Houston might be a bustling metropolis, but it’s no novice when it comes to green spaces. Despite being the fourth most populous city in the United States, its shown commitment to keeping large areas of the city luscious and green. The city has 366 parks and over 125 miles of hiking and biking trails, so there’s a lot of ground to cover! We’ve narrowed it down so that when you want to stretch your legs in Houston, you know you’re going to get a beautiful trail with serene surroundings. Here are 7 of the best walks in Houston.
Best Walks in Houston
1. Buffalo Bayou Loop
Length: 4.8 miles
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes
Also known as the Sandy Reed Memorial Trail, this trail loops around the Buffalo Bayou, a slow-moving waterway that flows through the city. You’ll get to enjoy views of the Houston city skyline, as well as traverse through 20.2 acres of lush greenery and trees. It’s a popular spot for mountain biking, bird watching, and hiking, so you’ll come across plenty of other people enjoying the loop. You’ll love the escape from the city, without actually having to leave the city. The loop’s mature oaks and pecans, native plant gardens, and wetlands offer a welcome refuge among the skyscrapers. And keep an eye out for alligators and snapping turtles in the water itself!
2. Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary
Length: 1 mile
Duration: 20 minutes
This is a short trail, but you can easily spend longer here exploring the woods, watching out for birds and butterflies. It’s particularly beautiful in the morning when the sunlight bounces through the encaved trees. And if you’re someone that doesn’t enjoy the Houston heat, there’s plenty of shade here. Rather than a regular park, Edith L. Moore is a conservation sanctuary, so you’re bound to spot native birds and wildlife along the path and in the creek. It’s a beautiful and enchanting walk, truly an escape from city life.
3. Houston Arboretum & Nature Preserve Outer Loop Trail
Length: 2.6 miles
Duration: 50 minutes
There are 5 miles of trails across this 155-acre sanctuary. This nature sanctuary offers urban dwellers an opportunity to escape the brick and concrete to learn about the surroundings of this nature preserve. It’s a very popular place to visit – sometimes the best places always are! But if you don’t want to be in the mix of too many people, this is the loop for you. While the Houston Arboretum has many trails, this one is slightly less travelled. It’s an easy but beautiful walk, with windy bridges and viewing decks. Watch out for armadillos, turtles, butterflies, and cardinals!
4. Seymour Liberman Exercise Trail
Length: 2.9 miles
Duration: 50 minutes
This route is particularly popular with joggers, but a leisurely walk is still good exercise whilst giving you more time to enjoy your surroundings. The Seymour Liberam Exercise Trail loops around the Memorial Park which has a golf course, a driving range, baseball fields, and tennis courts, so there is plenty to to do if you fancy a pitstop along the way. And if nearly 3 miles is too much for you or your young ones, there are plenty of opportunities make the loop shorter. But we imagine you’ll love travelling through the lovely trees too much to cut it short.
5. Green Ridge Trail
Length: 2.5 miles
Duration: 45 minutes
This is another trail that travels through the Memorial Park, but while the Seymour Liberman trail is fairly easy, this trail packs more of a punch. Many people make the mistake of thinking this is going to be a leisurely walk, it’s more of a hike! Be sure to pack water and dress accordingly. It’s a fun trail with hidden paths, some elevation, creeks, and exposed tree roots – you won’t feel like you’re in the middle of Downtown Houston. Watch out for armadillos, rabbits, squirrels, and turtles.
6. Cullen Park Trail
Length: 8 miles
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes
If you’re looking for a great way to kick off your weekend, we highly recommend this walk. While it’s 8 miles out and back, it’s a fairly flat walk so it can get done in good time. The perfect remedy for dusting off those weekdays’ cobwebs! It’s a little bit bumpy, but nothing your walking boots can’t handle. One of the great benefits of this walk is, that it’s mostly shaded by the encaved trees. When the Houston heat hits 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be delighted you chose such a shady route.
7. Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail
Length: 2 miles
Duration: 35 minutes
This trail in Hermann Park has something for everyone. It has cityscape views, thanks to its proximity to Downtown Houston, it passes through a beautiful forest area, loops around a golf course, passes by a zoo, and leads you to a Japanese Garden. The park’s Japanese Garden was designed by Tokyo landscape Ken Nakajima and spreads across 5.5 acres, featuring koi ponds, luscious plants, and a quaint teahouse. Despite so much going on in this park, this route is pretty secluded and peaceful, but you’ll still see the odd jogger or walker.