City Escapes

Houston’s numerous parks and green spaces are great for a quick dose of the outdoors. However, you can find yourself surrounded by wilderness with a short drive outside the city. Pack a picnic, sunscreen, and bug spray and enjoy these nature-filled day trips.   

Brazos Bend State Park: Just 45 miles from Downtown, this state park’s 37 miles of trails are great for hiking, biking, and spotting alligators. Visitors are welcome to fish from the shores of Hale, 40 Acre, and New Horseshoe Lakes. 

Armand Bayou Nature Center: Located on the edge of Clear Lake, this urban wildlife preserve is home to over 370 native species. Birders spot ospreys, pelicans, hawks, herons, and the colorful songbirds that love the 2500-acre mix of wetlands, marsh, and prairie. 

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge: The refuge’s beautiful coastal scenery is a popular stop for migrating birds. However, wildlife is abundant year-round. Located near the end of the park’s trail is the Texas State Champion Live Oak. Declared the largest live oak in the state in 2000, its 100 foot-wide canopy is thought to be between 200 and 300 years old. 

Sam Houston National Forest: Winding through these piney woods, just 50 miles north of the city, is the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, which provides a tranquil atmosphere for hikers. Cool off at Lake Conroe, where kayaking and canoeing are two popular activities. 

Happy Hiking!