UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
There's no denying our city's roads aren't the most bike-friendly. Luckily, there are plenty of great trails scattered across H-town. So, the next time you’re planning a ride, hop on one of these go-to routes.
A beautiful urban oasis found just west of downtown, the Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail is more than 10 miles of cemented pathway. It’s really the perfect place to start your ride. Loop around and enjoy the hilly course and whimsical flora. Or, add on some 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 pedestrians always end up on the bike path, so watch out.
Snaking along T.C. Jester from The Heights to way outside of the Loop, this is a perfect medium-distance ride for when you don't have a ton of time to get a workout in. Go here for more than 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 an easily-accessible ride 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 to any number of longer-distance routes. Or, go here for a leisurely ride on a nice day for epic views of the city. Just don't be surprised if you're joined by handfuls of other cyclists, runners, and walkers, as this is a popular and heavily-trafficked path. Fitt Tip: Black Swan Yoga is right off the trail with a JuiceLand inside. Bike, yoga, juice, and repeat — we can't think of a better combo.
Alright, so this is pretty outside of 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 time in nature. 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, so make sure you bring some cash.
West Side dwellers, we have a trail for you. The Anthills Trail in Terry Hershey Park offers around 10 miles of rolling hills for you to tackle. And since it’s located near I-10, you won’t have to go too far to find it. But when you do, you'll be cruising along bayou, crushing both uphill climbs and downhill sections. Bonus: the Anthills Trail also connects to George Bush Park, and if you add another fifteen miles from there, you can make it all the way to Katy.
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 wits about you because the trails are also open to walkers/runners.
Katy bikers, this is your trail! Stretching for almost 11 miles from the heart of Katy toward Highway 6, George Bush Park should be the spot for your next ride. Featuring a wide asphalt trail, you won't have to worry about feeling cramped or having to bob and weave around other cyclists or runners, there's plenty of room to share the route. Want 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 2.5-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 take in the 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, so you should expect to see some crowds at peak times.
The Jack Brooks Park Trail is around six miles long, but is not for the faint of heart. If you’re up for a challenge (and a drive out toward 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. It's plenty forested, though, which makes this trail a great option when you want to enjoy the outdoors but are also trying to avoid the unrelenting Houston heat.
They don’t call Houston Bayou City for nothing! Another one of Houston’s newest projects, the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail spans over 30 miles on the south side of Houston. While some areas are still under construction (but should be completed soon), 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-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 load off 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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