5 Great East Texas Bike Trails

5 Great East Texas Bike Trails

Adventures and photos by Mike Loots, Outdoor Educator

East Texas is a miasma of intermingling ecosystems.  A place where you may find yourself under pine and post oak canopied sand trails, or sliding silently between cyprus knees on a bayou abound with alligators. 

It is a place planted over in national forests and ribboned by red roads weaving between weathering, long-leaf slabbed, single story homes. East Texas' outstanding biodiversity is split into public and private holdings, drawing birders, herpetologists, and hikers alike... not to mention those who love to move by bike. 

It is the profusion of bike paths that have most lit my Pineywoods fire, and, if you come, it is sure to light yours as well!

I am a recent transplant from parts abroad, and, admittedly, was genuinely surprised by the quality and quantity of bike-able miles here. With such a profusion and diversity in mountain bike trails even the most amorous Coloradan could be happily occupied. Here's a few favorites:

  1. Lake Bryan, north of College Station
  2. Tyler State and City Park
  3. Double Lake, Sam Houston State Forest
  4. Huntsville State Park
  5. Memorial Park near Houston's down-town

Fat bikers find ample sand-mires, while a full suspension setup wouldn't be overkill in College Station (old BMX trails and singletrack snake together to form some truly challenging corners and drops).

If one was inclined, a full day of biking could be accrued in even the most modest of parks East of I45. Camping is often available just off trail, and folks tend to be friendly here, so don’t shy away from getting to know your neighbors! Be aware, hammock camping isn't always allowed in state parks, but tent sites are usually easy to find.

Come, pound some trails, then relax under the bright stars and dark skies of Huntsville, Tyler, or Conroe.

Greater Houston Off Road Bike Association is a great resource for east Texas trail beta, though, most places are easy enough to roll up and learn.

Pack up the hammock, the bike and a bunch of buddies.  Come explore what’s hidden behind the pine curtain, and return to wherever you’re from happily caked in red mud, newly aware of a Texas all too often overlooked. 


Mike Loots currently works with the Houston Outdoor Education Center. Mike envisions an education future where all students are tutored in land, water and air stewardship within project based curriculums - pulling together, rather than separating STEM and Language Arts skills - and he is working hard to make that future come to life. Mike's an Leave No Trace Master Educator with a passion for "Mama Earth" and loves naturalist programing and interpretation. 


 

 

 

Alex Woodard

Alex Woodard

 The Perfect Campfire Ribeye

The Perfect Campfire Ribeye