austin trails and parks

Shaded by live oak trees and meandering for four miles along Shoal Creek, the Shoal Creek Trail is an incredibly relaxing oasis not far from the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin. No guide to hiking in Austin would be complete without featuring the incredible 10-mile hike-and-bike trail on Lady Bird Lake! Many of the best hikes in Austin are dramatically different based on water levels in the creeks, rivers, and lakes that dot the city–Turkey Creek Trail means wet feet after the rain, but hardly any water to look at during a drought. Download the Trail Directory to view a PDF document with additional information about the trails listed below, including surface types. The path is ideal for walking or biking with kids–especially since it connects an unbelievable six parks! These are the best places for kid-friendly hiking trails in Austin: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Austin for couples? Circling Lady Bird Lake, the crushed granite path stops by some of Austin’s most beloved recreational areas like Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores. Use the Parks GIS Viewer to find a trail near your location. more. The park is open for a variety of activities including camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming. Click on the map below to start exploring our urban trails network! In addition to hikers, mountain bikers, and joggers, equestrians are welcome on this trail (dogs, however, are not welcome). Although there are nice wooded trails and gardens, word on the street is to go for the peacocks! The park is fairly small, pretty, has a short trail and not crowded. A prized feature of the Austin landscape, this paved trail features phenomenal views of the lake and the downtown skyline. Similarly, whether or not the swimming holes at Barton Creek are worth a dip depends on water levels as well. Both vibrant and practical, P A R K S P A C E is an intervention that helps visualize social distancing guidelines in Austin’s parks and green spaces. As in any urban area, there are occasional issues with car break-ins at the parking lots for hiking trails in Austin. As an Amazon Associate, Lone Star Travel Guide earns from qualifying purchases. Hiking in Austin often means dealing with intense heat–don’t underestimate it! Bull Creek District Park (or the Lower Greenbelt) is about 4 miles from the Upper Greenbelt, and making your way between the two on foot is a great way to spend a day hiking in Austin. Some bodies of water in Austin, including Lady Bird Lake, have experienced toxic algae blooms that have been fatal to dogs in the past. The burning quads are worth it, though, to experience the charming creeks, many small waterfalls, and gorgeous scenery at the River Place Nature Trail. Butler Metro Park . Some links throughout this site are affiliate links. The climb itself is only about 0.1 miles. If you click through a link on Lone Star Travel Guide, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can also connect with the Upper Bull Creek Trail from here to combine two hikes into one. It is recommended the trail be reviewed and compared to user capabilities prior to use* The Parks and Recreation Department maintains several types of trails for hiking, biking, skating and other activities. Last but certainly not least, the popular River Place Nature Trail is one of Austin’s most challenging trails, known for its steep climbs and many, many stairs. Please see our, Camping Near Austin: 15 Fun Parks + Campgrounds, 19 Best Austin Swimming Holes in (+ Near) the City, 15 Epic Hikes in Texas (+ Map to Find the Trails! All rights reserved. Featuring seemingly endless sparkling creeks, craggy limestone paths, and beautiful views, hiking in Austin is an absolute treat–and with so many parks and hiking trails in Austin to choose from, even locals have a hard time running out of new hikes in Austin to try out on the weekends. "Wonderful park for strolling, walking the dog or walking/biking along the 10 mile paved hike and bike trail that is located along the shores of beautiful Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin." Located along Spicewood Springs Rd and Bull Creek, this little park contains an impressive three miles of Austin park trails, including an especially steep 2-mile loop track known as the Hill Trail. We've got 86 easy trails in Austin ranging from 0.6 to 10 miles and from 436 to 1,128 feet above sea level. This question started with a debate about the trail running through the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Stroll the trail in either direction for more incredible views at Covert Park, including views of the downtown skyline, Lake Austin, and the 360 Bridge. The water is carefully tested, and warnings are put out when blooms are present, but it’s best to be vigilant. Project Connect and … While the shady trails, lovely views, and historic nature of the preserve (Mayfield Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places) are all reasons to visit, there’s no doubt that the free-roaming peacocks steal the show at this Austin park! Pedernales Falls State Park 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City For any bird watching fans out there, this is the spot! During the summer months, consider early morning or evening hikes to avoid the worst of the heat, and know your limits. Some links in this post may be affiliate links. Discover existing and upcoming concrete trails to walk or bike on with the Urban Trails Interactive Web Map. Essentially, you can either climb up the Hill Trail for views of the countryside or stick to the side of the creek for an easier option that also includes plenty of opportunities