Fall is finally in sight, and Houstonians are getting ready to enjoy the great outdoors once again. Texas is home to many national forests and preserves great for those looking for a taste of adventure. Check out these great spots for hiking near Houston.

Hiking Near Houston

From swamps and bayous to forests and lakes, Houston is surrounded by beautiful nature stations and preserves. Check out our infographic or read on below for five great reasons to don your hiking boots, breathe some fresh air, and even take a dip!

hiking near houston infographic

Spring Creek Greenway

Only a few miles north of the Houston metropolitan area is the Spring Creek Greenway trail. This is a great and easy option for those looking to spend an afternoon outdoors with the family without dropping a dime on fancy hiking gear. This trail’s paved paths are perfect for easy mountain biking or a nice family drive.

  • Distance from Houston: 33 miles
  • Total Trails: 20.7 miles
  • Features: river, forests, kid-friendly, dog-friendly, wheelchair accessible

Brazos Bend State Park

Looking for an excuse to take out the camera and binoculars? If you’re looking for quality hiking near Houston with a heavy emphasis on wildlife, Brazos Bend is your best bet. This state park offers hiking and biking trails, a wetlands path perfect for birdwatching, equestrian trails, and campsites.

  • Distance from Houston: 46 miles
  • Total Trails: 37 miles
  • Features: wildlife, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, picnic pavilions

Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve has everything a nature-lover could ask for. This nationally protected  preserve offers cypress bayous, pine forests, diverse plants and animals, marshes, swamps, and more! Whether you’re into hunting, camping, or just enjoying the fresh air, Big Thicket has something for everyone. It’s well worth the longer drive, we promise.

  • Distance from Houston: 90 miles
  • Total Trails: 40 miles
  • Features: biodiversity, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, camping, carnivorous plants

Sam Houston National Forest

This massive forest — aside from being breathtakingly beautiful — hosts evidence of human occupation dating back 12 thousand years. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate this park, however, because the Sam Houston National Forest has it all. Enjoy one of the three camping grounds for a fun weekend, or pack your bags and attempt the forest’s legendary, 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail.

  • Distance from Houston: 50 miles
  • Total Trails: more than 200 miles combined of hiking and off-road vehicle trails
  • Features: archeological sites, hunting, fishing, camping, cabins

Memorial Park

If you don’t feel like loading up the car, just look in your own backyard. Houston’s Memorial Park may not offer the most remote experience on this list, but it is a wonderful place to get those steps in nearby. This park is perfect for afternoons with the family and picnics.

  • Distance from Downtown: 5 miles
  • Total Trails: 30 miles
  • Features: close to home, golf, biking, playgrounds

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