Spring is almost here and, if you’ve been in Austin long, you know Spring and Fall are the best times of year to get outside. It is just warm enough to be comfortable outside but not hot enough to make you want to stay inside and blast the air conditioning. If you’re looking for some new hiking spots, check out our 5 best hikes in Austin list below.
5 Best Austin Hikes Mapped
Hill of Life
Location: 1710 Camp Craft Rd, Austin, TX 78746
If you’re looking for a genuine nature hike, the Hill of Life is an excellent choice. Parking can get a little hectic on busy days, as the only parking is in the neighborhood on Scottish Woods Trail or Camp Craft Rd. But, you’ll get an excellent workout, especially on the way back when you have to climb up the hill, named the Hill of Life. I would recommend bringing water if it is hot, because you’ll definitely need it after the hike. Some of the trail is shaded, but the hill is not and it does get steamy. This is true trail hiking, so if you are unsteady on your feet, you might want to select a different trail. If you’re up for a swim, the creek is typically pretty full and you can relax in the current or jump in from the cliffside.
Twin Falls/Sculpture Falls
Location: 3918 S MoPac Expy Austin TX 78746
Twin Falls can be accessed from the HIll of Life Entrance if you’re up for a long hike, or you can park alongside MoPac just south of 360 and enter there. One of the most well known greenbelt entrances, this spot does get packed on weekends. But, it’s a great place to enter and hike the trail. The trail here sits above the creek, so you’ll get a different vantage point of the water. Much of it is shaded, so you won’t be in the direct sunlight. There are also points along the trail where you can jump in the creek and enjoy the sun.
Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Pky, Austin, TX 78744
Cost: $6/adult or $70 for a year pass, which covers entrance for everyone in the car
McKinney Falls is a state park and the only trail on our list that has an entrance fee. If you live nearby and plan to go back often, the yearly pass is the way to go. For $70, entrance is covered for you and everyone in your car for an entire year. And, it’s good here and at all Texas State Parks. There are several trails ranging from the more rugged to man made, flat surfaces for you to hike. They’ll give you a map when you drive in, so you’ll be able to check it out and decide where you’d like to go first. If you’re looking for a swimming hole, you can park in the parking lot nearby, hike down a small hill and you’ll be able to jump in the water, making it a great option for someone who wants to jump in the water, but doesn’t want to walk miles before getting to it.
Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
Location: Several Entrances Around Lady Bird Lake
Sometimes also called the Town Lake Trail, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a great place to go if you’re looking for a flat, mostly shaded hike with a water or city view. Looping 10 miles around the Downtown area beside Lady Bird Lake, you’ll see runners, bikers, dogs and walkers. At 10 miles, it easy to travel the entire trail on a bike. If you’re walking, there are several entrance and exit points, depending on where you are coming from where you can take a shorter loop. The easiest places to park are along S Lakeshore Drive near the intersection of Pleasant Valley, the parking lot off Robert E Lee Rd near Zilker or the parking lot off Stratford Drive in West Austin.
My favorite spot on the trail is the Boardwalk in East Austin. This part of the trail is a bridge over the water, connecting Downtown and East Austin. There are several spots where you can great some great shots of the Downtown Austin skyline on a clear day.
You can download a map of the entire trail here.
Location: Winding Ridge Blvd and 360
If you’re looking for a cool spot north, check out the Bull Creek Greenbelt location off 360 just south of Spicewood Springs Rd. This 3 mile trail is good for hikers of all skill levels and has a spot where you can jump in the water. It does get pretty busy on warm days, so you’ll want to go early to get a spot.
Want to Move Closer to Austin’s Best Hike Spots?
We can help find the best home for you and your family. Whether you like to hike, swim, bike or just spend time outside, we know the best spots in Austin to do that. And, if you live nearer to them, you’ll be more likely to get out and enjoy them. Our team specializes in buyer representation and will show you how you can get a great deal on a house in this hot Austin real estate market. For more info, check out our Austin Home Buyers section. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Buyer Survey to get started.