5 Woodlands-area trails to tackle this Fall


HOUSTON – From city routes with post-run brunch and coffee stops to remote trails in swampy wetlands, here are some scenic Woodlands-area trails to tackle if you love the outdoors.

George Mitchell Nature Preserve trails


Named after the founder of The Woodlands, this 1,700-acre preserve includes a 3-mile bike trail and a 2-mile hiking loop. Access the trails at the Flintridge Drive Trailhead in the village of Indian Springs, 5171 Flintridge Drive.

The Woodlands Waterway


OK, so this isn't a trail per se but the river walk offers runners and walkers alike a great way to soak in the elements while enjoying the Woodland's hottest restaurants and shops. Wander the waterway and then treat yourself to some coffee, food, a little retail therapy or all of it.

Spring Creek Nature Trail


The 14-mile trail along Spring Creek takes about eight hours to complete. For a shorter stint outdoors, walk a small segment of the trail. However far you walk, you'll encounter woodlands, wetlands and abundant wildlife.

Sam Houston National Forest trails


Located about 30 miles north of The Woodlands, this 163,037-acre park packed with loblolly pines, Southern magnolias and yaupon holly boasts some 275 miles of trails. Meander on beginner trails or trek segments of the 129-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, the state's longest continuous hiking path. A special note for birdwatchers: Clusters of red-cockaded woodpeckers and eagles, both endangered species, find sanctuary in the park.

W. Goodrich Jones State Forest


This 1,745-acre state forest bordering the Woodlands features nearly 15 miles of trails lined with pines and packed with red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species. Take a breezy 3-mile trek on the Sweetleaf Nature Trail or meander onto another trail for an extended experience.

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