pretty nice park with lots to see and do. You can hike, bike, fish and canoe. My review will be written from the perspective of hiking.
There are numerous interconnecting trails weaving throughout the park. Half of the paths are paved ashphalt, the rest are dirt trails. Although the junctions are well marked, it is easy to get disoriented without a trail map. Which brings me to this point: Be sure to stop by the Nature Center when you FIRST come into the park. It will be on your left hand side of the road when you enter the front of the park. There, you can pick up a printed trail map. You'll find this valuable once you start your hike.
Within this park, there is a short trail (Homestead Trail) that takes you to a mock log cabin to give you an idea of what life must have been like in the 19th century. As an added bonus, I was very fortunate to hike this park on Homestead Heritage Day, which was a big celebration with featured bands and a post-Civil War reenactment by actors. It really gave you a sense of going back in time and an appreciation of how difficult life must have been back in those times.
As far as the trails go, they're nice, but there's no major "Wow!" factor. Several trails take you to Spring Creek, which is where the fishermen and canoers go. There are some small ponds sprinkled here and there with some wildlife in them. I didn't see as much as the person that logged this park before me, but perhaps that was because the park was very crowded on the day I went and may have scared the wildlife away.
There's not much solitude here as it is very close to Bush Intercontinental Airport. Nice place to spend a weekend afternoon. If you're looking for a longer hike, you can catch the Spring Creek Greenway Trail by taking the Judy Overby Bell Trail which starts near the Pavillion Parking Lot. It is an 8.0 mile trail along Spring Creek to the Stahl Preserve and eventually to Pundt Park. You can read my log of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail here.