Houston is a city known for many things – space, bayous, and energy being three of them – but it’s not often seen as an outdoor city. However, if you look closely enough, you can find some seriously awesome outdoor activities in Houston. One of the most beloved adventure sports that you can do in the area is biking – there are tons of Houston bike trails to cycle through and explore!
Whether you’re training for the MS-150 or are just hoping to get out and enjoy fresh air, biking in Houston is a fun way to see the city and get some exercise. Here are some of the local favorite bike trails in Houston that you can explore on two wheels!
Best Bike Trails in Houston
1. Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail
Buffalo Bayou Park is located just outside of downtown and boasts some of the most epic views of the city of Houston. Filled with industrial bridges, tons of trees and plants, and the flowing Buffalo Bayou, the park is one of the most ideal Houston bike trails for an urban immersion experience.
For a shorter ride, there’s a 4.8-mile loop in the park that’s popular with runners and bikers, as it’s a perfect training ground for those who live near downtown. Additionally, the Buffalo Bayou Trail extends through the park and across city for 15 miles, perfect for a longer ride.
2. White Oak Bayou Trail
As one of the longest continuous trails in Houston, the White Oak Bayou Trail extends nearly 17 miles through some of the green areas of Houston. Situated between Rice Military and The Heights, it’s perfectly located in a stretch of parks alongside the quiet White Oak Bayou. Of course, there are also several overpasses to remind you you’re still in the fourth largest city in the United States, but otherwise, it’s a quiet and peaceful spot for biking in Houston.
At White Oak Bayou, you’ll find paved trails perfect for road bikes, and you’ll typically find other bikers on the paths alongside you. Bring lots of water if you’re heading out for a longer ride, as there aren’t many water fountains along the way.
3. Brays Bayou Greenway Trail
If you prefer a trail with fewer fellow runners, Brays Bayou’s Greenway Trail is a quieter sibling to White Oak and Buffalo Bayous. Extending 14 miles through Houston’s central and southern areas, the bayou has paved sidewalks and underpasses perfect for a short or long bike ride through the Medical Center and other parts of the city.
While there isn’t too much shade on this route, the city is constantly improving the trails to make them more clean and accessible for recreation. The Brays Bayou Greenway is a popular trail with local bikers, who you’ll see cycling the trails early in the morning through after sunset.
4. Rice University & Hermann Park
The trails surrounding Rice University is a local favorite running spot, but the area is also great for bikers. Consistently voted as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States, it’s a very beautiful, picturesque place to go for an early morning ride before the students head to class.
With lots of paved and gravel paths, water fountains, and tons of shade from the iconic oak trees, you can extend your ride here as long as you’d like.
You can pair a ride through Rice with a detour in nearby Hermann Park. Aside from being an easily accessible and beautifully-landscaped park, this is one of our favorite bike trails in Houston because there’s so much variety throughout the park. You’ll pass by a beautiful reflection pool, the Japanese garden, a sweeping golf course, the Houston zoo, and more on a bike ride through Hermann Park’s gravel trails.
5. Heights Hike & Bike Trail
The Heights Trail extends through one of Houston’s most eclectic neighborhoods, and is one of the best Houston bike trails to get a skyline view of the city. Extending just under 5 miles, the trail is a perfect spot for a short bike ride with a variety of beautiful views.
Along the way, you’ll catch stunning views of the Houston skyline amidst lots of beautiful greenery. Don’t miss some of the colorful, historic homes in the Heights area, which was once known to be the “artistic” neighborhood of the city.
6. George Bush Park
George Bush Park is a giant, sweeping park located in the far west side of Houston, near the Energy Corridor. There are thousands of acres of park here, which includes an 11-mile trail perfect for biking in Houston.
Whether you live or work in the Energy Corridor area or simply find yourself out in that direction, George Bush Park is one of the most underrated Houston bike trails. Here, you’ll find yourself passing by forested areas, recreational fields and picnic areas, as well as lakes and bridges, a great variety that will surprise you around every turn.
