Looking for a nice place to run in SW Houston
January 11, 2011 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Longer bicycle / walking trails near Sugar Land / southwest Houston?

I'll be doing a marathon training long run while traveling through the Sugar Land / SW Houston area. I'm looking for a longish bike trail or walking path - ideal would be a dirt path, but I'll take paved. My biggest concern is staying away from traffic.

It looks like there are good trails in George Bush Park - true? Maybe the equestrian trails there? Any other options I should investigate?

A few more details:
- I'm looking for around 20-22 miles, either in one shot or in a few loops. Loops would actually be nice so I don't have to carry water.
- I'd love to find singletrack trails, but nothing too technical.

Here are the maps I've found so far:

posted by letitrain to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Terry Hershey Park runs from the west Beltway 8 out into George Bush park along Buffalo Bayou. There are paved and rough trails, and it is quite lovely.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:56 PM on January 11, 2011

Brazos Bend State Park is a short drive down 59. Bonus: there are alligators there!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 PM on January 11, 2011

Or you could drive up to Memorial Park, which is closer than both, and will have plenty of runners to boot. They have some nice bike trails that offer miles and miles of running, but it is all-terrain (i.e., not road running). They also have a 3-mile quartz path and paved bike paths that run all the way to downtown.

Check your MeMail. When will you be in town? Our marathon is 3 weeks away!
posted by Brittanie at 8:14 PM on January 11, 2011

It looks like Memorial Park is a little bit farther away than Terry Hershey, not that it's a big deal. I'm willing to drive a few miles in any direction. For reference, here's the hotel I'm in, out by the Sugar Land airport. Here's a Google map location.

No, not running the Houston Marathon, although I'd love to one day!
posted by letitrain at 10:01 PM on January 11, 2011

There is a Sugar Land city park on Eldridge just north of West Airport with a half mile track that is a short drive from your hotel.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 PM on January 11, 2011

I think I like your first two places better, Burhanistan (minus the alligators). Running 40+ laps of a big track would be kind of brutal.

At this point I'm planning on driving to the east edge of Terry Hershey Park and running through it and into George Bush Park far enough to get the miles, then turning around. Sound like a reasonable plan?
posted by letitrain at 5:39 AM on January 12, 2011

Here's the website for the trails maintained by the Greater Houston Off Road Bike Assn. Most of the trails are in the outer regions of the area, but there's a lot of information about conditions and recommendations.
posted by CathyG at 7:40 AM on January 12, 2011

I've trained for a marathon in Houston. I always planned my routes around water availability so that I didn't have to carry water 15+ miles. I don't know about Terry Hershey park, but there are water fountains along the memorial park jogging trail as well as the buffalo bayou jogging trail. Most of my routes involved some combination of the Heights Blvd jogging trail (2 water fountains, gravel, picturesque arts & crafts neighborhood), the jogging trail around buffalo bayou where it runs between Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway (at least 2 water fountains, beautiful view of Houston's downtown), and a run down Memorial Drive to Memorial Park for some laps around the jogging trail there (several water fountains, gravel in Memorial Park).

Here is a 19 mile route using these trails: Gmaps Pedometer Route. If you want extra mileage, another loop around the Memorial Park jogging trail will add 3 miles.
posted by SugarFreeGum at 8:59 AM on January 12, 2011

There are water fountains at each street intersection along Terry Hershey Park.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:09 AM on January 12, 2011

OK, I think I'll just drive straight up Addicks-Howell Rd (6) to the Shooting Center in George Bush Park, then run a loop from there into Terry Hershey Park (Gmaps Pedometer link). Sounds like I won't even need to carry water, so that's fantastic.

Thanks everyone (even if I didn't take your advice, I appreciate it)!
posted by letitrain at 10:24 AM on January 12, 2011

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