to swim (including a few well-placed ropes to swing from). Visitors can enjoy the trails, picnic tables, pavilion and wildlife viewing area. "Austin Parks are the heartbeat of the city, where you can go from a bustling, fast-developing downtown district to the serenity of fresh water springs in a matter of minutes. These hiking trails in Austin aren’t as well-marked as some–you might want to consider snapping a photo of the trail map at the parking lot before getting started–but they are beautiful. With excellent views, places to swim, and a quiet charm, St. Edward’s Park is located in the northwestern part of the city. Explore Austin parks, trails & natural areas for your next adventure. Davis Mountains State Park: Hiking, Camping + More! hiking walking nature-trips kids views trail-running forest dogs-leash wildlife river birding wild-flowers mountain-biking dogs waterfall dogs-no partially-paved strollers ada road-biking cave lake city-walk paved The charming, out-and-back Spicewood Valley Trail is a hidden gem of a hike in Austin–partially because it is quite literally hidden in plain sight, with one of the most popular entrances starting between two unassuming suburban houses. The estate and park are located near Mount Bonnell and Westwood Country Club. These places are best for hiking trails in Austin: Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail; Barton Creek Greenbelt; Turkey Creek Trail; River Place Nature Trails; Red Bud Isle Park; See more hiking trails in Austin on Tripadvisor Popular spots include Twin Falls, Sculpture Falls, the Hill of Life, and Campbell’s Hole, but there is no shortage of beautiful places in the Greenbelt. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Furthermore, our urban trails system is a key piece of connective tissue, interlacing parks with jobs centers, entertainment, and commercial activities through safe, naturally beautiful corridors. There are plans to extend the trail further in the future, but for now, it’s still a delightful place for an easy hike in Austin. This 2.87-mile out-and-back trail crisscrosses over Turkey Creek at several points–so depending on how high the water level is, you may need to prepare for your feet getting wet. Hours: 8 am to 10 pm Unlike many of these hikes in Austin, however, dogs aren’t allowed at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. For the health conscious and the aspiring, our lovely park and trail systems offer a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors year-round!" To find the trailhead, travel two miles west down Spicewood Springs Rd and park … The trailhead is right at this spot, in the middle of the parking area. 3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703. "Wonderful park for strolling, walking the dog or walking/biking along the 10 mile paved hike and bike trail that is located along the shores of beautiful Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin." Stargazing in Texas: Dark Sky Locations + Tips. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Unsubscribe at anytime. Austin Parks Foundation partners with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support. The beloved crown jewel of Austin hiking and located just minutes from downtown, Barton Creek Greenbelt is a must-see for anyone looking for the best hikes in Austin. View the trail directory to see the location and usage types of all City-maintained trails. What are the best places for hiking trails in Austin? Like the better-known Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt are beautiful, free to visit, can be reached by several access points, and is characterized by a beautiful creek flowing over slippery limestone. The Interactive Web Map showcases the planned urban trail network, existing urban trails, and upcoming trail projects. Did you know that Austin has its own island? Enjoy beautiful Austin parks that are off the beaten path, ... making it an urban haven for wildlife. The park has lots of trails and hiking areas, and the Austin nature and Science Center offers educational seminars and guided nature hikes in the park. Nature Trails and Parks: Bee Cave Loop Park 13742 Bee Cave Parkway Bee Cave Loop is a 1.4 mile paved loop that is accessible all year round. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Starting at sunset on Thursday, all City of Austin parks and trails will close for the Easter weekend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One of Austin’s most cinematic parks, Butler Park is located next to Vic Mathias Shores (fka Auditorium Shores), where the parking is plentiful and the people-watching is excellent. There are a couple of different trails to choose from. More likely than not, there will already be other cars there as well–this is one of the most popular hiking trails in Austin. If you can, plan your hikes outside of peak times to avoid the crowds–the trails are much more peaceful that way! When the water levels are high, Bull Creek is a popular place to spot fish, turtles, and other wildlife, but the trails are popular year-round. Find the best hiking trails in Austin , Texas with this guide, from the Hike and Bike Trail and Barton Creek Greenbelt to State Parks near Austin. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail … Each of these parks has different rules, so be sure to know what’s allowed before setting off! Quick answer: Point-to-point, the Barton Creek Greenbelt trail is 7.5 miles, but the total amount of Austin Parks and Recreation Department-maintained trail totals 12.68 miles. 