Where to Hike Part 3

Finding the longer and more unique hikes near Houston

Living in a big city sometimes means you have to drive a bit.  Today we’re going to tell you about our most favorite places to hike that are close to Houston.  And we have one for each side of town so no matter where you live, you have an option!

South:  Exploring the Wild Side: Hiking Adventures at Brazos Bend State Park

If you’re itching for an outdoor escapade that combines the thrill of hiking with the beauty of nature, look no further than Brazos Bend State Park. Located just 45 minutes southwest of Houston, it’s easily accessible for a day trip or a weekend getaway. 

What sets this park apart is its resident alligator population. Yes, you read that right! This park is home to numerous American alligators, and you might spot them while hiking along the trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there are trails for all levels. From the easy Brazos Bend State Park Nature Trail to the more Lake Loops to the long prairie hikes, you’ll encounter diverse ecosystems and might even catch glimpses of the park’s famous alligators. 

Besides alligators, keep an eye out for deer, raccoons, turtles, and a wide variety of bird species. So, whether you’re looking to commune with nature, spot alligators, or simply enjoy a peaceful hike, Brazos Bend State Park has it all. Strap on your hiking boots, and let the adventure begin!

West:  Discover the Hidden Gem: Hiking Delights at Stephen F. Austin State Park

If you’re on the hunt for an outdoor excursion filled with picturesque trails and the tranquility of nature, look no further than Stephen F. Austin State Park. Located about an hour’s drive west of Houston, it’s a breeze to reach by car, making it the perfect destination for a day of hiking, a weekend getaway, or even a peaceful escape from city life. 

One of the standout features of this park is its proximity to the Brazos River. As you explore the trails, you’ll often find yourself walking alongside the riverbanks, offering a unique hiking experience.  

This park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, squirrels, and a wide range of bird species.  The hikes are easy but the trails can get a little confusing as the same trails intersect each other multiple times.  Instead of being 1 loop trail, this park is a connection of smaller trails.  Definitely carry a map at this park.

So, whether you’re seeking a serene riverside stroll, a wildlife-watching expedition, or a challenging hike, Stephen F. Austin State Park has it all. Slip into your hiking boots, embrace the natural beauty, and let your hiking journey begin!

North:  Unveiling the Hidden Treasures: Hiking Adventures in Lake Houston Wilderness Park

If you’re searching for a hiking destination that combines the serenity of nature with exciting trails, look no further than Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Situated just a short drive from downtown Houston, it’s easily accessible by car, offering the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. 

The park offers trails for hikers of all levels, from the easy Peach Creek Loop to the more challenging LSHT – Lake Houston Section of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. 

NOTE: Some of the trails on the maps are overgrown so be careful trying to create a loop hike out here. Start with out and back routes until you’re familiar with the park. I’ve found this is one of the easiest parks to get lost in.

East:  Sheldon Lake State Park

Sheldon Lake State Park in Texas offers approximately 5 miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore. These trails wind through various natural habitats, providing opportunities to enjoy the park’s wildlife and scenic landscapes. It’s a great place for a day of hiking and outdoor adventure not far from the city of Houston.

Sheldon Lake is well-known for its fishing opportunities. Anglers can try their luck at catching a variety of freshwater fish, including catfish, bass, and bluegill. Make sure to have a valid fishing license.

The park provides access to the lake for paddling enthusiasts. Bring your own canoe or kayak to explore the serene waters of Sheldon Lake.


Most state parks also have camping, geocaching and programs run by the park rangers. Check the individual park websites for more information.