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Austin Hiking Trails

The Best Hiking in Austin | Part 2

Great Hills Park

Great Hills Park Trail is a 2.3 mile loop trail that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and walking. This awesome little spot in the middle of a residential area is great for a quick jaunt. It also has exercise equipment, playgrounds, and lots of flowers and wildlife as well. These trails are a hidden gem located in the Arboretum area of Northwest Austin. They are excellent for short trail runs, with the longest routes totaling just over a mile. Most of the trail snakes along and across a beautiful creek, and each has its own unique finish – one ends in a flower garden, another at the fitness area, and a few along quaint residential streets. Take a walk or a jog through these trails and enjoy one of the best little parks in Austin, since its quiet and empty most days.

Walnut Creek Trail

If you are the explorer type, the Walnut Creek Trail neck of the woods is a popular spot for both hikers and mountain bikers. Comprised of a huge, 15-mile mass of land, Walnut Creek is an explorer’s landscape. There are tons of unmarked paths, so you may get a little lost, if you don’t mind going off the beaten path. With multiple winding trails and few obstacles, much of the trail is perfect for beginners. The hike offers plenty of vistas, so don’t forget to stop and enjoy the view on the way up. And of course, cool down in the beautiful creek on the way down. Wear good shoes. The rocks can be pesky! Dogs must be on a leash

Turkey Creek Trail

Located near The Emma Metropolitan Park, you may be lucky enough to see some wildlife on the drive up to Turkey Creek Trail! This trail is a very cool, secluded spot where a tranquil creek runs along the trail. Although primarily flat, parts of the trail have moderate elevation changes as well as water crossings. This is the place to be one with nature, but don’t forget that bug spray, since they are part of nature, too. Horse flies are not your friend. The distance is a 2.8 mile loop, and it is dog friendly.

St. Edwards Park

Called the “country within the city,” St. Edwards Park is a perfect balance between finding peace and pursuing adventure. Surrounded by forest-like areas, there are lots of hidden trails, great rises in elevation, phenomenal views, a waterfall, and a creek. This trail has everything you need for a peaceful getaway and truly is an Austin gem. Enjoy the solitude and the challenge if you are the peaceful adventurer type. If you’re looking for a more challenging trail with a steep incline, take the hill trail. Keep your eyes peeled on the way down and you will find a rope swing and swimming hole for those of you who like to cannonball dive! Dogs must be on a leash.

We hope you have a new spot in mind from these choices to go hiking around Austin. With the big holiday meals coming, it’s a perfect time for hiking in Austin, or maybe even jogging or running. Let’s not push it. A brisk walk will do!

Hiking in Austin

The Best Hiking in Austin | Part 1

Outdoor enthusiasts are pretty lucky to have many options here in Austin. Many know about the  scenic trails and beautiful views right in our own backyard like Town Lake (Lady Bird) and the Barton Creek Greenbelt. So for those who have hiked The Greenbelt countless times, we’ve put together a list of our favorite alternative gems in Austin that may not be on your radar. All the trails are free and are within a 25 minute drive from downtown. Get out there!

1. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

The convenient Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is managed as part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and consists of 227 acres of beautiful Hill Country woodlands owned jointly by Travis County and St. Edwards University. Wild Basin is open to visitors who can hike the 2.5 miles of trails and can visit the Wild Basin Creative Research Center. Wild Basin Preserve is as gorgeous as ever.  This time of year, there is no better way to work off holiday calories than to surround yourself with nature here.  There is something very peaceful about walking in and among the trees, listening to the wind and, when you’re near the stream and waterfall, the gentle trickle of water. Trails are accessible daily from sunrise to sunset. The Wild Basin Creative Research Center is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Parking and restrooms are available. Wild Basin also offers educational events, guided hikes for the public and school groups, volunteer workdays, and classroom space.

2. River Place Nature Trail

Surrounded by greenery and tall trees, the River Place Nature Trail will take you to a shady and cool world. If you are up for a cardio test, after climbing the many stairs here, your heart rate will match the high elevation level, which you wouldn’t find anywhere else in Austin. The trail is extremely well-defined and you will not need to worry about getting lost. Make sure you stop at the creeks and waterfall to take a well-earned break and cool off. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this one has got your name all over it. If you’re a moderately-experienced runner, run the trail. It’s worth it! The distance is around 5.5 miles to the end and back with no loop.  It is dog friendly!