United States

Houston, TX

Located near the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States and the largest in Texas. The scene for running in Houston has been improving as a result of $100 million being poured into parks-related projects and trails along the Bayous. Since it’s a large, sprawling, and car-oriented city, below is a guide to the best places to run in Houston, grouped by type of run and geography. See also our running guide to Galveston, 50 miles away.

Type of Run
Signature Parks
: Memorial Park, Buffalo Bayou Park and Hermann Park. Numerous parks in the Energy Corridor.
Bayous. Growing number of continually improving trails. Buffalo Bayou is the signature. Brays Bayou, White Oak Bayou Trail are good.
Neighborhoods. Houston has some lovely, leafy residential neighborhoods with large homes and lovely running: River Oaks, Heights, Montrose, 6th Ward Historic District. Also Rice University and area.
Trails: Woodlands, Bear Creek Pioneers Park.

Areas
Downtown: Buffalo Bayou Park, White Oak Bayou Trail, 6th Ward Historic District.
Midtown: Montrose & River Oaks neighborhoods, Memorial Park, Buffalo Bayou Trail.
Museum District (south of downtown): Hermann Park, Brays Bayou, Rice University area
West Houston: Energy Corridor parks, west end of Buffalo Bayou trail.
North: Heights, neighborhood, White Oak Bayou Trail, Woodlands.

Houston’s layout and weather are factors in the running scene. As a large and spread out city that’s fairly car-centric, you will have to ‘find your spot’ for running. And summer weather is very hot and humid — best to hydrate and avoid the heat of the day.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Houston, TX

Memorial Park 

One of the largest urban parks in the United States is the heart of Houston’s running community,... more...

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  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

White Oak Bayou Trail

Houston, TX

Paved greenway trail winding northwest for 15 miles from downtown through several parks, and the historic Woodland Heights/Heights neighborhoods. New connector at UHD to Buaffalo Bayou Trail.
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Heights Loop

Houston, TX

One of the nicer neighborhoods near downtown Houston. It’s a great area to run standalone, or connect to the Bayou trails about 1.5 miles to the south.
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Montrose Neighboorhood

Houston, TX

Pleasant neighborhood for running with pretty residential streets fearturing a mix of architectural styles. Eclectic eateries, galleries, and indie shops. Nice to combine with Buffalo Bayou, Rice Univ., Hermann Park.
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Memorial Park 

Houston, TX

One of the largest urban parks in the United States is the heart of Houston’s running community, offering fabulous paths with spectacular views of Houston skyline. The 3-mile Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail is a popular option
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River Oaks Neighborhood

Houston, TX

Just to the south of Memorial Park, River Oaks is one of Houston’s tonier neighborhoods. A nice standalone run if you enjoy residential areas, or as a nice add-on to Memorial Park.
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Hermann Park

Houston, TX

A woodsy area for running in Houston, with multiple points of interests such as the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theater, Museum of Natural Science, Garden Center and Japanese Garden.
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Brays Bayou Trail

Houston, TX

A 13.5 mile east-west path, following Brays Bayou. Part of an ever-improving trail system. Starts just south of the University of Houston, passes through Hermann Park, continuing to Braeburn. Good option near NRG Park.
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The Woodlands

Houston, TX

A master-planned community within a native forest. Features 205 miles of running trails with many route options. 30 miles from downtown and 15 miles north of the airport.
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Memorial Park 

Houston, TX

One of the largest urban parks in the United States is the heart of Houston’s running community, offering fabulous paths with spectacular views of Houston skyline. The 3-mile Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail is a popular option
Explore

Runners should be cautious about Houston’s heat: summers are brutally hot and humid. Fall and autumn are warm with some rains. Winters are mild and pleasant for running. Temps drop to freezing only occasionally. Houston gets its share of rain, including frequent thunderstorms in summer. Topographically, Houston is quite flat.

Houston Climate

Houston is a spread-out city and the routes featured here are located in different parts of the town. Staying in one of the hotels at downtown offers an easy access to Buffalo Bayou Park as well as to some of the city’s best running stores. For the best access to Memorial Park, there is a cluster of hotels near The Galleria, south from the park. There are also a few hotels Medical Area near to Rice University and Hermann Park.
Houston Where to Stay

 

Running Stores

Houston features multiple locally operated running stores with great customer service and knowledgeable staff. Stores near our iconic running areas are:

Near Memorial Park

Finish Strong Sports. Great locally owned running store with excellent customer service and knowledgeable staff. At Memorial Park’s northeast corner.

Near Rice University

Fleet Feet Sports. Locally owned and operated great running store. Their store at Rice Village, nearby the Rice University campus, has been in operation for almost 30 years. Three additional locations in Houston suburbs and surrounding areas.

Near Downtown/Memorial Park

Luke’s Locker. Texas-based running and athletic store chain has been around for 35 years and has 10 stores around the state, one of them located in Houston between Memorial Park and downtown. Knowledgeable staff. Involves actively in local events and arranges weekly group runs.

Community

Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA). Main running organization in Houston. Non-profit, dedicated to support and advocate for the local running community. Serves also as the umbrella organization for many individual running clubs in the area.

Bon Running Club. Weekly 5k runs for runners of all speeds around the Rice University camp and drinks afterwards. Free-of-charge new member registration from 5:30pm-7:30pm every Tuesday night at The Gorgeous Gael Irish Bar in Rice Village.

West End Running Club. Weekly runs from The West End — A Public House every Tuesday night from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Food and drinks afterwards. Club is free to join.

The Woodlands Running Club. Non-profit organization located about 20 miles north from downtown in The Woodlands. Has multiple free group runs every week, open to non-members.

List of events Calendar

Chevron Houston Marathon is taking place in each January and is the biggest single-day sports event in the city.

Rhythm and Blues Run is an annual run where participants race to the rhythm of live bands along a spectator filled course. The bands provide an electrifying, festive environment for the runners and spectators.