Texas Living

The 5 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Texas

By Peter Simek 3.2.21

Most of Texas is famously flat. But as Texas’ enthusiastic mountain biking community knows well, that reputation helps keep some of the nation’s best biking trails clear for avid riders. The reality is that Texas’ diverse ecological and topological landscape offers a wide range of mountain biking opportunities for riders at all levels.

Mountain bikers seeking challenging terrain should head west to Texas’ mountainous regions, as well as to geological wonders like Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The Hill Country, while lacking big climbs, offers plenty of rugged and challenging trails set against majestic landscapes. In the east, trails lead riders through wooded forests and swampy bayous. No matter where you live, you’ll find you’re a short drive from some fantastic mountain biking trails in Texas.

Here are five of the best mountain biking trails in Texas.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

With 30 miles of trails that wrap through the second-largest canyon in the U.S., Palo Duro has long been one of the most popular mountain biking trails in Texas. Highlights include the Lighthouse Trail, which leads riders to one of the most spectacular spots in the park — a massive limestone tower formation.

big bend mountain biking trails in Texas

Big Bend Ranch State Park

One of Texas’ best-kept secrets, Big Bend Ranch is also its largest state park. The desert playground sits next door to its sister national park, and it is both more remote and less visited. That means acres upon acres of vacant, rugged land, most of which can be explored on two tires.

flat rock ranch mountain biking trails in Texas
Courtesy of Flat Rock Ranch

Flat Rock Ranch

One challenge that faces all outdoor enthusiasts in Texas is that 95% of its land is privately owned. Luckily, the owners of Flat Rock Ranch near Comfort open its private property to bikers looking to explore 27 miles of looping trails. The rolling Hill Country terrain offers plenty of tough climbs and speedy descents.

Brazos Bend mountain biking trails in Texas
Alamy Gabbro

Brazos Bend State Park

Riders new to the sport will enjoy exploring the 21 miles of trails in this state park south of Houston. But don’t let the shady trails fool you: Exposed roots, tricky twists, and other technical features will help hone and improve your skills on the bike.

Dinosaur Valley mountain biking trails in Texas

Dinosaur Valley State Park

The small valleys and long-exposed limestone ridges that run along the Paluxy River make for an enjoyable ride for beginner and intermediate riders alike. Besides witnessing the natural beauty of the park, the 12-mile trail will wind you past some of the best-preserved fossilized dinosaur tracks in the world.

When this bucket list is complete, step off your bike and into your boots to explore the best hiking trails in Texas.

© 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance