Greetings, my fellow hiker. Today I'm going to share with you a fun trail, out in west Houston, Texas, where you can still enjoy the great outdoors (even in the heat).

I'm Brice, the president of Vaucluse Gear, where we love to sweat less and explore more. And that's precisely what we did in Houston, and I’m going to walk you through a fantastic jewel of a trail I happened to run across while visiting friends and family for a few days. I wanted to go outdoors and thought, well is there a place that I can go (even in 80-plus degree weather) and just enjoy myself, and not get too hot?

This is that place, and you’re really going to enjoy it.

I went to The Quail Trail in west Houston, Texas. It is an 11.7-mile out-and-back trail, just west of downtown and generally considered an easy route. But there is also a - you could say - challenging side. Not too challenging but definitely not easy, and it takes an average 3.5 hours to complete the trail. I didn't do the whole trail because I had other obligations to get back to, but this is definitely a popular trail for birding, and definitely mountain biking and road biking, but you can still find and enjoy some solitude during quiet times of the day.

Even in the big city of Houston, you can enjoy being outdoors without being overwhelmed by the sun because there's some great tree cover, and the trail is open year-round. It's a beautiful visit any time of year. The trail (says the website) is part of Terry Hershey Park (named for a local conservationist), and below are the links you’ll need, if you’re ever in Houston, to find and enjoy it, too.

Hiking Trail Review - Quail and Anthills Trail - Houston, TX

I'm going to break this hike down into two parts: One is while walking west, and the other is while walking east.

I walked west on The Quail Trail all the way to North Cook/Kirkwood. I started out from the parking lot west of Sam Houston Tollway. Follow the north side of a slow moving stream called Buffalo Bayou (that link is below). There's plenty of tree cover, as I mentioned, so you're protected from sunlight. I think it was about 85°F, so still pretty warm.

But I didn't sweat, because of the tree cover and because of my Cool-Dry Backpack Frame (which I'm going to talk more about in a second). This was a peaceful, easy, paved trail. There are parts where you can walk on dirt if you want since, because it's paved, you’re going to be sharing it with other walkers, joggers and bikers.

Part two is my heading east and walking back to where I came from. This part was on the south side of Buffalo Bayou, along Anthills Trails, which is a dirt trail for hiking and dirt bikes. This trail is a lot more demanding than The Quail Trail on the north side. A lot more demanding. There are lots of turns, and ups and downs, and I had to retrace my steps a few times to find a way out because brush had overtaken the trail. It seemed like there had been a lot of rain and things had washed away. So this trail was much more demanding than the north side. Depending on what you want, you've got the easy, breezy north side, or, for more ups and downs, there’s the south side. Having choices is a lot of fun.


Backpack Airflow System - Sweat Less in Arizona Heat

Now, as I mentioned, I like to stay sweat-free. I like to stay cool. That's what we do at Vaucluse Gear.

I brought an average day pack for traveling, but when I attached a Cool-Dry Frame, which you can attach on any backpack, it separated the pack from my back, and that separation encouraged air to flow and heat to leave.

There's a good portion of your body that's usually covered by your backpack. When heat is allowed to dissipate and sweat is allowed to evaporate, even while you're walking your core is staying cooler because you don't have that heat trapped on your back.

All of that heat. Just staying there. And all you get is a soaked shirt, and a soaked backpack that’s eventually going to stink. Instead, a Cool-Dry Frame protects your backpack, keeps your core cooler, and allows you to enjoy the great outdoors a whole lot more.

It definitely helped me enjoy being outdoors on this trail a whole lot more despite it being a pretty hot day. Obviously there were trees to provide some cover but nonetheless, the Cool-Dry definitely helped. So overall, a great trip.

Thanks for your attention, and I hope I’ll see you on the trails!

I've got plenty of reviews on our website from people saying, Yes, this product definitely does work.

Thank you so much, and see you on the trails.

  • Weather - The temperature was in the mid-80s and sunny. (Full overview)
  • Time on trail: 1h51
  • Distance around 5.66 miles.
  • Elevation gain was 223 feet.

Strava Tracking: You can review the hike's stats on my Strava account by clicking here.

AllTrails Tracking: You can review the trail on my AllTrails account by clicking here.

The Cool-Dry Frame by Vaucluse

It's your best way to stay cool and dry with a backpack.

This lightweight (only 6 ounces), soft, durable, and flexible frame attaches directly to your backpack and creates a natural airflow between you and the pack without using mesh or other material that soaks up sweat and retains heat. This design maximizes airflow to keep your back cool and dry.

Sweat Check