9 Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, 10 Cool Things to Do in Castroville, Texas. Trails are organized alphabetically. Throughout the year, Zilker Park is home to many events such as Shakespeare in the Park performances and an annual musical theater production, which are held at the Zilker Hillside Theater. ), As tempting as popular Hill Country hikes like, With nearly 13 miles of trails to choose from (the “main” trail is about 7 miles long) that can be reached by. 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744. Set on 21 acres and featuring several short hiking trails, Mayfield Park is perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Austin–as so many beautiful estates in the city are–and in addition to its trails and the quaint Lake Mayfield, also features a historic cottage, beautiful gardens, and most uniquely, plenty of peacocks. Austin Parks adds hike-and-bike trail restrictions to combat COVID-19. Located in Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Austin’s Turkey Creek Trail is best-known for being an off-leash dog park–and according to our dog, it’s definitely one of the best hikes in Austin. Most of these Austin hikes are popular, which translates to lots of crowds, especially during weekends. 1000 Barton Springs Rd. These are the best places for couples seeking hiking trails in Austin: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Austin for travelers on a budget? With more than 32 Austin trails covering 128 miles, you’re bound to find a perfect trail like the San Gabriel Park Trail or Johnson Creek Hike and Bike Trail. No list of the best state parks near Austin area would be complete without mentioning Stephen F. Austin Park. With nearly 13 miles of trails to choose from (the “main” trail is about 7 miles long) that can be reached by several access points, exploring the Greenbelt is far from a one-and-done experience–it’s the kind of place that Austinites return to again and again. Austin Parks Foundation partners with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support. Be sure to also bring plenty of water with you, as well as snacks if you’re taking on a longer hike. Brushy Creek Regional Trail The Brushy Creek Regional Trail is the ‘burbs’ answer to Austin’s popular hike and bike trails. Top Austin Parks & Nature Attractions: See reviews and photos of parks, gardens & other nature attractions in Austin, Texas on Tripadvisor. We respect your privacy. Entrance Fee: Check website. Austin currently has around 50 miles of urban trails. It’s easy to spend an entire day traversing this 6.75-mile path connecting Round Rock to Cedar Park. Located in Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Austin’s Turkey Creek Trail is best-known for being an off-leash dog park–and according to our dog, it’s definitely one of the best hikes in Austin. Keep in mind that no pets are allowed at Mayfield Park. Parts of the trail are even built as a boardwalk over the lake itself. As you’re heading south on 360, on the north side of the bridge (right before you would cross it), you’ll see a turnout where you can park. These are the best places for budget-friendly hiking trails in Austin: "Great place to get some exercise while in Austin and enjoy the lake in, "During our week's visit to Austin we came here every day to walk and enjoy, "This is the perfect place to take a walk or jog under the oak trees, get cool at Sculpture Falls, or try a hand at, "The day we visited several dog owners had their, "On Monday, 10/19 one of our beloved staff therapy dogs from Dell Seton Medical Center in Austin, TX was, "Best time to go is the spring when the red bud, "Gentle climb from Boggy Creek to Decker Lake, Hotels near Congress Avenue Bridge / Austin Bats, Hotels near Bullock Texas State History Museum, Hotels near Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, Hotels near Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Hotels near University of Texas at Austin, Hotels near (AUS) Austin-Bergstrom Intl Airport, Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, South Walnut Creek Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, Things to do near (AUS) Austin-Bergstrom Intl Airport, Things to do near Congress Avenue Bridge / Austin Bats, Things to do near LBJ Presidential Library, Things to do near Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, Things to do near Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Things to do near Circuit of The Americas, Things to do near University of Texas at Austin, Things to do near Zilker Metropolitan Park, Things to do near Holiday Inn Austin Airport, Things to do near Four Seasons Hotel Austin, See more hiking trails in Austin on Tripadvisor, See more hiking trails for kids in Austin on Tripadvisor, See more hiking trails for couples in Austin on Tripadvisor, See more budget-friendly hiking trails in Austin on Tripadvisor. Check here for the most updated information about current algae blooms. Located in Westlake Hills, this wilderness preserve includes 2.5 miles of hiking trails in Austin that are easy and kid-friendly, with plenty of shade and beautiful creek views. Be sure to keep your valuables with you and to lock your car before setting off! Arguably, this is the sexiest park for a date. About 100 steps up a stone staircase will deliver you to the top of Mount Bonnell, where you’ll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views in Austin. The trail is almost 6 miles round-trip, and dogs are welcome. Mayfield Park was an estate presented to the city of Austin in 1971 and hosts a historic cottage along with 2 acres of gardens with peacocks. This under-visited and underrated park sits on 500 acres two hours from Austin. This 2.87-mile out-and-back trail crisscrosses over Turkey Creek at several points–so depending on how high the water level is, you may need to prepare for your