went to do the 13.3ish mile one could not find start and does not loop to my knowledge will go back agian great trail

The first comment is correct. Lovely gardens to east, good hiking to the west. I like that there are bathrooms. Bring your own bugspray and tp. Great for family picnics. No dogs on east side. Enjoy!!!

This, to me, is the star of the FM 1960 area. It was my favorite place to go when I lived in that side of town.

The park's 300 acres is divided by Aldine Westfield Road into an east side and a west side. The west side is significantly larger than the east side and is greatly different in tone. It has a road that will take you all the way past it on the side to the end, where there is ample parking and spaces for family events. There you'll find benches, barbecue grills, a playground for small children, and a covered area with some benches for outdoor celebrations. Also from there, you can enter the western end of the trails.

The west side of Mercer Arboretum is generally uncultivated. It's mainly woodland with a long, looping trail divided up into smaller loops as you go along. Cypress Creek runs along the northern border of the arboretum and there's a very nice, quiet little spot called "The Overlook", which, as the name suggests, has a small bench from which you can view the creek. In some parts of the year, at certain spots along the westernmost side, some muscadine trees will be dropping their fruits and I've occasionally popped a few as I've walked. The trails are quiet and easy. They are kept well and obvious and you are requested to not leave the trail. Every time the trail forks, you'll find a sign with a large map, showing you where you are. Once you get to the road, you can continue under it to the other side if you wish. However, right there at the road is a canoe launch. You need a reservation, but you can launch your canoe from there and ride it down to Jesse H. Jones Park in Humble (or further, but I didn't go that far). If you make it a slow trip, it'll give you a good few hours. Unfortunately, you'll often find litter dropped from the road in the creek near the launch. It is cleaned occasionally, but you'll have to watch out for this until you're well past the road. Also, right at the launch, a large drainage pipe juts out and it's not that welcoming when you look at the water right below it. Once you're going down the creek, it gets better, but just watch out at the launch. I suggest you pick a day or two after a good rain to make sure you get a good water level for a smooth ride. Nonetheless, the trip from park to park is surprisingly beautiful at times.

The east side of the park contains the most cultivation. As you walk in, you are greeted by a fountain over a small koi pond in front of you as you walk past the flowers. To the right of that you'll see the visitor's center. It has some nice air conditioning if you need a quick break from the heat, clean bathrooms, friendly and knowledgeable staff, pamphlets galore, and a water fountain with decent tasting water that comes out refreshingly cold. However, you won't want to spend much time in there. Back outside, there is a large area of trails through the various gardens. Get there on the weekend and you're likely to find photographers and brides-to-be filming here and there. You'll find, along with many impressive types of plants, flowering and otherwise, plenty of smaller wildlife there, particularly insects and birds. As you can imagine, you'll see many types of bees. If this is a concern for you, then it's best if you go in the fall or winter. A favorite spot for many visitors is a hill upon which are two benches on either side. They give a beautiful view and are nice, shady areas to rest. If you continue east past the gardens, you'll enter more woodland. This side is a bit swampier than the west side, so mosquito repellent is a necessity. Once you pass the bamboo area, the remaining part seems much more wild than the rest of the park, though again, the trails are clear and easy and kept from overgrowing.

Also on the east side, as you drive into the parking lot, there's a small, but decent library. They often have some books for sale for 50 cents to a dollar up at front (they use the honor system and you drop the money in a box).

In all, Mercer Arboretum is a beautiful and relaxing place. There's no challenge to it, so don't expect that, however it's definitely worth a trip. Maybe several.

Here is their website: http://www.hcp4.net/mercer/index.htm