Parks and Nature Trails
River Place Nature Trail: 3916 River Pl Blvd 2 min drive 20 min walk – HIGHLY
RECOMMENDED. Don’t kid yourself, this is indeed one of the best hiking trails in Texas. However, there may be a fee to hike on the weekends. Please check:
Turkey Creek Trail – City Park Rd 4 min drive
Getting there: From central Austin, take FM 2222 west, past Loop 360. Turn left onto City Park Road and continue south to the Emma Long Park entrance sign. The parking area for the trail is two miles from the park entrance sign, on the right hand side of the road. The parking is right after a sharp turn in the road, so be prepared when you cross Turkey Creek to turn off the road.
Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail System – Barton Spring Road 20 min drive a very popular area in Austin which is 7.9 miles long with 809 acres and begins at Zilker Park. With sheer limestone cliff walls, dense lush vegetation, and popular swimming areas. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is truly a treasure for biking, hiking (Barton Creek Greenbelt is considered the 7th best hiking trail in Texas), swimming, climbing, and more. When the water in the creek is running (usually in spring) this is a fantastic place to spend some time. The easiest access point is the Loop 360 access with gently sloping cutback trails so that everyone can enjoy the trail.
360 Bridge Overlook Trail – HWY 360 6 min drive.
The 360 bridge (technically Pennybacker Bridge) is a favorite place in Austin. Beautiful scenery overlooking Lake Austin and the 360 bridge. The 360 bridge overlook trail is always a fun little hike. You get some great pictures, a little exercise and a new appreciation for how beautiful our city can be. Park where it says “No Parking on Row” just make sure that your perpendicular to the road. Location: North/West side of 360 bridge, between the bridge and the Courtyard light. You’ll see the cars parked right on the side of 360 as your approach the bridge.
Mount Bonnell – 3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd 12 min drive
Also known as Covert Park, is a prominent point alongside Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River in Austin TX. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1969, and bears Marker number 6473.
Emma Long Park (City Park): 1706 City Park Rd (512) 346-1831 5 min drive
In 1948, Emma Long was the first woman elected to the city council of a large Texas city; she served on the Austin City Council for 16 years. The 1,147-acre park named in her honor is Austin’s largest city park, and offers a variety of recreation opportunities — most notably, mountain biking. The steep trails of Emma Long Park, originally established for moto-cross motorcycle use, prove irresistible to experienced mountain bikers seeking to test their technical skills and endurance. The 9.13-mile bike course, consisting of steep and rocky single-track, is accessible only to mountain bikers and moto-cross riders. Hikers and walkers can enjoy the 1.97-mile Turkey Creek Nature Trail.
Woodland Park at River Place – 8820 Big View Drive 4 min drive.
Nice little park next to trailhead of River Place Trail. Has playground for children.
Mary Quinlan Park – 1705 S Quinlan Park Rd, Austin, TX 78732 14 min drive
Near the intersection of S Quinlan Park Rd and Riverbend Rd. This wonderful day-use park at Mary Quinlan Park is located at the upper end of Lake Austin. Visitors enjoy the waterfront, as well as 5.8 acres of land in this secluded park. The lake is great for windsurfing, water skiing and fishing. Picnic facilities with barbecue grills add to the wonderful natural surroundings of this little getaway.
Zilker Metropolitan Park – 2100 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704 20 min drive
Austin’s premier city park. Hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc.