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Buffalo Bayou - Voss to Main
Friday, March 15, 2019, 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM
HASK Paddle Trip
is required before March 14, 2019
This is an ACA sanctioned event. All participants must wear a PFD. Non-HASK participants must sign a waiver. See all rules at the bottom of this page.
Notify the Event Contact to cancel your registration.
Members pay for their own charges
Non-ACA participants will need to pay a fee. See below for details
This is a Level 2 trip. We will put in at Riverbend Park, 7978 Woodway near Voss and Westheimer, and paddle about 15 river miles downstream on Buffalo Bayou to the Main Street Bridge behind Spaghetti Warehouse, 901 Commerce Street. This trip is a good opportunity to get a very different look at your city, from the forests of the Memorial Villages, Memorial Park, and the Houston Arboretum to the backyards of the River Oaks Rich and Famous, to the managed banks along Allen Parkway, to the netherworld maze of downtown bridges. And a lot of it is clean and pretty.
This could be a long day. We will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the park and unload boats and gear. My drivers will shuttle cars downtown while our porters carry boats to the water. I hope to be on the water by 10:30 a.m. Time to downtown could be three to six hours, depending on current, if any, so bring plenty of food and water. Update - Takeouts are no longer a problem on the upper section of this trip because the floods of the last few years have resulted in the deposition of beautiful sandy beaches! We should be able to make a couple of rest stops and a lunch stop. That should put us at the take-out between 3 and 4 p.m.
This piece of Woodway is WEST of Voss. You probably don't know it exists. See the map link above. Parking at the put-in is good but limited. Parking at the take-out is the public pay lot at Spaghetti Warehouse, which will cost you $5 in the box. The easy take-out is at the bottom of the hill (where one usually finds the water, duh) under the Main Street Bridge. The put-in is a steep switchbacky constructed trail (see photo below) that requires patience and caution. (The take-out is a beach but the put-in is a -----.)
Lat - lon of Riverbend Park is 29°44'44.94"N, 95°30'25.33"W
The trip is dependent on water flow. If the bayou is too high and fast, we'll cancel the trip. In slack water, it's easy but long. There is usually at least a little current above Shepherd. In moderate current, it's not so long but does require some steering and boat control to avoid sand bars and strainers (overhanging trees). The trip is suitable for canoes, sit-on-top, recreational, and sea kayaks but you will need some stamina and pace to cover the mileage, which is a little longer than the Buffalo Bayou Regatta.
Hazards include falling on the put-in trail (wear good footwear!), log, concrete, and other debris in the water, fire ants, and urban animals. We will likely have some current. Strainers are serious - don't paddle into obstacles in or overhanging the water. Also, this is city water so get all your vaccinations up to date and seal any unnecessary orifices.
half way down the put-in trail
typical scene on Buffalo Bayou downtown Houston
| Trip Assistants
| Trip Rating*
| Meet at
| 9:00 a.m.
| Duration (hours)
| Paddling Miles
| Emergency Initiator
| Emergency Phone #s
| Latest Expected Return
|| 5 p.m.
| Auto Description/Lic #
|| Teal CRV FWC 6215
| Distance from Houston
* Trip ratings are only a guide. Actual conditions will vary with wind and other weather.
This is an ACA sanctioned event. All participants in ACA-insured activities must wear properly-fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejackets (Personal Flotation Devices, or PFDs) at all times during on-water activities. Non-HASK participants must sign a waiver.
Waivers - Please complete our easy to use online waiver if you are a HASK member who has not signed a waiver within the last 12 months or a non- HASK participant. Read the waiver carefully. You give up substantial rights when you sign it.
- Add Smartwaiver with email address “email@example.com” to your address book to ensure emails do not go to junk/spam.
- Select a link below to complete the online waiver.
ACA-HASK Adult Waiver ACA-HASK Minor Waiver
- Respond to the “Confirm your E-Signature” email from ACA / HASK to confirm your email address. Wavier is now complete and valid.
- You will receive a confirmation email. Please download and print a copy of the waiver and bring it to the trip put-in.
Guests – You are welcome to join us for a couple of paddle trips. HASK will cover the $5 ACA event membership for non-ACA members. Hopefully you will then join HASK and continue paddling with us.