Trekking through the great outdoors in Houston usually means crossing a mall parking lot on the edge of Tanglewood. For a taste of the real woods smack in the middle of the city, try the twisty paths of the Houston Arboretum, where water birds, dogwoods and armadillos healthily outnumber Escalades. The arboretum offers five miles of trails on a wild and unpaved 155 acres. You'll find hidden duck ponds nestled among thick native stands of magnolia and palmetto. In the spring, check out the wildflowers and blooming redbuds. Or just go anytime for a long jaunt free of crosswalks. In our urban jungle, this leafy oasis is a treasure.