Despite Houston’s reputation for being one of the nation’s fattest cities, the Bayou City has several great biking trails in and around the metro area for those who want to get out and get some exercise. Whether you're an experienced mountain biker looking for challenging terrain or simply wanting a leisurely ride on clean, paved road, there are plenty of good trails to choose from. Here are some of the best.
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If you're willing to make the drive out to Galveston County, Jack Brooks Park is well worth the trip, especially for mountain bikers. You can complete the trail in an hour or two, and the terrain is challenging but friendly with lots of hills and smooth drops.
This trail is a favorite among experienced cyclists for a number of reasons — not least of which is because it is one-way. That means riders can go fast down stretches without worrying about risking a head-on collision. Like Memorial Park and Terry Hershey, Jack Brooks Park has an "expert" section that should only be taken by experienced mountain bikers.
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Though there are two trails to choose from at Memorial Park, the one you should check out is the Little Cambodia trail. The other trail, dubbed Ho Chi Minh, is usually frequented by the area’s runners/walkers. First-timers heed warning: Little Cambodia trail has some big drops, big turns, and lots of stuff to get caught up in.
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Terry Hershey Park's Anthills Trail
If you like mountain biking, Terry Hershey Park's The Anthills Trail is MTB heaven. The trail has plenty of fun little dips and turns to keep it interesting and — if you're not careful — could send you into the bayou. The trail can sometimes close due to weather or muddy conditions, so watch for closure announcements on the park's website or Facebook page. Paved paths for traditional biking or walking are also available.
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For less experienced cyclists, or those looking to take it easy, the biking trail at George Bush Park near Katy could accurately be described as a warm-up course. It’s about two miles long, with no parts terribly difficult to traverse, save for a couple of uphill treks. The path is not a loop, so plan accordingly.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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This trail is 20 miles of urban biking and/or hiking. It’s only somewhat hilly, and shouldn’t pose too many problems — besides, of course, the whole 20 miles long thing. As with many of Houston's bike trails, parts of the trail come very close to the bayou, which (depending on how much you like danger) can be thrilling or terrifying. Either way, be careful.
Parts of the trails were damaged during the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and are still under repair. While most of the upper trails are clear, some lower trails might still have debris or equipment. Exercise caution, and keep an eye out for unintended obstacles along the path.
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Heights Hike and Bike Trail
Bikers who prefer a smoother, more leisurely ride or who have kids in tow might like the Heights Hike and Bike Trail. The bulk of the trail goes along 7th Street in the Historic Heights neighborhood, and quick detours can take you to some of the city's best eateries like Revival Market and Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts, as well as the all-wood playground at Donovan Park. The trail is a favorite among Heights residents not just for exercise but to commute as well. Take it long enough, and the trail will take you into downtown.