Houston isn’t necessarily known for its nature, but it might surprise you to know that Huston is actually filled with plenty of natural areas and hiking trails for you to enjoy.
There are hiking trails located within its borders and close by that are suitable for all abilities and ages, and if you look hard enough, you’re sure to find some absolute gems.
There are some hiking trails in Houston that really stand out from the rest and that is because they are absolutely beautiful.
The best kinds of hikes come with incredible views, and Huston has so many to offer.
If you’re in the mood for a hike, but you want to go somewhere beautiful, then you have come to the right place!
We have put together a list of 14 of the most stunning hiking trails in all of Houston that you need to check out today!
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to hike within the city, or you want to immerse yourself further in nature, you are sure to find the perfect hiking trail on this list.
Each of these trails is incredibly beautiful and easy to get to from Houston.
You won’t find any other trails like these, so have a look for yourself and see which ones you are drawn to the most!
1. Spring Creek Greenway
Spring Creek Greenway is a great hiking trail to visit if you are looking for stunning scenery that is also appropriate for all hiking abilities.
There are over 5 miles of trails for you to explore, and you can take part in many activities all along them.
Some of the most popular activities include horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking.
If you venture far enough into the trails, you will find a beautiful, secluded lake that is surrounded by cypress trees.
This is a great spot to visit if you want to go fishing or just take a break from your hike.
This trail can get quite busy, especially on the weekends, but it’s such a beautiful hike that it’s almost criminal to pass up visiting!
2. Peach Creek Trail
You can find Peach Creek Trail about an hour away from the city center of Houston, so it’s not too far away and easy to get to.
It’s quite secluded at Peach Creek Trail, so you can enjoy it without having to worry about big crowds.
The scenery is absolutely stunning here, so you won’t get bored and you will feel incredibly relaxed while you hike.
Most of the trails are through beautiful woodlands, but as you get further in, you will find a fantastic creek and there are even access points on the creek so you can swim in it in the warmer months.
Peach Creek Trail is widely regarded as one of the more unique hiking trails in all of Houston, so you should definitely visit if you have the chance!
It has the perfect balance of woodland and incredibly refreshing water, making it a wonderful place to hike in the summer.
3. Quail Trail
The Quail Trail is not too far away from the city center of Houston and it can be accessed via the Blue Jay Trail that hugs the Buffalo Bayou.
Because Houston is quite a flat city, this trail is perfect for anyone who wants a change in elevation and scenery without having to travel too far away.
There are lots of things to see on the Quail Trail, so you won’t get bored as you venture down it.
With almost 12 miles of trail to explore, there are plenty of shaded areas for you to take a break in, as well as waterfront views, and it is perfect for all ages and hiking skill levels.
If you have a sharp eye, you will also be able to spot the wildlife that is located on the trail.
Along the Quail Trail is Terry Hershey Park, which is a fantastic place to see beautiful sunsets.
Overall, the Quail Trail is incredibly relaxing and beautiful to look at, and it will keep you entertained all day when you visit.
4. Elm Lake Loop Trail
The Elm Lake Loop Trail is a relatively short hiking trail that is just shy of 2 miles. You can find it in Brazos Bend.
It’s roughly an hour’s drive away from the city, but it’s definitely worth the trip because it is absolutely beautiful.
There is plenty of nature along the Elm Lake Loop Trail.
You will be able to see fantastic swamps and huge trees, as well as plenty of wildlife scattered throughout.
The Elm Lake Loop Trail is home to many alligators, and you’re more than likely to see some for yourself when you visit!
You do have to pay a small fee at the gate to get it, but because it’s such a beautiful location with lots of amazing things to see, it’s definitely worth it.
Other forms of wildlife besides the many alligators you will see include herons, deer, ibis, and egrets.
If you do see some alligators on your stroll through Elm Lake, just make sure that you don’t get too close!
5. Houston Arboretum And Nature Center Outer Loop Trail
This 2-and-a-half-mile trail is located in the largest urban park in all of Texas and it is incredibly family-friendly.
The main trails are regularly maintained and checked on and it’s a very easy hike, so regardless of your hiking ability, you’re sure to have a fantastic time here.
As the trail is a part of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, you will get to explore and see many incredible habitats and interesting locations all along the trail.
Some points of interest include insect houses and educational field stations.
There are also The Alice Brown Loop and Ravine Overlook paths that are extremely close to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Outer Loop Trail, and although they aren’t actually a part of this trail, they are definitely worth mentioning, because they are just as beautiful.
This is a great place to visit if you are looking for a quick and easy getaway from the city and you want to immerse yourself in diverse and beautiful natural habitats.
6. Clapper Rail Trail To Egret Loop To Heron’s Walk Trail
When people think of stunning hiking trails, they usually think of forests, mountains, and parks, but this trail is unique because it’s actually located next to the ocean!
The Clapper Rail Trail is located on Galveston Island and it’s about an hour and a half’s drive away from downtown Houston (Also check out The Best Breweries In Houston).
This is a fantastic place to go hiking because it is a little bit different from the usual trails and you will find lots of amazing things to see here.
Because this trail is right next to the ocean, you can take a break and dip your toes in the sand.
The beaches are all incredibly beautiful and relaxing, which largely contributes to why this is one of the best and most stunning hiking trails in all of Houston.
You can see lots of wildlife in the area as well, and because it’s near water, you will see lots of coastal birds, and wildflowers, and there is a lovely sea breeze that is sure to make you feel relaxed.
This trail is also a fantastic place to go and watch the sunset because there will be no buildings obstructing your view!
7. Rice University Running Trail
You can find the Rice University Running Trail only a couple of minutes away from the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail.
