Texas Bike Trails | Macfox
    Texas offers 16 top scenic bike trails perfect for long-distance biking. Plan your adventure with our detailed guide.

    Biking into the Wild West: A Roundup of Texas Bike Trails

    • By Macfox Bike
    • Jul 10

    Texas is home to an abundance of scenic bike trails that are full of excitement, adventure, and new challenges—perfect for long-distance biking adventures!

    If you’re planning a trip, here are 16 of our top recommended places to ride.

    1. Willow City Loop – Fredericksburg, Texas

    The Willow City Loop in the Texas Hill Country is renowned for its beautiful rural scenery, and wildflower season is when this region becomes truly captivating with Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, Mexican poppies and other blooming species.

    Starting in Fredericksburg, this 55-mile trail offers manageable yet challenging climbing of 2,877 feet over 55 miles. Expect rugged terrain, potholes, low water crossings, steep ascents, rapid descents and the iconic rolling hills of Texas Hill Country; completion usually takes three to four hours with plenty of water and snacks in your pack!

    Directions to Willow City Loop:

    • Depart from Market Square in downtown Fredericksburg, heading north on Crabapple Road.
    • Make a right onto Eckert Road, head north, then make a left onto TX 16. Finally, turn right onto Willow City Loop.

    Tip: Because the loop is on private property, staying on the roadway is best, even if an attractive Instagram shot tempts you. Also, keep an eye out for cattle, which may stray onto narrow roads during wildflower season, when tourists are flooding in to photograph this scenic spot.

    Willow City Loop | Macfox

    2. Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park – Austin, Texas

    Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park in northwest Austin is another premier mountain biking spot. It is an excellent mountain biking destination that boasts an extensive network of bike trails featuring fun jumps, an exciting BMX loop of one-mile distance, and numerous routes through dense forest landscapes.

    With its rugged terrain, regular riders rate this trail system as moderate to difficult. Most trails consist of hard dirt and loose rock; its outer loop has an average grade of only 1%. You will encounter limestone cliffs, lush foliage, and wildflowers aplenty - but keep an eye on where you step as some paths may need to be marked; moreover, the main loop has excellent signs.


    • Head to 12138 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78753.
    • Enter the park from Parmer Lane, then turn onto Willow Wild Drive.
    • Alternatively, take N. Lamar Blvd. and enter via Walnut Creek Park Road.

    Tip: Walnut Creek Park Road offers many trails that provide unique adventures every time you visit. However, be wary after rain when walking barefoot on slippery ground, as this park allows off-leash dogs. Parking may become congested on weekends, so it may be best to plan visits on weekdays instead.

    Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

    3. Explore the Northeast Texas Trail, stretching from Farmersville to New Boston

    The Northeast Texas Trail runs 130 miles between Farmersville and New Boston along an abandoned railway. Open to runners, cyclists, equestrians and horseback riders alike, this multi-use trail boasts picturesque bridges, rivers and creeks while passing historic old railway lines.

    Cycling along the Northeast Texas Trail offers an enchanting journey through picturesque small towns, stunning natural landscapes, and wildlife-rich areas. Although you could complete it all in a day's ride, many cyclists enjoy dividing it up into multiple days to take in every moment without worrying about traffic congestion. It is generally considered an easy-moderate ride suitable for all levels.

    Access Points:

    Various entry points are available across eastern Texas. Refer to the Northeast Texas Trail Coalition map for details.

    Tip: Mountain ebikes are highly recommended as many sections are unpaved and rough, necessitating walking or carrying over some parts retaining original railway ties. Please respect private property along the trail and carry plenty of water while watching for horses along your travels.

    Northeast Texas Trail

    4. River Legacy Park Trail - Arlington, Texas

    Cyclists love this thrilling 12-mile off-road trail in Arlington, considered one of the best in Texas. Its appeal lies in its versatility: It is suitable for riders of all abilities, with simple concrete paths for leisurely rides, medium-difficulty logs, wooden ramps for intermediate levels, and advanced EKG loops for advanced riders.

    River Legacy Park Trail's many loops allow visitors to experience all it offers. Most paths are single-track, providing a fast-paced, outdoor experience. To add new challenges, try Roller Coaster Ridge, Fun Town or EKG; bypass routes offer less demanding rides.


    • Drive along NW/NE Green Oaks Boulevard, turn onto Rose-Brown-May Parkway.
    • Stay left past River Legacy playground, then turn left to the next parking area. Coordinates: 32°47'35.8"N 97°07'00.1"W.

    Tip: Due to muddy conditions, single tracks may close; however, concrete sections remain open. EKG Loop has technical segments; know your limits and always wear a helmet when riding this loop.