feet getting wet. By Katie Friel. As a bonus, St. Edward’s is often less crowded than many other parks in Austin! The only state park on this list of places to go hiking in Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is set on Onion Creek and is home to nearly 9 miles of hiking and biking trails. Parts of the trail are paved, though not all of it. My husband and I went to Boulder Park on a Saturday afternoon. Austin is surrounded by incredible parks and outdoor recreation areas. There are some light to moderate inclines depending on the direction you go. It is also one of our favorite places to go hiking in Austin. Your dog will likely get more exercise than you, as the trail surrounding the outer edge of the island is only about a half-mile long, but looping a few times will ensure that both of you have a chance to make the most of this beautiful spot. These places are best for hiking trails in Austin: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Austin for kids and families? Overall, this is a very easy trail, taking place almost exclusively in the shade and over flat surfaces, and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy hiking in Austin with the whole family. The park is named after one of the first 300 settlers who came to Central Texas with Stephen F. Austin. Now, the National Park Service is helping them make that vision a reality. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. *A Yes for ADA Accessible indicates a section of the trail that meets ADA at the time it was constructed. The best time to hike Slaughter Creek is definitely during wildflower season when the fields surrounding the trail explode with beautiful colors! Popular hikes include the Onion Creek Trail and the Homestead Trail, and no visit to McKinney Falls State Park is complete without seeing both the Lower Falls and Upper Falls–the Upper Falls have been compared to a more-impressive version of Sculpture Falls at Barton Creek. While a bit too short to be called a hike per se, Mount Bonnell is such an iconic part of Austin that leaving it off of an Austin hiking guide seems wrong! Here are some of the best places to go hiking in Austin, from urban trails to parks that will make you completely forget that you’re in the city! Apr 13, 2020, 4:27 pm Trail users should now go clockwise around Lady Bird Lake. The water is carefully tested, and warnings are put out when blooms are present, but it’s best to be vigilant. The park and trail is located in the Lost Creek subdivision, west of Austin. With rolling green meadows, wide open spaces, giant cypress and oak trees throughout the countryside and along creeks, limestone cliffs, rocky riverbeds, rivers, lakes and caves, Central Texas has some of the most diverse landscapes and ecosystems in the state. Dogs are welcome on-leash and services are basically nonexistent, so bring what you need (and if Austin has had rain recently, that includes a swimsuit to take advantage of the Greenbelt’s swimming holes). Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! The closures, covering all city trails, greenbelts and preserves – including the Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake – end at sunrise Monday. Granted, it’s only a few feet from the shore, but Red Bud Isle on Lady Bird Lake is the perfect place to enjoy Austin’s nature with your four-legged friend, as the small island acts as an off-leash dog park! The site-specific installation series uses eco-friendly turf paint to delineate spaces where people can come together to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities - like picnics, yoga, and relaxing in the sun - while maintaining a safe distance. Explore the best trails in Austin, Texas on TrailLink. Less of a hike than a quick climb to a gorgeous view, the 360 Bridge Viewpoint is one of the most photogenic spots in Austin, and one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city! As tempting as popular Hill Country hikes like Enchanted Rock and Pedernales Falls are, you don’t need to leave the city limits to get lost in nature in Austin. Austin's Trails Connect People + Places. ), 17 Fun Weekend Getaways from Austin (Road Trip Ideas! This 5-mile loop isn’t particularly difficult–other than a few gentle hills, it’s fairly flat–but it is beautiful, and generally much less crowded than some of the better-known hiking trails in Austin. To access the 360 Bridge Viewpoint, you’ll want to park along the side of 360. WALNUT CREEK METROPOLITAN PARK . 12138 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78753 Directions Since 1928. Immensely popular with Austinites and visitors alike, you can usually expect a crowd here–be sure to keep an eye out for bikers and joggers as you explore! Here’s The Deal: "'Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park' is a vast 293-acre park located just north of Austin city center.It includes miles of hiking trails, an off-leash dog park, a pool, a playground, and leisure and sports facilities. It’s named after “The Father of Texas,”who brought the first 300 families to this area of the country. The Great Springs Project’s founders say they want to create a “national park-scale corridor of protected lands” with hike and bike trails from Austin to San Antonio. It’s a delightful urban trail, though, featuring all of the essential features of an Austin hike: creeks, small waterfalls (when the water is high enough, anyway), oak trees, and limestone. On the weekends, there is a $10 fee for access, and the trail’s popularity means that you shouldn’t come here expecting to be alone–but there’s a reason that Austinites flock to this trail, and it’s well worth trying out! 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