This trail is pretty flat overall and it is suitable for beginners, but it’s also a great trail to walk on when you just want something simple and relaxing.
The Rice University Running Trail gets a spot on this list because of how accessible it is and it allows multiple people of various abilities to get out in nature.
It is located on the campus of Rice University, but there are plenty of fantastic towering oaks to see as you walk, as well as some urban wildlife that you can look out for.
It’s a bit more natural than some of the other urban trails in the area as well.
Another great thing about the Rice University Trail is that it is 100% dog friendly, so if you’re looking for somewhere to take your dogs out for a good bit of exercise, this is the perfect place.
You will have to keep them on their leash though, so just keep that in mind before you
8. Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail
You can find the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail just ten minutes away from downtown Houston, so you don’t even need to drive there or travel far in order to enjoy it.
Because it is so close to downtown Houston, that means that it is close to the Museum District and Hermann Park, so if you go early in the day, you can visit these places later!
This is one of the most convenient trails on this list because it offers a beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, without completely removing yourself from it.
There are lots of beautiful historic oaks located along the trail and plenty of workout stations, so it’s also a great place to work out amongst nature.
This trail is also lit up really well at night, so if you’d prefer to go on a nighttime stroll, you can do so without feeling unsafe, and you’ll have an absolutely beautiful view of the city!
9. Lone Star Hiking Trail
Before we get into this trail and why it’s so good, it’s important to know that the Lone Star Hiking Trail isn’t designed for beginners or people who don’t hike too often.
There are over 92 miles of trails on this hike and the elevation can get as high as 3,000 feet!
The Lone Star Hiking Trail is actually the longest continuous trail in all of Texas, and it can be found about an hour away from downtown Houston.
Lots of the trail is located within the Sam Houston National Forest, and you can leave along any of the points that are marked out, so you can take this hike at your own pace and come again another day if you need to.
You can even go backpacking and camping along this trail because it’s so massive and even experienced hikers will need to take breaks, especially if they are planning on doing the whole thing!
Because it is so large though, you can just check out the shorter sections if you don’t have a day or two to camp and do the whole thing.
The Lone Star Hiking Trail is home to many stretches of just straight wilderness, but it is clearly marked and maintained, so it’s quite safe to traverse.
The whole trail is diverse and beautiful and perfect for people who want to get some serious hiking in without having to travel too far away from the city.
10. Pilant Lake To Bluestem Trail And Riverview Trail
These trails are found in Brazos Bend State Park and they stretch on for just over 15 miles.
Because they are located in Brazos Bend State Park, you can expect to find plenty of alligators along the trail, so when you do come across them, make sure to keep your distance!
This is a great trail to hike down if you are looking for a longer hike that is a bit more of a challenge than some of the simpler trails.
There is a lot of diverse scenery along this trail as well, so the views are anything but boring!
You will traverse through woodlands, riverside walkways, wetlands, bayous, and more!
Along with the alligators, there are also plenty of water birds that you can see here, along with other forms of wildlife, so the whole hike is very lively!
You can hike these trails all year, but the best time to go is between the months of March and October.
You will also need to pay a small fee to enter the park, but it’s worth it to really immerse yourself in nature.
11. Green Ridge Trail
The Green Ridge Trail is close to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and it is within the boundaries of Memorial Park (Also check out Best State Parks Near Houston).
This trail stretches for about 2.5 miles and it is full of beautiful wildflowers and lush greenery.
Most of the paths are made of dirt, which actually makes it a very popular spot for mountain bikers, so be mindful of them if you choose to go for a hike or walk here.
The dirt paths make the whole trail a bit more challenging, which is perfect for anyone who wants to go on a more challenging hike.
Dogs are also welcome on this trail, but you need to keep them on their leash and they have to be calm around bikes because there will be a lot of them on this trail!
12. Buffalo Bayou Loop
This trail loop will take you on a wonderful round trip around the shores of the bayous found in Houston.
This loop is perfect for anyone who wants a bit of nature and a bit of the city because it perfectly balances them both!
The Buffalo Bayou Loop trail has both paved and dirt sections for you to explore and this means that you can choose which ones to go down, meaning you will find a route that is perfect for your own skill level.
There are lots to see along the trail as well.
If you enjoy skateboarding, there is a wonderful 30,000 square-foot skate park, if you enjoy cemetery walks, there is the historic Glenwood Cemetery, and there are also plenty of parks for you to stop and take a break in.
13. Sundew Trail
This trail doesn’t even cover a mile, but it’s got a place on this list because it is incredibly beautiful!
For such a small trail, there is plenty for you to see on the Sundew Trail, and you won’t be disappointed when you visit.
Surprisingly, Sundew Trail is incredibly diverse in its habitats and you can alternate between mystical pine forests and hot, open savannahs along your walk.
This is probably one of the best hikes to go on if you want some amazing pictures for social media or you just want to be surrounded by stunning views.
Because it has a boarded walkway along pretty much the whole trail, this makes Sundew Trail incredibly family-friendly and not too hard to traverse, regardless of your skill level.
It is a 2-hour drive from the city center to get here, but once you visit it for yourself, you will see that the extra distance is incredibly worth it!
14. White Oak Bayou Hike And Bike Trail
Our final trail isn’t too far away from downtown Houston, and like Sundew Trail, it is less than a mile in length!
This is one of the more urban trails on the list, but it’s perfect for anyone who wants a beautiful hike that is relatively easy and very close to the city.
The trail is also wheelchair and stroller friendly, so it’s definitely more inclusive than some of the other trails on this list.
There are quite a few hiking trails near and close to Houston, and the ones we have listed as definitely the best and most stunning!
When you next fancy a hike, check these trails out for yourself!
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