Austin is known for the Lady Bird Lake trail, the 10-mile loop in the heart of downtown. This amazing trail is convenient for any Austinite who is looking for a place to run, walk or bike. You can find me running this trail pretty much every day of the week. But what are the other Austin trail options when we want to mix things up? What are some of the hidden gems that we should go and explore? Here is a list of some of Austin’s best nature trails that we should all use more often!
River Place Nature Trail
8820 Big View Drive
I call this trail “Nature’s Very Own Stairmaster.” You will find yourself running up 1,000 feet in a 3-mile span. While the narrow and rustic path requires you to take your run a little slower, the steep and continuous incline will guarantee a tough workout. Your legs will definitely feel the burn throughout this 6-mile trail! In addition to getting a great workout, you will get to enjoy some pretty stellar sights. Much of the trail follows along the side of a flowing creek, and the views from the top make every step worth it. For those needing a hill training venue, this is definitely the place for you.
Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail
2600 N. Lamar Blvd
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from Lady Bird Lake, but you don’t want to travel too far out of the center of Austin, Shoal Creek is a great option for you. This Austin trail is a total of 6 miles round trip and is great for runners and bikers. In case you aren’t interested in running one day but want to enjoy some physical activity, the trail also boasts a sand volleyball courts and disk golf courses to get you outside and moving.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
The Barton Creek Greenbelt caters to all types of athletes including runners, hikers, bikers and climbers. From paths to cliffs to shallow water holes, the trail is sure to not disappoint any adventurer. Also, though you are in the city, the dense greenery and beautiful natural sights will make you feel like you are far away from any civilization. This Austin trail includes 7.25 miles of path and has multiple entry points throughout the city. With its variety of activities and natural sights, it is no wonder the Barton Creek Greenbelt is considered the seventh best trail in Texas!
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
12138 North Lamar Blvd
Walnut Creek offers 15 miles of hilly trails and a large off-leash dog park, making it the perfect spot for both you and your furry friend. The park also consists of playgrounds, picnic and barbecue sites, athletic fields and a pool. With so many activity options, this is the perfect Austin park to run around and explore in or to spend a fun summer day with family and friends. Unfamiliar with the park myself, I look forward to testing it out in the coming months!
With all of these amazing natural trails, it is no wonder Austin is one of the fittest cities in the country! Have fun this summer while you run around this amazing city of ours!