Saturday, September 6, 2014

A First Visit To Peach Creek

A Shady Section Of Peach Creek
Imagine that you have been craving a long relaxing paddle for many weeks. You have loaded up the kayak and gear, and headed to northeast Houston with a plan to paddle Cypress Creek. But when you reach your destination, you find that your intended launch is no longer open. Argh!

After considering this dilemma for a few minutes, my solution was to head a bit farther out to Lake Houston Wilderness Park and explore Peach Creek by water for the first time.

This lovely park is located above Lake Houston, with its nearly five thousand wooded acres nestled between the East Fork of the San Jacinto River and Peach Creek. I had hiked there a number of times years ago, shortly after the city and county took over management from the state. The facilities have been enhanced considerably since then, and they now include a canoe & kayak launch point near the confluence of Peach and Caney Creeks.

After getting my borrowed kayak (thanks honey!) down to the water, I first tried to head upstream along Peach Creek, but I was soon stymied by shallow water. Going in the other direction proved much easier. Gliding over the barely moving water, I soon reached the junction with Caney Creek, where the channel widens considerably. While still shallow in places, the main channel was plenty deep for my kayak and there was nothing stopping me from paddling all the way down to Lake Houston!

Well, maybe one thing. I was a little hungry by this time, so I paused in the shade along the wooded bank and enjoyed my lunch while listening to the birds. After eating I paddled a bit farther downstream, having the place pretty much to myself except for a solitary fisherman. Eventually the heat of the summer sun prompted me to turn around, seeking the more narrow and shaded upstream sections of the creek once again.

On my return trip I ventured up Caney Creek for a few hundred yards until I was once again dragging my kayak on the sandy bottom. Reluctantly I turned around and made my way back to the launch point on Peach Creek.

While it may not have turned out exactly as I planned, this day's paddle was a good one none the less. I look forward to exploring more of Peach Creek (as well as the park proper) on a little cooler day this fall or winter.

More Pictures From Peach & Caney Creeks