A project broke ground in September at the Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, and a nearby municipal utility district is working to fill a gap between two stretches of trails.
Jim Robertson, chair of the Cypress Creek Greenway Project, said the group provides a vision for the greenway and coordinates with local MUDs and county parks departments. Officials have been using a master plan completed in 2015 as a guide for the trail systems in the Cypress Creek and Hwy. 249 area, he said.
“At that time, we recognized that there were a lot of disconnected parks and trails being developed in the area, and the idea was to put together a vision as to how those could be connected,” he said. “Piece by piece, those connections are coming together.”
Ultimately once these two projects are completed, neighborhoods east of the Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve will have access to trails that extend northwest to Telge Road. The next phase of the Faulkey Gully trail construction will fill in the gaps between the existing trails there and the Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 5 trails that are currently under construction.
These trails will connect hundreds of acres of parks along the greenway, including Cypress Park, Russ Poppe Family Park, 100 Acre Wood Preserve and Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, Robertson said.
Robertson said his team has been in contact with Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey’s office as they create a park and trail master plan. He said eventually, the Cypress Creek trail system could also connect the master-planned communities in that area, such as Bridgeland, Cypress Creek Lakes, BlackHorse Ranch and Coles Crossing.
Two concrete pedestrian undercrossings will be added on the north and south side of Cypress Creek and Hwy. 249, according to Dennis Johnston, Harris County Precinct 4 parks director. The north trail will connect the preserve to the SpringHill Suites hotel on the west side of Hwy. 249, and the south trail will link the pond behind the YMCA east to the park next to Willie’s Grill & Ice House.
Construction on the $1.2 million project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, Johnston said. Subsequent phases of construction will include extending the trail over to the bridge next to the Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve office on the south side and eventually west to Faulkey Gully on the north side of Cypress Creek.
“Tens of thousands of residents will eventually benefit in this area by having connectivity to parks, trails, offices, schools, businesses, shopping and restaurants,” Johnston said.
Faulkey Gully trails
Mark Szyman, director of the Faulkey Gully MUD in Cypress, said he is working to complete a trail project started about 30 years ago.
The first two phases of the Faulkey Gully Hike and Bike Trail span 1.9 miles from Lakewood Forest Drive to Guernsey Road and were completed in the mid-90s under the Faulkey Gully Greenway Association, a nonprofit formed among four MUDs—Faulkey Gully, Malcomson Road, Harris County MUD 18 and Lakewood Forest. Szyman said he hopes construction will resume in early 2022. Malcomson Road MUD has agreed to contribute to the estimated $1.3 million cost of construction materials, but he said Lakewood Forest MUD and Harris County MUD 18 have chosen not to participate in the third phase.
Rather than raising the property tax rate to cover costs, Faulkey Gully MUD is asking residents to pay a voluntary $5 monthly fee starting in January. Harris County would be responsible for building and maintaining the new 2 miles of trails, Szyman said.
“Other than providing a safe place for people to walk, ride their bikes or run, it’s going to connect in a lot of communities, No. 1, and No. 2, it’ll help raise property values,” Szyman said.