I spent two peaceful hours riding the Noble Road Trail in George Bush Park this morning. I didn't mean to ride the trail, I was cycling by on a paved trail and saw the sign. I didn't see a soul the entire time and heard nothing except an occasional airplane flying overhead.
There isn't much information about the Noble Road Trail. It's not on the park map (.PDF file), which shows a stub of Noble Road after it cross over Barker Dam. In fact I couldn't find any information about the trail on the county web sites. So hopefully this post will be Googled by those curious about this sign:
The trail head is about a half mile north of where Barker Clodine Road is closed off (Google map).
Eagle Scout Dan Shamlian of Troop 939 created the only map of the trail I was able to find, but it is severely weathered. Any Scouts looking for a project idea? Here's one.
The park is 20 square miles (Google satellite), with the larger Addicks Reservoir on the north side of I-10. Both are islands of wilderness, surrounded now on all sides by development. Large wildlife in these reservoirs is trapped. Which can be bad, because these parks serve as massive flood control basins. The picture of the Noble Road Trail above is at least 2 miles from the dam, and you can see the water level after Ike. Which can cause problems: Where do the animals go during floods? They wind up in people's back yards that ring the parks.
There is a lot of wildlife which you don't see from the paved trails. I was running across deer every 10 minutes. I also saw a group of three large feral hogs that made me more than a bit nervous. I didn't want to stick around and take pictures. I read stories.
Deep into the trail I spotted what may be the only crystal-clear stream in the Houston area. The bayous and creeks are normally Yoohoo-colored.
If you have a mountain bike and you're looking for something new, go check it out. It's an ideal ride in the winter when conditions are dry. You do not want to ride this trail in the summer or after heavy rains.