Columbia Tap Rail-Trail


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Columbia Tap Rail-Trail Facts

States: Texas
Counties: Harris
Length: 4 miles
Trail end points: Dixie Dr. nr. S. Freeway/SR 288 and St. Charles St. at Walker St.
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017434
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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Columbia Tap Rail-Trail Description

Cutting a swath through Houston's Third Ward, the Columbia Tap Trail is a 4-mile rail-trail connecting parts of southeastern Houston with offices, a convention center and a ballpark near downtown.

Completed in 2009, the trail follows the old Columbia Tap railroad route from Dixie Street in the south, passes through the campus of Texas Southern University, runs by churches and schools in the Third Ward and ends in a warehouse district on St. Charles Street, just blocks from Minute Maid Park, where the Houston Astros play.

The 10-foot-wide, paved trail is lined with native trees, is lighted for nighttime use and has many benches along its route, creating an inviting greenway through the neighborhood.

At the southern end, the Columbia Tap Rail-Trail connects with the Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail, a 16.4-mile trail providing access to Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo and the museum district.

The northern end of the Columbia Tap is a short ride on busy city streets to two other new rail-trail projects: the Harrisburg and Sunset Rail Trails, east of downtown, and the MKT/SP Rails to Trails (Heights Trail), which offers spectacular views of Houston's skyline and connects with neighborhoods north and west of the city center.

Parking and Trail Access

You can access the Columbia Tap Rail-Trail from numerous points in downtown Houston. For parking information, contact:

Houston Parks & Recreation Dept.
2999 South Wayside
Houston, Texas 77023

Columbia Tap Rail-Trail Reviews

Starting in the warehouse district by BBVA stadium is not bad, going through the neighborhoods towards Brays Bayou is questionable at beat. So much garbage on the trail made it feel like riding though a landfill. Lots of people loitering, we did not feel safe. My son asked if we could take a different route back. Travel at your own risk.

is a beautiful relaxing place to go biking

I discovered this trail back in 2012. I was made aware of the issues they had (muggings) but I believe they have been resolved. It's a wonderful trail that connects us from the medical center/museum district to the east part of downtown. I ride this trail 2 - 3 times a month between 8am and noon. I've never had a problem and always ride with female friends.


This trail is clean, smooth, well marked and well lit. I has many functioning benches and metal barriers to prevent access by larger vehicles. I have cycled this trail many times at various hours over the last 9 months going to and from downtown Houston. Although there are travelers from all walks of life, I have never been or felt threatened. However, it is prudent to be watchful- common sense for anyone anywhere commanding a wheeled vehicle. For me I am most weary of the numerous street crossings, some very busy, some have poor visibility to oncoming traffic until your tires kiss the sidewalk. At the north end of the trail one finds inspiring selfie ready urban murals.

About two years ago, 4 punks lunged at me as I rode on the trail. Although I avoided any trouble, I swore off this trail and have not ridden it since.

Have put off taking this trail but finally decided it was time to give it a go as it hooks nicely into BB hike and bike trail.sunday morning quite a few people out riding,jogging and with any of the trails around houston you just have to use common sense With your own safety. Will definite make this a frequent trail to explore

Would be a really nice trail except it travels through a rough neighborhood. As a 6'4" 250lbs man I choose a different route via surface streets that were not so secluded.

I was riding the Columbia Tap trail and was attacked by two young males. They were sitting on a bench and as I rode past they knocked me off and began pummeling me. They demanded my phone but I was able to fight'em off. The cops said this has been happening for the past few weeks in that area. (Nettleton @ McIlhenny). Other than that, it's a nice ride.

Quiet Sunday Morning stroll

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