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8 Best Places to Run in Houston (Top Trails, Tracks and Routes)!

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It does not matter if you are planning a trip to Houston for business or pleasure; if you are a runner, you are going to have a fantastic opportunity to explore this beautiful city on foot.

The fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in Texas, we have compiled a list of the best places to run in Houston. 

Is Houston Good for Running?

Houston is absolutely, without a doubt, an excellent place to run. Whether you prefer road running or trail running, pavement or dirt surface, you will find yourself enjoying your running experience.

There truly is something for everyone, from running trails to tracks to parks to urban areas.

8 Best Places to Run in Houston

1. Memorial Park: The crushed granite trail popular with runners in Memorial Park is lined by large oak trees and green spaces. The trail is 2.93 miles long and was once a favored running spot of the late  President George H.W. Bush. 

2. George Bush Park: Named for the 41st president of the United States, the park is 7,800 acres of preserved nature. The hike and bike trail is about 11 miles long. 

3. Buffalo Bayou Park: This park is 160 acres in total, and the winding trails include pedestrian bridges, waterfalls, a dog park, and other scenic attractions that make this a popular spot. With multiple trails, some as wide as 10 feet to allow for the heavy traffic, there is room for all to enjoy.

Some of the paths are even illuminated after dark so that you can enjoy the park at all times of day or night.

4. Hermann Park: This 1.5-mile loop is one of the shortest on our list, but according to reviews, it is a must to experience. Since it is close to the Museum District and the Houston zoo, visiting this park will be convenient for tourists.  

You will experience water fountains, Japanese gardens, see a golf course, playgrounds and run by a stunning reflection pool.

5. Brays Bayou: This waterside trail is a much quieter alternative for runners who like peace and serenity on a run. A 14-mile long trail, it is paved for runners who prefer a hard surface.

Fair warning: there is not much shade on this route. 

6. Rice University Loop: Just shy of 3 miles, this loop takes you through Rice University. In addition to seeing the university, architecture buffs are in for a real treat as they run through this shady neighborhood. 

7. Terry Hershey Park (Hike and Bike): This + 10-mile trail is a favorite for bikers, cyclists, and locals who want to experience beauty and quiet without traveling too far from the city central. The paths are a mix of gravel and paved trails, and the area is mostly shaded. 

8. White Oak Bayou Trail: Looking for a place to do your long run? At 17 miles, this is one of the longest stretches of running trail you will find in the city.

Although some of the greenway stretches are beautiful and serene, you should also know that you will experience overpasses that keep you remembering you are in a major city. Don’t let that dissuade you; it is a beautiful run. 

What About Trail Running?

As you can see from the above recommendations, the Houston area has a plethora of beautiful trails to run. According to AllTrails.com, there are a few to add to the list.

These must-see trails include:

  1.  Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail
  2.  Anthills Trail 
  3. Buffalo Bayou Trail

Track Workout On Your Schedule?

Sometimes you have to travel deep into a training cycle, and there is a speed or track workout on the docket. If you find yourself searching for a public track to do your workout at while in Houston, we have your back.

Rice University track is a lovely rubberized surface track that is open to the public. 

It is also important to note that many local middle and high schools have tracks open to the public; it is just not a widely advertised fact.  

The Heights High School, Jane Long Academy, and Holland Middle School are all running tracks in Houston advertised to be open by RunTrackRun. 

Where Can I Run at Night in Houston?

According to reviews on Reddit, the Rice Loop is one of the safest places to run at night in Houston. A close second recommended is Hermann Park.

Of course, you should always keep basic night safety tips in mind, such as running with a buddy, wearing reflective clothing, using a headlamp, etc. You can never be too careful when it comes to safety.

Is There Any Part of Houston to Avoid for Running?

It is important to do some research when traveling to a new place, so we checked with SmartTraveler.com to learn about Houston. 

Even though Houston’s Third Ward is home to two of Houston’s pride and joy universities, the area is prone to crime, and we would not recommend exploring on foot (in particular, avoid this area at night).

Houston’s Sunnyside is the second place with a high crime rate that tourists should avoid. 

Pack Your Shoes & Go!

Whether traveling to Houston for work or play, there are many running parks you should check out, so pack your shoes.

The Houston running routes, especially through the beautiful parks, will please.

*Check out our list for the best running races in Texas.

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