7. Memorial Park
To the west of downtown Houston lies the quiet, family-friendly neighborhood of Memorial. Filled with elegant homes and large corporate complexes, Memorial is a popular place to live and work in Houston. Situated in the middle of the area is Memorial Park, one of the most popular parks in Houston for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. One of the signature draws of Memorial Park is its trail that’s popular with West Houston inhabitants for running, walking, and biking.
Gravel paths and wooded areas characterize the park’s trails. There are also several paved areas for bikers to ride through as well. In the evenings and weekends, you’ll find that there are several other friendly neighbors out in the park running, biking, or playing a variety of sports in the nearby fields.
8. Zube Park
Located 40 miles northwest of downtown, Zube Park is a popular suburban park with 225 acres of recreation areas, including picnic tables, a water park, and playgrounds. However, it’s also a Houston cycling hub, as many local cycling clubs frequently take off from this park.
While the park itself doesn’t have too many bike-specific trails, it is a popular starting point for biking in Houston, including rides along the freeway service roads and other parts of the city.
9. Terry Hershey Hike and Bike Trail
Situated in the green, wooded neighborhood of Memorial, the Terry Hershey Hike and Bike Trail is a local favorite. With over 10 miles of trails, this running path is perfect for those wanting to get out of the downtown areas without going too far. A mixture of gravel and paved paths will greet you, and the tree cover provides shade from the hot Houston sun.
10. Jack Brooks Park Trail
At just 36 miles from downtown Houston, Jack Brooks Park a great destination for biking in Houston for the day, or as a detour on the way to Galveston. Because it’s not too far from the city, many people come here to enjoy a biking experience more immersed in nature than some of the other more urban parks on our list.
While there are fewer trails in Jack Brooks Park, they are perfect, dirt paths for mountain biking, as there are tons of dips, ascents, and other fun challenges. The park has a total of 5.6 miles of Houston bike trails that you can explore, most of which are wooded and very shady.
11. Spring Creek Greenway Trail
As one of the most popular Houston bike trails, the Spring Creek Greenway Trail in Humble has over 13 miles of paved trails, perfect for a nice, long bike ride through mostly forested areas. You likely won’t be alone on the trail, as it’s a hotspot for local cylists to get some miles under their belt.
Because of the paved paths, it’s a great spot to take your road bike out for a spin (and less exciting for mountain bikers looking for varied terrain). Along the trail, it’s common to see local wildlife like deer and birds, as well as local tree species like magnolias, birches, and black willows.
12. Huntsville State Park
Just past the far northern stretches of the greater Houston area lies Huntsville State Park, which is part of Sam Houston National Forest. Filled with tall pine trees, it’s a quiet, beautiful nature area that’s perfect for a Houston day hike or bike ride. Many of the biking trails will take you around the scenic Lake Raven.
With 21 miles of sandy dirt trails, one of the most popular of the Houston bike trails in Huntsville is an 8.5 miles loop trail around the park called the Triple C, which has lots of variety in terrain for avid mountain bikers. Another popular trail for bikers is the Chinquapin Trail, which is a 6.2 mile loop.
13. The Woodlands
For a suburban, tree-lined neighborhood feel, biking in The Woodlands is a scenic way to get some miles under your belt. While it’s not a park, The Woodlands area boasts 160 miles of trails linking all of the surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
The Woodlands is a suburb about an hour north of Houston, which has a large lake system, a high-end shopping area, and many residential communities, perfect for a quiet day of cycling. For extra fun, you can pair your bike ride with an afternoon of kayaking in the lake. You can view a map of cycling trails in the Woodlands here.
14. Galveston Island
While Galveston may seem an unlikely spot for cyclists, it’s actually got a handful of wonderful Houston bike trails to explore. With a historic downtown area, an expansive coastline, and a state park, there’s a ton of variety for cyclists in Galveston, making it an ideal spot to go biking in Houston.
The city of Galveston recently implemented multiple biking lanes on its major streets, and you can also cycle along the seawall for miles of coastal scenery. Generally, the biking areas consists of flat, paved roads with room for bikers on the shoulder and sidewalks. You can see a map of the various Galveston bike trails here.
Biking in Houston: Additional Resources
- 12 Beautiful Places to Go Running in Houston
- 15 Amazing Places to Go Hiking in and around Houston
- 10 Epic Places to Go Kayaking in Houston
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