Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to enjoy a hot summer day, or
any day, and provide you with close-up opportunities to view wildlife.
There are many opportunities to use a canoe or kayak in our area but I
would like to introduce you to one that is hardly known.
Bates M. Allen Park, a Fort Bend County Park, is found just off U.S.
59 South as this highway leaves Fort Bend County and enters Wharton
County. The San Bernard River forms the boundary between these two
counties and the boundary for Bates Allen Park.
To get to the park you exit at FM 2919 (Lum Road exit) and turn left
under U.S. 59 and then turn right at the first road you come to,
Roberts Road, and then follow that road until you enter the park gate.
You then follow the park road all the way to its end. When you get to
the end you will find a parking area, fishing pier, canoe/kayak boat
ramp, and the Jim Allen Nature Trail.
A walk on the nature trail takes you through Columbia Bottomlands
habitat with large Water Oak, Sugarberry, Water Hickory, Cedar Elm,
Green Ash, and Palmetto trees framing your forest perspective. You can
only marvel at this diverse hardwood forest.
But it is without a doubt the huge Bald Cypress trees that line both
sides of the San Bernard River that leave you inspired and breathless.
A canoe trip through this shaded canopy with cypress knees that jut
three feet or more in height is not only mysterious but delightful! The
San Bernard River is very wide at the boat ramp and provides the
perfect beginners’ easy float trip down a scenic, wild, and lovely
river. Photographers will be imaging to their heart’s desire and nature
lovers will thrill as wading birds like Great Egrets and Great Blue
Herons flush and fly, prehistoric-like, down the channel ahead of you.
So whenever you want to get away from it all think of Bates Allen Park. You will be glad you did!