hiking trails in Houston

14 of the Best Nature and Hiking Trails in Houston

There are tons of hiking trails in Houston with lots of fun diversity for you to explore in and around the city!

Houston is an industrial city, so it might not be your first thought when you think about hiking and outdoor adventure, but the areas around the city are home to some of the best parks and trails for exploring nature and hiking through a wide variety of climates.

When it comes to hiking trails in Houston, there are some hidden gems in and around the city you’ll definitely want to see! You’ll find lots of diversity outside this big industrial city and plenty of perfect spots for outdoor adventure

Despite Houston’s urban vibe, it’s full of beautiful parks, nature spots, and hiking trails ideal for taking in some of the area’s natural beauty while getting some exercise.

Discover 14 of the best hiking trails near Houston and some of my favorites too.

hiking trails in Houston

The Best Hiking Trails in Houston

Hiking is the best way to enjoy a relaxing day outdoors while getting some exercise. If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape the hustle of downtown Houston, check out these 14 great hiking trails in the Houston area for your next adventure.

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Experience the 5.0-mile loop trail at Armand Bayou Nature Center less than 45 minutes outside Houston’s city center. This hiking trail is an easy trek that’s popular for hiking, mountain biking, and running. While it can get busy, it will only take 90 minutes to complete and there are lots of opportunities for quiet solitude. 

Big Thicket National Preserve

Approximately 40 miles of trails wind through Big Thicket National Preserve, providing hikers with many options for walking distances and experiences for hikers of all ages and abilities.

hiking trails in Houston

Eleven trails of varying lengths, from less than half a mile to 18 miles, lead through diverse plant communities, from bogs of carnivorous plants to stands of towering longleaf pines. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll fall in love with these hiking trails in Houston.

Brazos Bend State Park

The wetlands at Brazos Bend State Park are the perfect nature trails to explore on your next hike! You’ll find all kinds of wildlife including American alligators, feral pigs, and river otters. The hiking trails range from an easy ½ mile ADA trail to a six mile challenging hike through the backcountry of Brazos Bend. 

best hiking trails in Houston

Buffalo Bayou Park

Hiking along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou is quite an adventure! The Buffalo Bayou trail is a paved trail spanning 15 miles along the Bayou. It has beautiful views, including opportunities to view the Waugh Bridge bat colony. Hiking through Buffalo Bayou Park is accessible for people in wheelchairs and offers biking trails too.

hiking paths in Houston

Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park gives visitors the opportunity to explore four miles of trails through a variety of habitats. You’ll find observation platforms, photo blinds, and boardwalks to stroll through the marshes and over dunes. It’s one of the best hikes an hour outside of the greater Houston area.

George Bush Park Hike

Want to find the best trails for your family’s next hiking adventure? Check out the trails at George Bush Park. There are two easy trails the whole family can enjoy and one strenuous hike with 42 feet of elevation for more experienced hikers. 

Hermann Park Conservancy

The Hermann Park Conservancy offers many beautiful walking trails for hikers of all abilities to enjoy. Enjoy a stroll around the Jones Reflection Pool and McGovern Lake or relax with a nice walk through the Japanese Gardens. More advanced hikers can take the two-mile Marvin Taylor hiking trail around the Memorial Park golf course. 

best hiking in Houston

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a beautiful forested expanse of 5,000 acres just 30 miles north of Houston. You’ll find over 20 miles of nice trails there to escape the city and experience the great outdoors through a variety of experiences. Whether you’re hiking, mountain biking, birding, or horseback riding, you’ll find a trail that’s right for you.

Memorial Park

Houston’s Memorial Park features 10 different hiking trails throughout the park with varying levels of difficulty. There are 8 easy trails for the whole family to explore. Plus, more strenuous trails featuring 9 to 82 feet in elevation gain. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it at Memorial Park.

Houston hiking trails

Here are some of the trails to explore including the Seymour Liberman Exercise Trail, the Green Ridge Trail, The Triangle Trail, and the Clay Family Eastern Glades. The park also features several color-coded trails and loops including the red trail, the blue trail, the purple trail loop, the green loop, and the orange trail.

Sam Houston National Forest

Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the Sam Houston National Forest and all its beauty. The park features a National Recreation Trail called the Lone Star Hiking Trail. This 128-mile-long hiking path is marked with aluminum markers to guide hikers to three different recreation areas. 

The first section of the Lone Star Hiking Trail is the Lake Conroe section which stretches for 40 miles with four connecting loops. The central section of the trail begins at the Stubblefield Recreation area and covers almost 70 miles. Finally, the third section of the trail, which is 27 miles long, stretches through Winters Bayou, Tarkington Creek, Double Lake Play Area, and the Big Creek Scenic Area.

You can hike the lone star trail year-round, but it’s more crowded during the winter and spring seasons. Hikers can view a variety of wildlife, many ages and kinds of trees, and different plants as they travel through the national forest.

Stude Park Loop

The Stude Park Loop is a 0.8-mile loop hiking trail near Houston that’s an easy walk for just about anyone. The average person can complete the loop in just 15 minutes, making it the perfect little hike for your lunch break. 

The trail offers options for biking, running, and walking. Plus, it’s a great place to walk your dog year-round. There’s even a connection to the White Oak Bayou Greenway if you’re looking for a longer more adventurous hiking trail in Houston.

Terry Hershey Park

The Terry Hershey Park Hike & Bike Trail is named after Terry Hershey, a “force of nature” who mobilized the community in a conservation movement to protect the banks of Buffalo Bayou.

The hike and bike trail runs 10 miles along the Buffalo Bayou in western Houston, Texas. The Terry Hershey Park also offers restrooms, exercise stations, a play area, and places to picnic.

Watonga Parkway

Watonga Parkway Park features a short path with a small footbridge that’s popular with local skateboarders. The short trail connects to a section of the White Oak Bayou Greenway. If you’re looking for a skate park in Houston, you might want to check this hidden hiking spot out.

White Oak Bayou Greenway

The White Oak Bayou hiking trail is long and satisfying. It’s a great way to bike through the business district to West Houston. This paved trail runs along the bayou for seventeen miles featuring beautiful water views for bikers and walkers alike.

hiking near Houston

Summing Up The Best Hiking Trails In Houston

Do you know of a great spot for mountain bikers or to go hiking in Houston? What about a dog park, or a park for nature lovers that I forgot to mention? Share your favorite short and long trail spots in and around Houston in the comments. I can’t wait to read them and check out a few of your favorites with my family too!

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