Gay hiking

5 Great Houston Hiking Trails Worth Exploring

These trails, coupled with the benefits of a city that enjoys a year-round outdoor climate, can be great fun for weekend warriors, nature lovers, and those just looking to get out and explore the Greater Houston area.

Wherever you go, you’ll find plenty of beautiful spots in the middle of Houston’s bayou. Keep reading for 5 of our favorites.

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Trail

If you don’t want to stray too far from the city but still want to spend some time outdoors, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a great option. Located in the Memorial Park neighborhood, this underrated spot has a trail network that spans five miles. The trails are wide, well maintained and paved or boardwalk style which is great for accessibility.

View of the landscape from the Houston Arboretum Nature Center.

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The longest trail is a 1.76 mile loop around the entire park, but whichever trail you choose, it’s a great place to view wildlife. The conservation area is fun for all ages – there are tons of programs for adults and families, from a Sip & Stroll through the park with adult drinks to guided hikes and day camps for kids .

Find it: 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024-7708; 713-681-8433

Baytown Nature Center

Baytown, just 20 miles east of Houston, is home to the Baytown Nature Center which is located on a 450 acre peninsula surrounded by Burnet, Crystal and Scott Bays. Noted for its bird watching, its hardwood uplands, coastal marshes and freshwater wetlands provide habitat for 317 species of resident and migratory birds. The area also includes seven miles of hiking trails perfect for day hikes.

San Jacinto Monument, Deer Park, Texas, near Houston.  Shot at dawn.

San Jacinto Monument, Deer Park, Texas, near Houston. Shot at dawn.

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Hikers can enjoy the views from the San Jacinto Monument (a gargantuan tower commemorating the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution) and the Fred Hartman Bridge. In addition to guided hikes and a plethora of youth programs, once a month a free 90-minute Full Moon Hike welcomes nature lovers over the age of 13 to experience the wonders of nocturnal animal habitats. like raccoons, owls, coyotes, opossums and more.

Find it: 6213 Bayway Drive, Baytown, TX 77520; 281-424-9198

White Oak Bayou Trail

There are over 17 miles of hiking and biking trails and public green space in White Oak Bayou, encompassing several parks, all within Houston city limits. It includes Watonga Parkway Park (home to one of Houston’s largest bat roosts), TC Jester Park, Stude Park, Hogg Park, and White Oak Park, and is one of several local greenway projects in bayou.

Cyclists ride along the White Oak Bayou Trail on August 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

Cyclists ride along the White Oak Bayou Trail on August 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

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At the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo Bayou, a walking and biking trail was completed in 2018 connecting Houston residents to downtown neighborhoods, transit centers and parks. There’s also a 223-foot-long mural by artist Jane Kim that shows the year-round transformation of the region’s migratory birds, whose plumage changes seasonally to attract mates.

The White Oak Bayou Greenway intersects with the Houston Heights Walking and Biking Trail, winding through the historic Heights and Woodland Heights neighborhoods.

View the Bayou Greenways Map here.

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Would you believe that just 30 minutes north of the expanse of Houston, there is a wilderness area of ​​almost 5,000 acres that is full of hiking trails? At Lake Houston Wilderness Park, you’ll find over 20 miles of gravel trails, including the Ameri-Trail Forest Loop, a dog-friendly trail that loops 9.6 miles along a lake and across some wooded areas.

A man walks his dog on a Texas trail.

A man walks his dog on a Texas trail.

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It’s the only park in Houston that allows camping or overnight stays in one of its cabins. The park has abundant wildlife, as well as opportunities for running, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, fishing and horseback riding, although these are a BYOG setup (bring your own gear).

Find it: 25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357; 832-395-7690

Lone Star Hiking Trail

Anyone who doesn’t think Houston offers serious hiking hasn’t encountered the Lone Star Hiking Trail, which at 129 miles is the longest trail in the great state of Texas. Despite being in a typically flat region, on this trail you will actually gain over 3,500 feet in elevation. The trail winds through private and public property so good trail etiquette is encouraged.

Houston, Texas, USA, North America

Houston, Texas, USA, North America

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Enter the Huntsville State Park Trail and head to the Big Creek Scenic Area through the Sam Houston National Forest. It is dotted with Texas wildflowers, endless forests and bubbling streams. If you’re looking for walking partners, the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club meets twice a month to walk the trails together.

Find it: Huntsville State Park (entry point), 565 Park Road, 40 West, Huntsville, TX 77340; 936-344-6205

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