On Saturday June
18, eleven paddlers took part in a joint Houston Sierra Club/Houston Canoe Club outing on
Clear Creek led by Gus Cei and John Berlinghoff. The trip began at the Egret Bay Blvd.
bridge boat ramp, about two miles upstream from where the creek flows into Clear Lake. We
decided on a 9.2 mile round-trip paddle up to Challenger 7 Park, and a short side trip
into a lagoon on the north side of the main channel. The trip started relatively early to
avoid the hottest part of the day, and to finish up before many of the power boats,
personal watercraft, and wakeboarders came out.
The tide was out, the water noticeably salty, and our southwest heading along the line
that separates Galveston County from Harris County took us straight into the wind,
especially at the outset. This part of Clear Creek is wide and open, with nearly the only
shade being under the bridges at Hwy 3 and IH-45. Slowly, the more salt-tolerant
vegetation gave way to freshwater plants as the creek narrowed to around half its initial
width. Morning glories were in bloom at a number of places.
The group looked over existing launch facilities for canoes and kayaks at the Egret Bay
Blvd. bridge boat ramp, Walter Hall Park, and Challenger 7 Park, all of which are access
points for the planned Clear Creek Paddle Trail
http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=d004681e853d5199 . After a snack break at
Challenger 7 Park, we explored a small lagoon that featured wading birds and surrounding
palmettos. Then, on the return leg of the trip, we thoroughly enjoyed having the wind at
Other popular round-trip options for paddlers wanting to do outings from this put-in
point are a shorter one to Walter Hall Park (4.5 miles) and a longer one to Countryside
Park (13.2 miles).