Hike through the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Rate this Adventure Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Easy-going trails through forest, bayou, pond, wetland, and meadow habitats. Free admission, up to 5 miles walking, and both family and dog friendly! 

The Arboretum is a 155 acre nature sanctuary located within Memorial Park, about 6 miles from downtown Houston. The trails alternate between gravel, dirt, and wooden walkways and wind through a variety of Houston habitats: everything from bayou, to pond, wetland, meadow and prairie with virtually no elevation change. This easy-going walk can add up to 5 miles, but is composed of multiple smaller trail loops. The Outer Loop is the longest, measuring in at 2 miles. It circles the reserve and at its southernmost point, branches off into a raised wooden platform that overlooks Buffalo Bayou. This is a great secluded place to birdwatch or enjoy the bayou's chocolatey rivulets. The R.A. Vines Trail winds through a swamp and pond closer to the center of the park - keep an eye out for wildlife! Check out the visitor's center for more information about the other trails and an array of educational materials on the various Houston habitats! 

Due to recent natural disasters (Hurricane Ike in 2008 and a severe drought in 2011) the Arboretum and neighboring Memorial Park have lost about 50% of the forest tree canopy. Still, the Arboretum offers a safe-haven for nature-lovers amidst the urban bustle of Houston's concrete jungle. 

Pack List

  • Walking shoes
  • Trail map
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (always check ahead, between eternal summer and monsoon season, Houston gets WiLd!)
  • Optional - Camera, Sunglasses, Hat
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Volunteering, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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