Based in Houston, Texas, GEV is a blog by The GreenEyed Venuist. Her posts explore travel and photography through her green eyes.

Do Something Different! Weekend Nature Hike in Brazos Bend State Park


The forecast for the weekend boasted temperatures in the lo 70s high 80s. To a Houstonian like me, who is constantly seeking shelter from the oppressive summer sun, that's like leaving a fat kid in a bakery overnight. Fall was upon us. Every park and all the patios in the city would be teeming with people, eager to enjoy one of the few days when Houston experiences perfect weather. 

And that would usually be me, perhaps sipping mimosas and donning an expensive pair of designer shades, letting the wind whip through my hair...wasting hours just being on the scene. 

But I have grown weary of getting dressed up to go out and spend money on food and drinks I could have prepared at home for much cheaper and that which only thwart my current mission of a healthier lifestyle, which may or may not include dropping a few lbs this season, just to sit around and see the same people, the same sights, meet people that I'll never call...just the same ole' thing. I'm bored. 

So, I said to my friends....let's do something different this weekend! The weather is gonna be incredible and I don't want to waste it. What that something different would be.....still a mystery. 

I googled a bunch of random things with a vague idea of what I wanted to do in the back of my mind. 

Finally I decided that I would hike. Yes....hike. Not just a walk in the park, but a nature hike. That way, I'd be doing something different, seeing some cool new stuff and getting a light workout in all at once. I recalled that I've hiked in Costa Rica, Colorado, Brazil, Greece and a few other places and I really enjoyed it. So that was my, where would I go to get a full nature hike experience and who would go with me?

I extended the invite to two friends, one who is always down to try something new and the other who appreciates a nice workout, and both agreed to join me in my quest for outside the boxness.

I did some Googling and eliminated places like Memorial Park. Great park, but not what I was looking for. We finally made the decision to take a short road trip to Brazos Bend State Park. Upon further research, I discovered that Brazos Bend is known for having wild alligators running a muck on the park grounds, sans leash or any type of supervision. O_O

While this may seem like a really bad idea to you, you're probably reading and thinking we changed our minds after finding out that this park has human eating creatures roaming around with reckless abandon, but it sounded kinda cool to me and Krystin was down so we stuck with our original plan. I mean, it's not like we were the first ones to go to this park, there would be other people there too...the likelihood of us getting eaten was pretty low plus we came up with an escape strategy (we would take off running in a zigzag formation to confuse the gator...I read that somewhere) we were good. 

On Saturday, after a rough Friday night, we set out to pick up one of our friends and hit the road. He approached the car with a huge backpack looking like we were about to go climb the Mount Everest and made us feel totally unprepared. Turns out he is in military training and not like some super hiker like we thought. 

It takes about 45 mins to drive to the park, you pay a $7 per person entrance fee, we parked and studied the trail map and we were off! The rest of the post will be mostly pics. We hiked about 7 miles total through a beautiful terrain with swamp and alligators on either side for the majority of the time. That was quite the adventure. The last 2 miles weren't as lovely as we were attacked by mosquitoes and the trail was more through the middle of the woods than the previous ones (I wanted a nature hike, not a death walk through the creepy, horror movie-esque forrest). I had the foresight to bring mosquito repellent with me. So basically I saved the day. 

All in all this was an excellent time. We decide to make the nature hikes a monthly thing. We'll select a different park every month and it'll be great!

Here's a few shots of the park and all the alligators. 

Stony Mountain Vineyard and Charlotte, NC because, wine and fall.

How I Traveled to 5 Different Countries Using Only 7 Vacation Days

How I Traveled to 5 Different Countries Using Only 7 Vacation Days