    River Legacy Park Trail

    5. Big Bend Ranch State Park of Presidio, Texas

    Big Bend Ranch State Park is an unparalleled mountain biking destination featuring 200 miles of single-track, double-track, and old 4x4 ranch roads. This expansive desert playground is dotted with canyons and breathtaking scenery for beginners and seasoned cyclists to experience!

    Explore this incredible natural area on winding trails dotted with cultural remnants from ranchers, Native Americans, Spanish explorers and cinnabar miners past. For easy to moderate rides, try Llano Loop (4.8 miles), Fresno Divide Trail (3.3 miles) or Encino Loop (12.3). For experienced riders, there is also the Sauceda to Solitario Loop (46.6 miles) or Fresno-Sauceda Loop (59 miles). These rides provide some of the park's finest and most challenging routes!


    • Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website for full directions to both of the park's entrances.

    Tip: As this park is remote, bring along a map, wear a helmet, and bring two spare tubes, as well as water and snacks, for an unforgettable adventure!

    Big Bend Ranch State Park of Presidio

    6. Palo Duro Canyon - Canyon, Texas

    Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle is one of the top mountain biking locations. It is recognized as the second-largest Canyon in America. It offers numerous trails suitable for novice, intermediate, and experienced cyclists.

    With 66 miles of trails and several trailheads, Great Basin National Park offers plenty of exciting adventures. Its trails travel through deep canyons, offering close encounters with wildlife, stunning rock formations, and plenty of red dirt. One popular path—Lighthouse Trail—connects cyclists and hikers directly to its iconic Lighthouse rock formation, providing unrivaled views along their journey.


    • From Canyon, head east on State Highway 217 for about 12 miles.
    • From Amarillo, travel south on Interstate 27 to State Highway 217, then go east for 8 miles.

    Tip: Be prepared for an intense bike ride during the hot months. Please bring plenty of water or hydration packs with you for optimal hydration in this region, and consider camping overnight to discover all its trails.

    Palo Duro Canyon | Macfox

    7. Galveston Seawall in Galveston, Texas

    Galveston Island Seawall provides some of the best Gulf Coast views while cycling. Although not an official mountain bike trail, its 17-mile seaside cruise is perfect for leisurely rides that end with food and drinks at beachfront restaurants or bars.

    Off-season beachgoers tend to make the Seawall easier to visit. Otherwise, it can be challenging to enjoy its scenery while dodging strollers and benches! Most years, though, the paved path allows for stress-free rides.


    • Begin at either end of the Seawall and bike your way across. Parking is available along the route.

    Tip: If driving solely for this trip, consider planning other activities along with it, as it's short and straightforward.

    Galveston Seawall in Galveston | Macfox

    8. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley in Mission, Texas

    Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park near Mexico features the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley Loop trail, explicitly designed to cater to beginner hikers. It also hosts the World Birding Center headquarters, renowned for its 20+ South Texas speciality bird species collection.

    This 4.4-mile trail is paved and suitable for people of all ages and levels, including fishing enthusiasts. Along the route are fishing spots, wildlife viewing opportunities and opportunities to spot Green Jays, Gray Hawks, Ringed Kingfishers, Altamira Orioles and other birds - making your ride all the more delightful! Primitive camping facilities are also available should you wish to stay.


    • Address: 2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062), Mission, TX 78572.
    • From Upper Valley, take East Highway 83 to Bentsen Palm Drive, head south to the park entrance.
    • From Lower Valley, take West Highway 83 to Bentsen Palm Drive, head south to the park entrance.

    Tip: Visitors may bring or rent bicycles from the office. Bikers should be aware of hikers, walkers, and dog walkers on the trail. Birdwatchers are recommended to bring binoculars for an enhanced view of our feathery residents!

    Bentsen Rio Grande Valley in Mission

    9. Fort Davis Scenic Loop - Fort Davis, Texas

    Fort Davis Scenic Loop is one of Texas's most picturesque and challenging road bike routes, drawing cyclists of all abilities from around the state. Due to its difficulty, many top cyclists strive to conquer it.

    This 74-mile loop through the Texas Alps features an elevation gain of nearly 4,000 feet, starting in Fort Davis at over 5,000 feet and culminating at almost 8,100 feet near San Angelo, which boasts one of the state's highest towns. Formed by ancient volcanic activity, Davis Mountains offer thrilling descents, excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, and stunning vistas. On this route, McDonald Observatory passes and numerous picnic areas generally have light traffic conditions.


    Head for Fort Davis, the starting point of this loop. To reach it from Interstate 10, take exit 209 and head south on TX-17 for 31 miles until reaching Marfa; alternatively, you could come from either direction via TX-17.

    Tip: This Texas treasure can be challenging, so prepare appropriately before starting this trek. While mountain lion sightings are rare, be wary that your journey could involve one!

    Fort Davis Scenic Loop

    10. El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike Route - Van Horn, Texas

    This beautiful yet moderately challenging bike route suits riders of all levels. It is rich with Texas history and offers stunning mountain views.

