Circling the beautiful Rice University campus, the Rice University Trail is a wide dirt path made available for use by pedestrians. The best feature of this three-mile loop is that it is completely shaded, providing a respite from the Houston heat and sun, especially in the summer. Shade can be hard to come by in Houston, so this is a huge point in the trail’s favor. The route is easy to follow, as it is generally an entire loop, but the path does split at the entrance to the university, so remember where you parked! There are two benches along the route, but no water, trash cans, or bathrooms directly along the path. Depending on the time of day, the loop can be very busy, so plan your runs for the early morning or evening if possible. Dogs are allowed on the path when leashed, but bicycles must utilize the roadway.
If you choose to drive to Rice, put 6100 Main Street into your GPS for the best directions. You’ll see the dirt path around the campus as you drive. There is no free parking on the Rice campus without a permit, but credit cards are accepted in the visitor lots (rates are about $7/hour). Other transportation options include taking the Metro to the Hermann Park/Rice U station or parking several blocks away from campus and walking over.