The city of Houston, Texas prides itself on being the place where Southern hospitality meets urban chic. This is certainly the case when it comes to places to go for a bike ride. The city has over 300 miles of bicycle paths connecting the urban landscape, and an additional 80 miles of nature trails that exist within the city parks. You and the kids will find an abundance of good cycling trails in Houston.
Cycling Through the City
With various bike paths, on-street and off-street trails, rails-to-trails projects and urban multi-use paths, the Houston Bikeway Program features 345 miles of cycling opportunities. For a tour through downtown, you and the kids can hop on the Central Business District Bikeway and enjoy the 63 miles of on-street designated paths and trails within the 610 Loop area. The Columbia Tap Rails to Trails is another urban option, featuring over 4 miles of a 10-foot-wide concrete path. Once the location for the Union Pacific Railroad track, it now serves as a scenic greenway for cyclists into downtown.
Kids would most likely enjoy a bike ride through nature areas where they can see wildlife, wooded thickets and picturesque waterways. The Buffalo Bayou is a waterway that runs through town with several miles of hike and bike trails on both sides. A good access point to the trail is at Sesquicentennial Park. The trail follows along the shoreline featuring greenways and plenty of trees for shade. Terry Hershey Park features a bike trail with dips and turns making it a bit of a challenge. It is still fairly easy, though, and okay for beginners. The park also features wetlands and a creek area creating excellent views from the trail.
Terrain for the Advanced Riders
Perhaps you have some older kids who would be thrilled with a challenging bike trail. Houston has plenty of options that would get the adrenaline pumping. Memorial Park has 6 miles of mountain bike trails along the bayous. Parts of the trail have steep drops and big turns, so make sure you are ready for it. George Bush Park has a bike trail that is not too difficult, but still challenging. It is just 2 miles long with some uphill climbs that would make for great exercise for the kids.
Cycle at an Event
The Bicycle World of Houston has a Kids Club. It is a family-friendly recreational organization aiming to teach kids how to ride properly, build a habit of exercise and promote a family atmosphere. It has several cycling events throughout the year, such as races, triathlons and tricycle events for young kids. Adults are welcome to participate in the training and racing. If you are looking for an excuse to keep the kids up late, consider participating in the annual Moonlight Bicycle Ramble. Held in late October, riders wear costumes and cycle through downtown with creatively lit bicycles.
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