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“Houston, we have a problem. We don’t know where to ride our bikes around your awesome city”
Well, fear not! We’ve put together some of the best and most scenic Houston bike rides so you can explore the city’s greenways and bike trails while enjoying the outdoors.
Many of the city’s trails were once railroads and have now been repurposed into paved hiking and biking trails.
Many of these venture alongside creeks and bayous, and are generally away from roads and traffic, making them safer for all cyclists. But there are also mountain biking trails if you’d prefer some off-roading through nature.
11 Best Bike Rides In And Around Houston, TX
1. White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail
The White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail runs alongside White Oak Bayou for around 17 miles. The trail begins near Shady Grove Lane and runs to where the White Oak Bayou meets the Buffalo Bayou, near North San Jacinto Street in Downtown Houston. You can also link up with the Buffalo Bayou Trail at this point.
The trail can be a peaceful place to cycle, running mostly through parkland and green spaces. But you can also get fantastic views of the Houston skyline as you head toward downtown.
2. Buffalo Bayou Trail
The Buffalo Bayou Bike Trail (also known as the Sandy Reed Memorial Trail) stretches from Memorial Park to Lockwood Drive. This can be a great place to cycle with spectacular views of the city skyline. There are also plenty of stretches with lots of trees, which can provide much-needed shade in the summer.
The trail runs alongside Buffalo Bayou, through parks, and can be easily linked up with the White Oak Bayou Trail at the eastern end of downtown.
You can also connect with the various off-road biking trails located within Memorial Park if you want a longer ride through woodland areas. Memorial Park also has plenty of parking and picnic areas.
3. Heights Hike And Bike Trail
The Heights Trail begins in Houston Heights and runs into downtown Houston. Also known as the MKT Trail, this path follows the route of what once was the Missouri Kansas Texas railroad line.
It’s a wide, paved trail that can be an easy ride through residential areas, parks, and urban areas, with views of the Houston skyline along the route. The Heights Trail also runs near to other trails, including White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou, so it can be easy to link up for extended cycling routes with plenty of places to stop.
4. Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Lake Houston Wilderness Park is around 30 miles outside the city. It can be a great place to bring your bike for an off-road adventure. You can even camp in the park. There are several miles of trails through forests, with ponds, swamps, and creeks as backdrops. It can also be a great spot for wildlife viewing, with a nature center on-site.
This can be an ideal place for mountain biking. However, some sections of the trails can become muddy after wet weather. The Ameri-Trail can be a good trail to try out as it runs alongside the creeks and there are plenty of places to stop along the way, including little beaches.
5. Triple C Trail
About an hour’s drive north of Houston is Huntsville State Park, where you’ll find the Triple C Trail. This is an eight-and-a-half-mile loop trail that takes you through the wilderness where you can spot a variety of wildlife. Be on the lookout for alligators and bald eagles.
The trails are made for both hiking and biking, so it can be a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for walkers. Several other trails within the park can be linked up for extended rides. The park also has campsites and opportunities for boating and fishing if you wanted to make a weekend of it.
6. George Bush Park
George Bush Park covers 7,800 acres and offers paved trails through forests and green space in the west of the city.
There are swamps and creeks, as well as Buffalo Bayou, so it can be an ideal place to spot wildlife and get away from the noise of the city. However, you may hear the noise of the nearby shooting range.
The trails within the park can be easily connected to other trails in the city, including the Buffalo Bayou Greenway, which can be accessed from the northeast of the park.
7. Mason Creek Trail
Mason Creek Trail can be found near Katy, just northwest of Houston. This can be an ideal spot to cycle if you’re looking for a shorter route for riding with young kids.
There are two trails – north and south. The northern trail is just off Porter Road. The southern one runs from near Rick Rice Park, south of I-10, until it reaches George Bush Park and can connect with additional trails.
The northern trail is fully paved and runs alongside a creek and through a wetland area with ducks and other wildlife.
The southern trail runs along the creek and can be easily connected to the various trails within George Bush Park.
8. Armand Bayou Trail
The Armand Bayou Bike Trail in Pasadena runs through woodland and alongside the bayou. With plenty of shade from the trees, this can be an ideal spot to escape the hot sun and enjoy nature.
