Parts of the trail are even built as a boardwalk over the lake itself. This under-visited and underrated park sits on 500 acres two hours from Austin. Stargazing in Texas: Dark Sky Locations + Tips. Explore Austin parks, trails & natural areas for your next adventure. 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 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. 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. Arguably, this is the sexiest park for a date. 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. If you can, plan your hikes outside of peak times to avoid the crowds–the trails are much more peaceful that way! These places are best for hiking trails in Austin: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Austin for kids and families? The water is carefully tested, and warnings are put out when blooms are present, but it’s best to be vigilant. As an Amazon Associate, Lone Star Travel Guide earns from qualifying purchases. This question started with a debate about the trail running through the Barton Creek Greenbelt. 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 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. 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. The Parks and Recreation Department maintains several types of trails for hiking, biking, skating and other activities. Some bodies of water in Austin, including Lady Bird Lake, have experienced toxic algae blooms that have been fatal to dogs in the past. ), 17 Fun Weekend Getaways from Austin (Road Trip Ideas! more. 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). 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 guide to hiking in Austin would be complete without featuring the incredible 10-mile hike-and-bike trail on Lady Bird Lake! Some links throughout this site are affiliate links. 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. 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. 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. Parts of the trail are paved, though not all of it. Be sure to also bring plenty of water with you, as well as snacks if you’re taking on a longer hike. 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. There are some light to moderate inclines depending on the direction you go. WALNUT CREEK METROPOLITAN PARK . It’s named after “The Father of Texas,”who brought the first 300 families to this area of the country. These are the best places for kid-friendly hiking trails in Austin: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Austin for couples? It is recommended the trail be reviewed and compared to user capabilities prior to use* Apr 13, 2020, 4:27 pm Trail users should now go clockwise around Lady Bird Lake. Austin currently has around 50 miles of urban trails. 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!" The best time to hike Slaughter Creek is definitely during wildflower season when the fields surrounding the trail explode with beautiful colors! "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." The trailhead is right at this spot, in the middle of the parking area. 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. To find the trailhead, travel two miles west down Spicewood Springs Rd and park … Explore the best trails in Austin, Texas on TrailLink. Did you know that Austin has its own island? My husband and I went to Boulder Park on a Saturday afternoon. Austin's Trails Connect People + Places. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. 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. As a bonus, St. Edward’s is often less crowded than many other parks in Austin! "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." 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! During the summer months, consider early morning or evening hikes to avoid the worst of the heat, and know your limits. To access the 360 Bridge Viewpoint, you’ll want to park along the side of 360. The estate and park are located near Mount Bonnell and Westwood Country Club. 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! Use the Parks GIS Viewer to find a trail near your location. By Katie Friel. Download the Trail Directory to view a PDF document with additional information about the trails listed below, including surface types. 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. 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. 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. The park and trail is located in the Lost Creek subdivision, west of Austin. 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. The burning quads are worth it, though, to experience the charming creeks, many small waterfalls, and gorgeous scenery at the River Place Nature Trail. 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? 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! 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. What are the best places for hiking trails in Austin? 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. *A Yes for ADA Accessible indicates a section of the trail that meets ADA at the time it was constructed. Check here for the most updated information about current algae blooms. The closures, covering all city trails, greenbelts and preserves – including the Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake – end at sunrise Monday. View the trail directory to see the location and usage types of all City-maintained trails. Project Connect and … 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! 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. The water is carefully tested, and warnings are put out when blooms are present, but it’s best to be vigilant. "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. 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! Similarly, whether or not the swimming holes at Barton Creek are worth a dip depends on water levels as well. The Interactive Web Map showcases the planned urban trail network, existing urban trails, and upcoming trail projects. Davis Mountains State Park: Hiking, Camping + More! Discover existing and upcoming concrete trails to walk or bike on with the Urban Trails Interactive Web Map. Austin Parks adds hike-and-bike trail restrictions to combat COVID-19. 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. Unlike many of these hikes in Austin, however, dogs aren’t allowed at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. 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. 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. 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). The path is ideal for walking or biking with kids–especially since it connects an unbelievable six parks! 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 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. No list of the best state parks near Austin area would be complete without mentioning Stephen F. Austin 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. Hours: 8 am to 10 pm 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! Visitors can enjoy the trails, picnic tables, pavilion and wildlife viewing area. Most of these Austin hikes are popular, which translates to lots of crowds, especially during weekends. 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. 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 climb itself is only about 0.1 miles. 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. 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. Brushy Creek Regional Trail The Brushy Creek Regional Trail is the ‘burbs’ answer to Austin’s popular hike and bike trails. 9 Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, 10 Cool Things to Do in Castroville, Texas. More likely than not, there will already be other cars there as well–this is one of the most popular hiking trails in Austin. The park is fairly small, pretty, has a short trail and not crowded. Pedernales Falls State Park 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City For any bird watching fans out there, this is the spot! Some links in this post may be affiliate links. 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. 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. 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. ), 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. Trails are organized alphabetically. 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! Top Austin Parks & Nature Attractions: See reviews and photos of parks, gardens & other nature attractions in Austin, Texas on Tripadvisor. Circling Lady Bird Lake, the crushed granite path stops by some of Austin’s most beloved recreational areas like Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. The park is open for a variety of activities including camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming. 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. It is also one of our favorite places to go hiking 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. 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. 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