Cullen Park with Velodrome, Sports Fields, Trails & More
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People can find Cullen Park in the western regions of Houston. The 10,500 plus acres of land in this Harris County Precinct 3 park serves two essential purposes.
First and foremost, the land serves as a flood control project. Decades ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed large earthen dams both north and south of Interstate 10. Barker Reservoir is to the south of I-10 with Addicks Reservoir to the north. Cullen Park is in Addicks Reservoir. The address is 19008 Saums Road, Houston, Texas 77084.
When torrential rains arrive with northern flooding tributaries of creeks and bayous draining into this area, this park sometimes closes. The land suddenly takes on the appearance of a pond or lake. The waters in these reservoirs keep other areas of Houston from being flooded.
Because of a multi-million dollar donation from the Cullen Foundation paired with Houston city funding, Cullen Park came into being. The land was leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the City of Houston in 1983 and construction began a year later.
Playtime in Cullen Park
The other essential purpose of this area (in addition to sporadic flood control) was to provide residents a place to play, relax, and enjoy the outdoors.
Park development happened in two phases. Saums Road bisects Cullen Park. Phase one just south of Saums is where people find four well-lighted baseball and softball fields.
Four soccer fields with natural turf are also situated here. We have seen all ages of boys, girls and even adults playing soccer in this park.
Adjacent to the baseball fields is the Alkek Velodrome. This Velodrome is 1 of 28 in the U.S. as of 2017. It is a banked cement track specifically built in 1986 for bike races.
You can see a good picture of the Alkek Velodrome in the video below.
Picnic Area and Splash Pad
There is also a shaded picnic area not far from the sports fields on the other side of Saums Road. It is in a pecan grove of trees. Some of the picnic tables are out in the open, and others are under the shade of a pavilion. Outdoor barbecue grills are there as well as plenty of refuse containers.
Thanks to the donations of H.E.B. grocery stores, a splash pad has been added to not only this park but many others in the Houston area. It was opened in August of 2003 and is near the pecan grove picnic area as well as the covered pavilion.
Playground and More
Phase two of this park was completed in 1989. A separate road heading north from Saums leads to this part of Cullen Park. More picnic areas are there as well as another restroom facility.
There are several kids playgrounds in this area as well as wide open field spaces perfect for playing frisbee or flying kites.
What truly makes this part of the park special, in my opinion, are the trails. The nature trails are paved and run for many miles through wooded areas. The shade is welcome during hot weather!
From the picnic area a person can walk, run, jog, bike ride or rollerblade from here to Highway 6 and back which is almost 8 miles round trip. There is a historic cemetery located at Highway 6 with a small parking lot in front of it. Many people start the trail at this location.
Be sure and carry water with you as there are no water fountains provided along the path. Dogs must be kept on leashes.
The use of mosquito repellent might also be a good idea, particularly if it has rained recently. The times we have walked the trails, it was hot and dry, so we were not bothered by those pesky insects.
People have reported seeing deer, armadillos, snakes, birds, and even a cougar in the wilder areas of this park. Wherever there is water, there is always a chance of seeing an alligator. Most of these animals would naturally shy away from people, but it is good to be aware of one’s surroundings.
Much of this part of the park is in a natural state. Wildflowers, shrubs, and vines are occasionally in bloom and add to the enjoyment.
Precinct 3 Parks
Bear Creek Pioneers Park is also located within Addicks Reservoir and is not far from Cullen Park. An archery range is also available for use within the confines of this reservoir. George Bush Park is in the Barker Reservoir just south of I-10.
Some of the other Precinct 3 parks that I have written about are featured below. Each of them is special in a unique way!