This can be a good place for wildlife viewing during your ride. The gravel trail is just over five miles long but there are several points where you can cross the bayou to wind along a different route before rejoining the main trail. There’s parking at the trailhead off Fairmont Parkway and at the southern end at Holly Bay Court Park.
9. Clear Lake Bay Area
The Bay Area, home to NASA Space Center, can be a great place for views across Clear Lake, Armand Bayou, and Galveston Bay. There is a shared hike and bike trail that runs along the shores of Clear Lake and around the Armand Bayou Nature Center. A section of the trail on East NASA Parkway is on-street.
You can choose to continue biking on-street along East NASA Parkway to Todville Road in Seabrook for views out over Galveston Bay. It’s also possible to ride in a loop using on-street trails. You can begin at Clear Lake Park where there is parking, as well as restrooms.
10. Brazos Bend Trails
Brazos Bend State Park is just 45 miles southwest of downtown Houston and can be ideal for all levels of cyclists, including families with kids. The park has several trails that can be linked up for extended routes. These trails can let you cycle through forests of trees covered in Spanish moss, alongside creeks and bayous, and around lakes.
This can be a fantastic area for wildlife viewing, with many species of birds inhabiting the park, as well as alligators. There are also other activities in the park, which can appeal to kids after they’ve been biking, such as playgrounds and nature viewing areas. Camping is available in the park.
You can also ride on-street from the state park with routes that can give you far-reaching views across fields and farmland before you loop back to the state park.
11. Cypress Creek Trail
Cypress Creek Trail is a paved trail that winds alongside the creek and through parks and woodland. Because of all the trees, this can be a good spot to beat the summer heat and get out of the sun.
The trail also features sections of single-track and mountain biking trails that can be connected and the paved sections.
You can access the trail just off Grant Road, opposite Grantwood Park, and ride through the 100 Acre Wood Preserve. However, you may find it easier to access the trail from the 100 Acre Wood Trailhead where there is parking and easy access to the mountain biking trails. You’ll also find restrooms at the trailhead parking area.
Bike Rentals And Tours Around Houston
There are a few places around Houston where you can rent bikes or take a tour. The city also has many bicycle sharing stations where you can rent a bike from one location and drop it off at another, to help you get from A to B. You can also rent bikes daily for extended trips.
- Bike Barn (White Oak Bayou/Buffalo Bayou – rentals and tours)
- Bike Barn Spring Branch (George Bush Park/Mason Creek – rentals)
- Houston BCycle (Various/Bike sharing – rentals)
- Eco EZ-Riders (Lake Houston Wilderness Park/Triple C Trail/Cypress Creek Trail – rentals)
- Eado Bike Co. (Bay Area/Brazos Bend/Buffalo Bayou – rentals)
Houston Bike Laws
Before you set off on your bike in Houston it can be important to be aware of the state and local laws on cycling. We have included some of the regulations as a simple guide but this should not be taken as legal advice.
- Helmets are required for all children under 14 who are either a passenger on a bike or operating a bike themselves. There is no adult law requiring helmets, but it’s recommended that all adults wear a helmet while cycling, especially when riding with traffic.
- On public roads, all cyclists should follow the Texas Motor Vehicle Laws for operation. This includes following all road signs and riding with the flow of traffic.
- Group riding on roads is limited to no more than two abreast. Where there is a laned road, you can take the lane while riding two abreast as long as you are traveling at the same speed as traffic.
- Lights and reflectors are required for nighttime riding. A white headlight is required as well as either a red reflector or red light at the back, visible from 300 and 500 feet respectively.
- Cycling under the influence of alcohol is not specifically against the law in Texas. However, you may still face a DWI charge or other charges if you are found to be cycling dangerously and are over the blood alcohol limit of 0.08%.
- E-Bikes can be ridden following the same rules as a traditional bicycle. These can be ridden on roads and bike paths unless otherwise forbidden. There is also no specific law that prevents them from being ridden on sidewalks, unless specifically forbidden.
- No bikes should be ridden on the sidewalk in the business districts.
Houston has some fantastic opportunities to get on your bike and explore. There are miles and miles of paved trails, as well as road routes and mountain biking trails, with varying lengths to keep you going for as long as you like.
Despite being a large urban environment, there are also plenty of chances to view wildlife and enjoy natural surroundings without traveling too far from downtown.
Hopefully, you can check out some of these trails and let us know which one you