Where to Hike in ATX

There’s plenty of hiking, biking and walking trails in Austin.

EASY HIKES

Twin Falls
  • Twin Falls & Sculpture Falls (Barton Creek Greenbelt) 3918 S. MOPAC Expy.
    – Length: 3.3 mi.
    – This hike is one of my favorites! It is rocky but the views and diverse terrain make it stand out from most other typical Austin Trails. Friendly for all skill levels and open year-round!
    – Directions: Parking is along the highway (be sure to lock your cars / take your valuables with you.) From here, you will hike through Barton Creek and climb over some rocky terrain. You will first pass Twin Falls first and have 1.25 mi. left to get to Sculpture Falls. (If you go after a good rain you’ll see some beautiful falls! Time of year does matter whether they are flowing or not.) Dogs are also welcome on this hike.

Lady Bird Lake Trail
  • Lady Bird Lake Trail
    – Length: 10 mi.
    –This looped trail is perfect for anyone wanting to bike, run, or hike. With a small grade of 5% this is great for beginners and offers scenic views of LadyBird Lake. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash. This hike is also kid and stroller friendly.

St. Edwards Green & Red Loop
  • St. Edwards Green and Red Loop
    – Length: 2.7 mi.
    – St. Edwards Green features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
    – Directions: From Capitol Of Texas Highway take Spicewood Springs Rd to the west 2.5 miles to parking area. From highway 183 take the McNeil Dr./Spicewood Springs Rd exit, turn on Spicewood Springs Rd and the parking area is 3.5 miles.

Walnut Creek Trail
  • Walnut Creek Trail
    – Length: 1.3 mi.
    – This is a great route for dogs, bikes, and walking. If you go in the warmer months, you’ll see people sunbathing or dogs running into the river to play. If you continue scrolling down this page to the moderate hikes, you will see this trail extends into many interconnecting trails. ***If it is raining, please do not go on this hike. Hiking in wet conditions will damage the clay paths**

Great Hills Park Trail
  • Great Hills Park Trail
    – Length: 2.3 mi.
    – This trail is a loop with a river view (as pictured above.) It’s great for hikers of all skill levels and is used for hiking, walking and running. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.
    – Directions: Search Great Hills Neighborhood Park Trail, Austin, TX 78759

Mary Moore Searight Park Trail
  • Mary Moore Searight Park Trail
    – Length: 2.1 mi.
    – This trail is very scenic and lush when we get enoguh rain (although this trail is open all year.) It features a river and is perfect for a mid-hike picnic. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.
    – Directions: It is the Outer loop in Mary Moore Searight Metro Park. This trail is connected to many other inner trails and made into a longer/shorter trip.

Hamilton Greenbelt Trail
  • Hamilton Greenbelt
    – Length: 5.1 mi.
    – For a less-trafficked trail with beautiful views, Hamilton Greenbelt is my go-to. This trail is used for a variety of purposes: walking, running, hiking or even bird watching. I’d suggest going in the warmer months from April – September. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash!

Bull Creek Hike
  • Bull Creek Hike
    – Length: 3.8 mi.
    – This is a popular hike so you most likely won’t be the only one checking out this waterfall! This is a multi-use trail for hiking, running and mountain biking (I would only suggest when it is very dry!). This hike can get very muddy after a rain and with many interlocking trails and overgrown brush, it can be difficult to navigate… so proceed with caution. The views are worth it! Dogs are welcome and don’t have to be on a leash.

Slaughter Creek Trail
  • Slaughter Creek Trail Loop
    – Length: 4.9 mi.
    – This is another high trafficked trail that fills with wildflowers in the spring. This terrain is moderately sloped so it can be used for hiking, running, horseback riding or even mountain biking. Although it is accessible year round, I’d suggest going in the spring to see the flowers!
    – Directions: https://circlecranch.com/amenities/trails-parks/

Violet Crown Trail
  • Violet Crown Trail
    – Length: 3.7 mi.
    – This trail is called Violet Crown Trail but is actually Zilker Trailhead to 360 Trailhead. It does have a river that is beautiful when we get enough rain. It’s used for both walking and running and dogs are welcome (no leash required!)

MODERATE HIKES

River Place Natural Trail
  • Riverplace Natural Trail
    – Length: 5.5 mi.
    – This trail is a little further out of Austin towards West Lake Hills. It does have some steeper terrain and that is why it is listed as a moderate hike (see picture.) This is one of my FAVORITE moderate hikes and features a beautiful waterfall. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash!
    – There is a daily fee per hiker here. Credit Card Payments only. Children 12 and under with an adult are free. See the park page here for more information: http://www.riverplacelimiteddistrict.org/trails.html

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail
  • Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail
    – Length: 13.8 mi.
    – This is another one of my favorite hikes but has a rocky terrain and will occasionally require you to climb over rocks. It features a small waterfall but the views are incredible. Dogs are welcome and do not have to be on a leash.

