Texas Living

8 Best Bike Trails of Texas

By Kristy Alpert 9.18.17

Texas’ trails were historically used for riding horseback, but these days Texans are blazing trails in a new way. Bicycling in Texas has become more popular in recent years thanks to the work of cycling enthusiasts, federal transportation funding, and community advocates. 

Cyclists have lots of options for pedaling around Texas, from historic routes like the Chisholm Trail and Buffalo Soldier Trail to urban trails that wind through restaurants and watering holes along the way.

“I love the variety of cycling options and that there is always a good place to bike at any time of year in Texas,” says Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas, a cycling advocacy group that strives to advance bicycle safety, access, and education in Texas. We teamed up with Stallings to create a list of Texas’ superlative cycling trails.

  • Best Urban to Nature Experience: Santa Fe Trail in Dallas (4.5 miles)
  • Best Slow Ride for On-Trail Dining: Katy Trail in Dallas (3.5 miles)
  • Best Big Sky Experience: Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway (20 miles)
  • Best Wilderness in the City Experience: Southern Walnut Creek Trail in Austin (7 miles)
  • Best Photo Op With Downtown Backdrop: Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake in Austin (10 miles)
  • Best Experience of Historic Buildings and Scenery: Mission Trail in San Antonio (20 miles)
  • Best Bird-Watching Trail: Brownsville Historic Battlefield Trail (9 miles)
  • Best City Spotlight Trail: Brays Bayou Trail in Houston (18 miles)

Although every cyclist is a winner when choosing to ride the trails of Texas, only those who take their safety seriously will be voted most likely to succeed. Before heading out, remember to plan your route, dress visibly in bright or reflective clothing, take plenty of water, pack a few snacks (bananas and trail mix are easy to pack and great for refueling your body’s energy supplies), and strap that helmet on tight for a level and snug fit. 

Find more fun ways to stay fit outdoors in Texas with our tips on outdoor exercise safety