Wonderful Goforth Park on Horsepen Creek in Cypress, TX
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Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth Park on Horsepen Creek is the official name of this 188-acre park located in Cypress, Texas. The original name was Horsepen Creek Park.
Tribute to Deputy Darren Goforth
Deputy Darren Goforth was a ten year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff Department. Sadly, one day, while refueling his department vehicle at a nearby Chevron station, he was ambushed and killed. The perpetrator used a handgun. With 15 shots to the back of the head, Deputy Darren Goforth instantly died on August 28, 2015.
The simple wearing of his uniform made him a target. He was only 47 years old. Deputy Goforth left behind his grieving wife and two young children who were only five and twelve years of age.
People instantly rallied around his family, expressing grief over this senseless and random act of violence. Flowers and other tributes built up at the gas station where a memorial was created. People from near and far wished to contribute money to his family.
It did not take long before the idea of naming a park in his honor began relatively soon after it became a long-lasting and fitting tribute. The park is maintained by Precinct 3 in Harris County.
Dual Purpose Park
Similar to other parks in this area it serves several purposes. First and foremost, the retention basin provides a large area for rains and floodwaters to collect instead of damaging surrounding homes and businesses. The human-made lake is a lure to fishers who can cast their lines from the shoreline. We saw several people fishing on the day of our visit to this park.
There is a 1.97-mile paved trail around the perimeter of the lake that is perfect for exercising. My husband and I walked around it while others were jogging. Bicycling and skating are also allowed. Most of the trail is asphalt, and a small part of it is concrete. The video below shows what the entire perimeter trail looks like via a bicycle.
Many Birds Spotted
We saw birds of various types as we were walking around the lake. Many flocks of American Coots were in evidence. Before I learned their identification, I assumed that they were ducks because of how they appear when swimming and diving in the water. On land, however, they appear to walk more like chickens. Whenever I tried to get more closeup photos by approaching the birds, they would leave the ground and disperse into the water swimming away from me. They seem to be a bit shy. I have experienced this in other parks as well.
A Great Egret appeared to be wading the waters in hopes of finding something to eat. It would take flight only to settle down a little distance from where I was trying to capture its photo. They are such pretty birds!
Boat-tailed Grackles seemed to be less afraid of people and were quite close to the paved walkway. The sheen on this one’s coat was so pretty! We see many of these iridescent hued birds in and around our city in various locations.
Different types of exercise equipment are at various places around the trail with instructions as to how to use it properly.
Dog Park Area of Goforth Park
From a certain point, as we were walking around the lake, we could see the large dog park area. The dog park separates into regions for both the large as well as small dogs. Both have fenced in areas with access to the lake for those dogs who like to swim.
All dogs must be on a leash upon entering and exiting the park. They must be wearing current tags, and their owners must carry copies of rabies vaccinations. Once inside the fenced dog park area, they can be allowed to run freely. People must pick up any dog waste and waste bag stations and refuse barrels are on site.
We spent some time in the large dog park area. It is enjoyable viewing the fun these many dogs had while swimming and playing. People often socialize here as well. In addition to the spaces in which to run and swim, there is also agility equipment provided for the dogs. Some people were busy putting their dogs through their paces on some of this equipment.
Small dogs have three acres, and five acres are for the larger ones. Doggie shower stations are provided. Water fountains for people as well as their pets, are on site.
Children’s Play Area
Of course, children are also accommodated in Goforth Park with an exceptional playing area designed for little ones. Many families were enjoying picnicking as well as watching their little tykes climb on the rope ladder, use the swings or the slides. The children’s playground is like an agility station for the little ones!
There are some shaded seating structures, but much of this park first created in 2014 is quite sunny. The planted trees as they continue growing will offer more shade in time.
There are two parking lots giving access to the amenities of this park which include restrooms. It has excellent wheelchair access.
My hubby and I enjoyed getting to familiarize ourselves with this wonderful park. It has one of the better dog parks in this part of the Houston metro area from what we have seen. The location of this park is at the intersection of Barker Cypress and West Road for those familiar with this part of town.
The Canyon Lakes at Stonegate homes surrounding this park is at an appropriate distance away so as not to be disturbed by excess noise from the children’s play area as well as the dog park. The video below gives you some idea of what this part of town looks like as to what else is in this area of Cypress, Texas.