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Top Spots To Stay Fit During Your Stay In Houston

January 11, 2014 7:00 AM

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(Photo Credit: ThinkStock)

(Photo Credit: ThinkStock)

As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston has its share of busy highways and crowded thoroughfares. But the city also boasts of one of the nation’s largest networks of hike and bike trails, with plans for amenities and connecting paths for the entire system. This will mean that all neighborhoods of Houston will have access to the trails, so there are places to stay fit everywhere. Whatever brings you to Houston, know that your fitness routine doesn’t need to suffer with the area’s many exercise opportunities.

Brays Bayou Hike And Bike Trail
1 Lookout Court
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 755-4400
www.hcp1.net

As its name implies, the trail runs alongside Brays Bayou, located along Braeswood Boulevard, starting at Lookout Court. The segment from Lookout Court to Buffalo Speedway is 1.2 miles, but the entire Path is nearly 18 miles from Calhoun Street to South Gessner, and includes the Hermann Park trail described below. Those running eastbound from Lookout Court can glimpse the roof of Reliant Stadium in the distance. The area is residential with several views of spectacular homes. Like other trails, there are water faucets and benches along the way. A unique feature of this trail segment is the workout kiosk near the beginning of the trail. The sheltered kiosk includes exercise equipment with instructive panels for several series of workouts. More equipment is outside along the trail going eastbound with instruction panels for use.

 Top Spots To Stay Fit During Your Stay In Houston

Enjoy Houston’s outdoor exercise potential (Credit, Marc Pembroke)

Hermann Park Trail
2145-2155 N. MacGregor Way
(713) 524 -5876
Houston, TX 77004
www.hermannpark.org

The official name of this segment of the Brays Bayou trails is the “Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail.” This two-mile segment offers a delightful tour of Hermann Park, with portions near the zoo, the lake, along Fanin Street (with two stops along the commuter red line train and bike rental kiosks), near wooded areas and by the golf courses, with a few bridges and underpasses. There are plenty of birds, squirrels, shade trees and park benches along the way for those who need to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Related: Best Outdoor Fall Dates In Houston

Paul Carr Jogging Trail
400-1800 Heights Boulevard
Houston, TX 77007
(832)394-8804
www.houstontx.gov

The Paul Carr Trail is a two-mile dirt jogging path in the median strip of historic Heights Boulevard. The stately mansions along the Heights Boulevard, from the Arts district to Interstate 10, is a favorite of local residents and visitors. There are also a few well-maintained kiosks and a World War II Memorial at 11th Street about midway.

Buffalo Bayou Park
3600 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 752-0314
www.buffalobayou.org

The Buffalo Bayou Park is ideal for those in downtown Houston. The trail offers spectacular views of the downtown skyline. It passes near the Aquarium and the Theater District, not far from the Municipal Courts and City Hall with easy access to some of Houston’s finest hotels. Reaching an access point can be a challenge in midday traffic, but the trail is a good example of Houston’s commitment to preserve green spaces for the enjoyment of all.

 Top Spots To Stay Fit During Your Stay In Houston

Visitors to Houston can stay fit outdoors (Credit, Marc Pembroke)

Memorial Park
6501 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77007
(832) 394-8805
www.houstontx.gov

Houston’s most popular running trail is a three-mile loop in the splendid Memorial Park in the River Oaks neighborhood not far from the Galleria Mall. With as many as 7,000 joggers a day, the trail can get crowded, so it’s important to be prepared to dodge and weave a bit depending on your speed and agility. Memorial Park has just received grants and new funding sources to upgrade its amenities, so join the crowd.

Related: Top Bed & Breakfasts In Houston

Marc Pembroke is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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