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WHERE TO RIDE: HOUSTON’S BEST BIKE TRAILS

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Molly Mayo

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If you’ve braved the roads of Houston on a bike, then you probably know that Houston’s roads are not super bike-friendly. Bike lanes are sprinkled here and there, but it’s still hard to make a complete route without some questionable stretches on busy roads. So, where do Houstonians ride?

Luckily, there are tons of great bike-friendly trails scattered across Houston. Next time you’re planning a ride, be sure to include one of these awesome trails on your route!

A beautiful urban oasis found just west of downtown, the Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail is a five-mile loop of cemented trails. It’s really the perfect place to start your ride. Loop around and enjoy the hilly course and whimsical flora. Or ramp up your mileage by connecting to the Heights Hike and Bike Trail. How do you do that? Stick to the north side of the bayou and take the sharp left turn that’s basically under UH Downtown. Fitt Tip: There are separate bike and pedestrian paths, but somehow always pedestrians on the bike path. Gotta swerve!

This is the newest cement bike trail, snaking along T.C. Jester from The Heights to way outside of the Loop. Go here for 15 miles of uninterrupted trails — emphasis on uninterrupted! This trail is the city’s answer to pedestrian-cluttered park routes. The White Oak Bayou Greenway also connects with the Heights Hike and Bike Trail. So you can enjoy some distance whether you’re coming from downtown or the north side burbs.

We’ve mentioned it twice already — it’s a big deal! Use this trail to connect your larger route. Or go here for a leisurely ride on a nice day. Plus, Black Swan Yoga is right off the trail… with a JuiceLand inside. Is there a better fit combo? Bike, yoga, juice, and repeat! (Psst — JuiceLand is one of our fav juice spots in Houston.)

Alright, so this is pretty out of the way from Houston. But it’s worth your attention because Huntsville State Park offers over 20 miles of rugged mountain biking trails. And it’s a Texas State Park, so you get to escape the city for some good ol’ fashioned nature time. Drive out and back in one day or make a weekend of it by packing up the camping supplies too! Oh, and heads up: the entrance fee is $5 per person!

West Side dwellers, we have a trail for you! The Anthills Trail in Terry Hershey Park offers over 11 miles of rolling hills. And since it’s located near I-10, you won’t have to go far to find it. Just look out for ants! Just kidding — this trail’s actually named for it’s baby-sized hills. But no matter the size of the incline, you’ll still be flying through this course. Bonus: The Anthills Trail also connects to George Bush Park, so you can add another 11 miles and make it all the way to Katy!

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It’s not everyday that road bikers AND mountain bikers love the same spot. The centrally-located Memorial Park has everything you need though! Ride around the smoothly paved Picnic Loop that’s perfect for road bikers. Or head to the southwest corner of the park to find a few different trailheads (and a map) for your mountain biking pleasure. Just keep your head on a swivel because the trails are also open to walkers/runners!

Katy bikers, this is your trail! Stretching for over 11 miles from the heart of Katy towards Highway 6, George Bush Park should be your next cruise. The asphalt trail is pretty wide too, so these trails are definitely considered family-friendly. Need to go the distance? You can connect with the aforementioned Anthills Trail in Terry Hershey Park to make one epic long ride. Ride on!

Zube Park (pronounced zoo-bee) is most known in the biking community for being the starting spot for the North West Cycling Club. Starting from ‘Zoo-Bee’ park up in Cypress, you and the group can make routes along the roads to rack up 60 miles. Meet NWCC every Saturday (rain or shine!) for a group ride to see what the area is all about. Seriously, 25 years and rolling — they know what’s up!

This park near Kingwood has a paved three-mile loop that overlooks Lake Houston. It’s an incredible spot for a relaxing loop (or two!) with a small group of friends. Have a picnic and views of the lake when you’re done exploring the trail by bike. Just be wary — this place is no secret for Houstonians on the northeast side of town! You should expect to see some crowds at peak times.

The Jack Brooks Park Trail is just over six miles long, but is not for the faint of heart. If you’re up for a challenge (and a drive out towards Galveston), read on! These mountain bike trails are for experienced riders, so you should expect to encounter some technical trail features and roots. Lots and lots of roots. And did we mention spiders? The park sometimes gets Golden Orb spiders in the summertime. Don’t worry too much though — they’re completely safe. Just there to scare you!

They don’t call Houston Bayou City for nothing! Another one of Houston’s newest projects, the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail spans 30 miles on the southside of Houston. While some areas are still under construction, this trail does a great job connecting some of the city’s major attractions like NRG stadium, Rice University, Hermann Park, and The University of Houston, just to name a few. Fitt Tip: Plan a stop in Hermann Park by crossing the Bill Coats Bridge – a structural masterpiece that also happens to resemble bicycle wheels!

Just 30 minutes outside of Houston you’ll find the largest forested urban greenway in the US. Make your way to the trail heads at the Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center and Dennis Johnston Park and set out on a peaceful 20.7-mile ride surrounded by nature. The bike route is paved, but don’t be surprised if you see a few deer or other curious wildlife along the way. Take a pit stop at one of the creek’s sandy beaches and dip your feet (or your fishing pole) in the water. Either way, the Spring Creek Greenway Trail is the perfect way to experience the great outdoors!

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Stay up to date on what’s happening in Houston’s health and fitness scene.