Houston Horse Trails
Welcome to Rich Hill's Houston Horse Trails Home Page
This web site describes the joy and opportunity for horseback riding in a very beautiful area located just north of Houston, Texas in the vicinity of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Approximately 50 miles of trails exist along Spring and Cypress Creek. Another 30 miles of trails are available at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The location of this area is shown in this photo.
The purpose of this site is to generate interest in horseback riding in this area. Most of the time I never see any other riders out there. It is as though I was enormously wealthy and owned this whole beautiful area myself. I'm able to be riding my horse in the photo at the left within one hour of leaving my residence near I-45 and FM 1960. I normally can go and ride on the white sugar sand beach shown in the picture to the right. Even though 3,000,000 people live within an hour's drive, I will be totally alone. Amazing! All this in the 4th largest city in the U.S. Only in Texas.
If you have your own horse, you can come here and find some of these places from the aerial photos yourself. I can also guide your trail ride for $15 per hour per person. The trails are largely unmarked because this area isn't a systematic organized park yet. If you don't have a horse, we can rent to you a gentle compatible horse for $15/hour. If you are an accomplished rider, we can arrange endurance race horses for you that would allow you to ride most of the whole trail system in two days. We can provide pasture boarding for your horse at a central location to both the airport trail system and Spring/Cypress Creek trail system. The local area around the airport has numerous motels and parking for your rig. Come by and enjoy enjoy beautiful trail riding in the day, and the pleasures of the 4th largest city in the US at night (if you have any energy left after riding all day).
This web site is divided into the following general topics:
1. Spring Creek Slide Show. This slide show presents a number of photos taken along Spring Creek north of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. These concentrate on scenery and most show a horse. The white sugar sand dunes and beaches shown to the right continue for at least 15 miles. Dozens of mile of forest trails continue beyond that. I've ridden about 3500 miles total in this area and I still haven't ridden all the trails. The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a stream gauge on Spring Creek at the I-45 bridge just south of The Woodlands. Real time and recent stream flow data can be seen at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/uv?08068500. The best riding conditions exist when the second graph from the top on this page has been below 3 feet for at least 7 days.
2. Airport Ranger Slide Show - I am a citizen volunteer who helps conduct security inspections of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The program is described at http://www.houstonairportsystem.org/rangers which includes a description of the procedures you need to follow to gain access to 30-mile-long airport trail system. This includes a security screening process that takes about 10 days to complete. An expedited one-day pass is also available provided you are escorted. This slideshow shows shows some photos combining aviation and horses. Equine photography is hard enough trying to get the horse, rider, background, and lighting just right. Throw in a jet taking off or landing in the background, and you have an even harder challenge. Since I am in constant search of the ultimate equine/aviation photo, I always have my camera with me when I'm riding.
3. Horse & Rider Slide Show - This slide show concentrates on the horse and rider and not so much on the scenery.
4. Video Index Page - This pages shows a few movies of riding around the Spring Creek and the airport. This riding area has a number of places where you can drive a car next to a cantering/galloping horse for an extended distance. That would be a nice photo op if you are interested in studying how you ride at faster speeds. Haven't made such a video yet because I haven't arranged for the third person (i.e., one to ride, one to drive, & one to do the camera).
5. This page shows several photographs taken during horseback riding that show why this area is so fascinating. Although it is located virtually adjacent to the Houston city limits, this area is difficult to reach unless you are on horseback or all terrain vehicle. Fortunately, Harris County and Montgomery County are moving to convert this area into permanently protected public parks as described in this 01/09/2005 Houston Chronicle article.
I claim copyright protection for this web site and its photography. Thus, you need my permission to use this material.
As you can see from the photos, I've got a few gray hairs. I was born in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio. When I was a little kid, my parents took slide pictures with their Kodak camera. We'd took mostly car vacations to Florida and the Rocky Mountain West. My parents took a lot of pictures and we'd would look at them using a slide projector They would show the slides in the hallway leading to the three bedrooms at the north end of our house. We would shut the bedroom doors to reduce the interfering light. Now here I am, 45 years later, showing my photos to the whole world via the Internet. As I write this paragraph on June 6, 2005, my web site and its photos have been visited 1760 times. We would have had a difficult time fitting all those people into the hallway at the bed-room end of the house where I grew up. Ain't modern technology wonderful?
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If you would like to contact me, my telephone number is 281 825 1185 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Web Page has been visited times since April 15, 2005 when I moved to my new domain name. Prior to that major revision, this page had been hit approximately 1600 times since December 2002.
This page was last updated on 06/06/05.