Houston is a large and beautiful city, and it can feel almost impossible to take it all in. If you want to go out there and explore, our guide to the best Houston bike trails for biking and running can help point you in the right direction.
From beautiful views of the city skyline to heavily wooded areas that feel like a natural haven, we’ve covered some of the best spots out there for running and biking.
Top Bike Trails for Biking and Running in Houston
We’ve picked our favorite spots for biking and running in the city. We’ve covered different areas and types of trails, and we’ll give you the lowdown on how accessible it is, what you can expect, the location, and the amenities available.
Several trails are located in parks, which is excellent if you want to enjoy amenities and attractions.
Now let’s check out our top 7 trails in Houston:
#1. Brays Bayou Connector Trail
|End Points:||Library Loop Trail (Westchase) and Arthur Storey Park|
|Parking:||7098 W Sam Houston Parkway South, and Harwin Park (11305 Harwin Drive)|
The Brays Bayou Connector Trail links Arthur Storey Park and the Westchase business district/neighborhood. It’s a safe trail, with concrete making it ideal for cyclists and runners. There are no dangerous crossings, thanks to the underpasses.
While part of the trail is pretty industrial, other areas have beautiful parks and attractive residential areas, so it’s a bit of a mixture.
There is parking in Arthur Storey Park, which is convenient, or you can park along the trail route at Harwin Park.
If you want to make the journey longer, you can hop onto the Library Loop Trail. This is a nice trail to visit, with pathways to educational campuses nearby.
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#2. White Oak Bayou Trail
|End Points:||White Oak Bayou (near Shady Grove Lane) and Buffalo Bayou Greenway Trail (Smith St. & Franklin St.)|
|Parking:||3012 White Oak Dr 77007, 603 Rutland St Houston 77007, 2973-3199 Katy Freeway Service Road 77007|
The White Oak Bayou Trail is long at 17 miles, running alongside the bayou. A mixture of asphalt and concrete, it’s pretty hilly, but the paths are well maintained, making it ideal for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
You’ll pass several parks, making it very pretty in certain areas, although there are several overpasses to cross which are less attractive to look at.
It’s pretty peaceful but busy enough that you’ll pass other people, and the pedestrian areas can get crowded at specific points. There aren’t many water fountains, so if you’ve got a long ride, make sure to bring some water with you.
There are several connections to this trail, each offering some opportunities for parking, including the Central Business District, Ella Boulevard, and West Houston On-Street Bikeway (at 34th street).
#3. Rice University & Hermann Park
|End Points:||Rice University, Hermann Park|
|Length:||1.49 miles (Hermann Park), 2.98 miles (Rice University)|
|Parking:||6601 Fannin St 77030 (Hermann Park), 6100 Main St 77005|
Rice University has a beautiful campus and makes for a great trail for running. There are gravel and concrete paths, and it’s a peaceful spot with plenty of shady areas, making it a good trail for warmer days. It’s gentle, with few steep areas and plenty of benches if you need to take a break.
There are fountains and beautiful oak trees, lots of climbing ivy, and gorgeous buildings, making it a scenic route to try. You’ll bump into some students here out for a morning run. It looks nice all year round but looks particularly picturesque in the fall and winter.
Right next to Rice University is Hermann Park, a beautiful park with something for the whole family. It has a Japanese Garden, an 18-hole public golf course, and is home to the Houston Zoo and Houston Museum of Natural Science.
You can also rent a pedal boat here or ride the park railroad, which is an excellent way of taking in all the sights. There are kids’ play parks here, too, making it a great trail option for families. You can choose either trail or go for a bit of both.
There’s plenty of parking available at Hermann Park, including a large parking area outside Houston Zoo. You can also use the paid parking lot at Rice University itself.
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#4. Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail
|End Points:||Memorial Park
|Parking:||1001 E Memorial Loop Dr 77007|
Located in the beautiful Memorial Park, the Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail is perfect for hiking, running, and walking. The park itself is one of the largest urban parks in the US, and it’s very popular with runners, as it offers both natural beauty and a stunning view of the city skyline.
The Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail is well lit, and it’s popular with runners, so you’ll rarely feel unsafe. The path is wide enough that no matter how busy it gets, it shouldn’t feel crowded. It has plenty of shade for hot days, and it has bathrooms and water fountains. The crushed granite is an easy surface to run on.
If you start from the southeast corner, you can find the Running Trails Center (7575 N. Picnic Lane), which has lockers for your belongings. You can grab a shower afterward if you want, too, or carry on to enjoy the beautiful gardens.
You can, of course, choose to deviate from the loop and explore the rest of the park. There is free parking available near the trail on East and West Memorial Loop Drive.
Bonus Read: 6 Best Gardens in Houston
#5. Green Ridge Trail
|End Points:||Memorial Drive into Picnic Lane|
|Parking:||Several spots are available in Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr 77007|
Another trail in Memorial Park, Green Ridge Trail, is a dirt trail known for its beautiful wildflowers. It’s a moderately difficult trail, but if you love to get closer to nature, this is a good one to go for. It feels a little less ‘manicured’ than some of the other trails in Memorial Park.
It’s busy with cyclists, so you’ll need to be on your guard as you walk. It can get pretty muddy, so it’s one to avoid on stormy days. It feels secluded. Unlike the Seymour Liberman Exercise Trail, it feels further away from the city, almost like a little natural haven.
There are several parking areas available at Memorial Park, and there are plenty of opportunities to keep going if you want to. With lots to do in Memorial Park, it’s worth grabbing a park map to see if there are any other places you’d like to visit.
#6. Buffalo Bayou (Blue Lagoon Trail)
|End Points:||Sabine St, Memorial Dr, Lockwood Dr|
|Parking:||1643 Memorial Dr 77007|
The Blue Lagoon trail is an excellent trail for families, and it’s pretty accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. It’s very gentle with not much of an incline, and you’ll be walking alongside Buffalo Bayou.
The lighting system here is great, making it an interesting trail to visit at night. The lighting color changes from white to blue based on the phases of the moon. It offers excellent views of the city, with several seating areas en route for you to use if you need a break.
It gets busy here, but with a wide path, you won’t feel as though you’re overcrowded. You should feel quite safe, but as always, it’s worth traveling in groups at night if you feel unsure.
You can park in Parking Lot H, with over 400 spaces.
#7. The Anthills Trail (via Blue Jay Trail)
|End Points:||Blue Jay Trail|
|Parking:||Dairy Ashford St, 77079|
The Anthill Trail is accessible via Blue Jay Trail. It’s a moderately challenging trail designed for cyclists, although hikers and walkers use it too. It gets muddy, and you’ll have to watch for fallen trees after a storm, but it’s a nice place to go if you want to go nature spotting. You may see turtles in the river, making it a fun place for kids.
There is a large jump area in the far eastern portion of the trail. Some areas are more complex than others to traverse (it gets heavily wooded, so there are many roots to look out for), but it feels like a breath of fresh air to walk through.
It’s a pretty long trail at 9.19 miles, but there are some benches along the way. There aren’t many amenities, so make sure you bring plenty of water with you.
You can continue onto the Quail Trail (which is paved and a bit more easily accessible) and enjoy the Blue Jay Trail too. Parking is available at Dairy Ashford St.
We hope this guide has helped you to find the best trails in Houston. Whether you want to go out on your mountain bike, an early morning run, or a nice walk with your kids, there are plenty of places to go.
Hitting the trails can be a great way to learn more about Houston. So go out there and get exploring!