    The El Capitan to El Capitan Route is an iconic 55-mile paved road winding through breathtaking, preserved mountain scenery. Beginning from Van Horn's historic 1930s Hotel El Capitan and ending at Guadalupe Mountains National Park's base of El Capitan rock formation in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, along the way, you may spot wildlife such as rock squirrels, snakes, tree lizards, black-tailed jackrabbits, coyotes and javelinas!


    • Travel to Van Horn, located at the crossroads of Interstate 10, State Highway 90 and 54 and scenic County Road 54.
    • Our starting point, Hotel El Capitan, is at 100 East Broadway in Van Horn and can be found by following these directions: 79855

    Tip: Don't count on finding gas stations, picnic spots or restrooms along this 55-mile journey. Be sure to stock up before leaving Van Horn with plenty of water, snacks and tyre repair supplies, as you will traverse a minimal desert environment. Additionally, please respect private property by staying on the roadways.

    El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike Route

    11. Santa Fe Trail and White Rock Lake Dam Loop in Dallas, Texas

    For an enjoyable road ride in Texas' capital city of Dallas, nothing can top Santa Fe Trail and White Rock Lake Dam Loop's 16.2-mile easy route, which features 425 feet in elevation gain. Suited for riders of all fitness levels and starting directly next to a parking lot, this well-paved path provides a scenic and enjoyable cycling experience.


    Begin at White Rock Lake Trailhead, which is accessible from various parking lots surrounding it.

    Tip: This route offers an enjoyable, leisurely ride through stunning surroundings.

    Santa Fe Trail and White Rock Lake Dam Loop

    12. Mellow Johnny's Tuesday Morning Loop - Austin, Texas

    With an intermediate 29.9-mile road route and 1,250-foot elevation gain, this road ride from Mellow Johnny is ideal for cyclists seeking a moderately challenging route through scenic routes.


    • Starting at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Downtown Austin, follow the route mapped by Mellow Johnny himself.

    Tip: For an enjoyable cycling experience, join a group ride—not only can it offer camaraderie and support from fellow cyclists, but it can also be great fun!

    Mellow Johnny's Tuesday Morning Loop

    13. Texas Gran Fondo Loop in Sam Houston National Forest, Texas

    With 66.8 miles and 1,625 feet of elevation gain, the Texas Gran Fondo Loop presents experienced cyclists with an exciting challenge that rewards them immensely.


    • The loop begins at the Sam Houston National Forest entrance and follows its mapped route.

    Tip: This challenging ride requires advanced planning and fitness - be sure to be adequately equipped before embarking on this long and demanding adventure!

    Texas Gran Fondo Loop

    14. Buescher State Park Loop - Bastrop, Texas

    This 29.1-mile intermediate road ride boasts an elevation gain of 1,300 feet over 29.1 miles. Cyclists will experience stunning landscapes while cycling along this well-paved path.


    • Start at the Buescher State Park entrance and follow the loop through the park.

    Tip: Enjoy the park's natural beauty and take breaks at designated rest areas to fully appreciate the surroundings.

    Buescher State Park Loop

    15. Canyon Lake Loop from New Braunfels - New Braunfels, Texas

    An intermediate 38.3-mile road ride between New Braunfels and Canyon Lake features a 2,050-foot elevation gain along a well-paved, flat trail. Those with good physical fitness who take this path will enjoy an enjoyable journey.


    • Begin in New Braunfels and follow the mapped route to Canyon Lake.

    Tip: Take in the scenic views and be prepared for a few challenging climbs along the way.

    Canyon Lake Loop from New Braunfels

    16. Mellow Johnny's to Mount Larson and West Lake Hills Loop in Austin, Texas.

    An intermediate 37.8-mile road ride with an elevation gain of 2,450 feet, this loop requires good physical fitness but offers stunning vistas along its course.


    • Start at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop and follow the mapped route towards Mount Larson and West Lake Hills.

    Tip: Be prepared for some steep ascents, but enjoy the rewarding descents.

    Mellow Johnny's to Mount Larson and West Lake Hills Loop | Macfox


    Texas offers an expansive network of bike trails, each offering its own set of scenic and challenging terrains and experiences.

    From hilly Hill Country terrains to scenic coastal paths and quiet country lanes, Texas offers something special for every cyclist!

    So gear up and experience an unforgettable biking adventure in its Wild West!


    What is the best time to bike the Willow City Loop?

    The best time is during wildflower season in the spring when the scenery is most captivating.

    Are there any easy bike trails for beginners in Texas?

    Yes, trails like the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley Loop are paved and suitable for all levels, including beginners.

    Do I need a mountain bike for the Northeast Texas Trail?

    Yes, a mountain bike is recommended as many sections are unpaved and rough.

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