Cypress Creek

The Cypress Creek segment described here flows from west to east, just north of Bush Intercontinental Airport.  It's a fairly short run, approximately 5 hours of paddling time at a leisurely pace  if you are lucky enough to run it when major log jams aren't present.  It's a beautiful wooded stream with sandy banks and bottoms and big white sandbars.  There are runnable sections above and below the one described here, the lower ones being on Spring Creek which Cypress Creek joins on this segment.

All this beauty comes with some dangerous potential:  log jams.  Jams can form at any water level, and the important thing to remember is that the water flows underneath them.  That's where you will go too, and your canoe and your gear and anything else that may spill into the water if you unwittingly get pinned against them and dump the canoe (or kayak).  Treat log jams with great respect and seriously consider portaging (carrying your boat) around them at any current or water level.  Be especially vigilant on this stream.

Another hazard of the trip is attempting it at too low a water level.  At low levels there are places the creek is ankle deep or even less- not enough to float a boat, and it's a very long way if you have to pull the boat behind you.

Having said all that, it is a beautiful stream to experience right in our own backyard, and a paddling trip is easily combined with a trip to Mercer Arboretum to see the beautiful plantings there, or at Jesse Jones Park to enjoy their trails and picnic area.

Directions  The put-in is in Mercer Arboretum.  You need to call in advance to have the gated entrance to the canoe launch opened for you.  Phone number is (281)443-8731.  When you call Mercer, be sure to call Jesse Jones Park too so you can likewise get out the gated road there.  Jesse Jones Park's phone number is (281)446-8588.

To get to Mercer Arboretum, exit Interstate Highway 45 at FM1960.  Follow 1960 east about 5 miles to its intersection with Aldine Westfield road, where you will turn and go north to Mercer Arboretum.  Brown arboretum signs are posted on both 1960 and Aldine Westfield.

To run a shuttle, after you have dropped off boats and equipment at Mercer (and all paddlers except shuttle drivers to stay with the equipment), return south on Aldine Westfield to FM 1960.  Turn left (east) on 1960 and follow it for several miles to Kenswick, where you will turn left (north) and drive to Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center (20634 Kenswick).  Drop your car(s) there, and use as few cars as you can to return all the drivers to Mercer Arboretum to depart from there.

Have a beautiful day on the water.