Turkey Creek Trail
  • Turkey Creek Trail
    – Length: 2.8 mi.
    – This trail features a flowing river and is used for walking, running, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. It is accessible year round and dogs are welcome with or without a leash. This trail is pretty rocky and has quite a bit of exposed roots. The trail has signage where it is hard to get lost. This being a common trail, you usually won’t be the only one hiking. Once you get to the back there will be several trails branching off for a longer hike.

Hill of Life Trail
  • Hill of Life (Barton Creek Greenbelt)
    – Length: 3.1 mi.
    – The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Go during spring seasons to see the wildflowers!

Onion Creek and Homestead Trail Loop
  • Onion Creek and Homestead Trail Loop
    – Length: 6.5 mi.
    – This hike is open year round and features this beautiful waterfall. Dogs are welcome but asked to stay on a leash.
    – Please note that reservations are required for day passes either online or over the phone.

Laurel, Yaupon, Possum and Arroyo Vista Loop

Mount Lakeway Trail
  • Mount Lakeway Trail
    – Length: 4.3 mi.
    – This popular route is a great place to feel like you’re in the wilderness and luck into seeing some wildlife. Dogs are welcome and off leash is allowed. This is part of the Greenbelt so you’ll notice changes in terrain from wooded to rocky, hilltops, and other conjoining trails that you can take to explore more.

Bull Creek Trail
  • Bull Creek Trail
    – Length: 4.4 mi.
    – This trail is worth the hassle! It is accessible year round but you will have to check to see if you need a permit before you go. Bull Creek Preserve Entry Permits are issued in January & February and are good for three seasons. A permit is only required March-July. The trail is open to all users August through February.

Homestead Trail
  • Homestead Trail
    – Length: 3.1 mi.
    – This waterfall trail is often closed seasonally (due to weather conditions) but when it is open, it is worth the hike! It is located behind the McKinney Falls State Park (hence, the beautiful scenery) and is $6/per person or free to enter with a Texas State Park Pass. It is a well-maintained trail but does cross Lower Falls so you might want to pack some water shoes to cross the shallow area of the falls (or you can rock hop, your choice!) Check the seasonal closures out here before ya go: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls

Spicewood Valley Trail
  • Spicewood Valley Trail
    – Length: 2.1 mi.
    – Spicewood Valley Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail with water views. It is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.

Mount Bonnell Trail
  • Mount Bonnell Trail
    – Length: 0.5 mi.
    – Mount Bonnell Trail is a 0.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that features breathtaking views of Lake Austin. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash. This hike is extremely short but is steep. There’s plenty of stairs when you get towards the top.

Canyon Creek Trail
  • Canyon Creek Trail
    – Length: 5 mi.
    – If you’re going to see animals on any hike in Austin, i’d say this is the one. It’s open year round and dogs are welcome but must stay on a leash. Be considerate as you hike this trail as parts of it are on private property.

3 Falls Hike
  • 3 Falls Hike
    – Length: 7.3 mi.
    – The three falls hike waterfall is one of my favorites to sit and listen to. It is open year round although the water flows the most in the spring/heavy rainy seasons. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.

360 Bridge Hike
  • Lake Austin 360 Bridge Hike
    – Length: 1.8 mi.
    – This just might be the busiest hike in all of Austin. It is open year round and is usually crowded around sunset. I’d personally recommend doing this hike to see the sun rise instead of sunset if you want to avoid the crowds. You can hike, walk, bird watch, have a picnic or bring your pup along this trail.

Lower Falls Trail
  • Lower Falls and Homestead Loop Trail
    – Length: 3 mi.
    – This trail should be used from March-October. It is a popular hike so you’re bound to see another hiker on your trek. It’s primarily used for hiking and bird watching and all furry friends are allowed but must be kept on a leash.

Long Walnut Creek Trail
  • Walnut Creek Trail
    – Length: 19.5 mi. (but there are plenty of shorter trails in the mix)
    – This trail is accessible year round and is dog friendly as long as they remain on a leash. This is a wonderful paved trail that eventually passes a lake. It is a gentle grade so it is stroller friendly up until the 5 1/2 mile marker where the grade gets steeper. This trail is great if you enjoy wider paths that stay groomed.

Hard Hikes:

Emma Long Loop
  1. Emma Long Motorcross Loop
    – Length: 4.4 mi.
    – This hike is only recommended for very experienced bikers (not a hiking trail nor are dogs allowed!) The trail is primarily used for mountain biking and ATV driving and is accessible year-round. The terrain is dry and rocky, perfect for those adventurers looking to bike in town.

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