Oh how I love Spring in Central Texas!
The blue bonnets are blooming and with the winter rains, there is water in the Greenbelt.
I know winters in Texas are sometimes hard to call an actual winter, but when Spring hits, you know it! Yes Austin in the Spring is amazing!
Walking in the Spring season feels great, as the days are longer with a warm feeling in the air and there is plenty of green and color returning to the trees.
And if you enjoy a good walk, brushing the cobwebs off your walking shoes or hiking boots is like a love affair renewed.
Now, everyone has their favorite local walks, but sometimes it’s fun to explore somewhere different while the sun’s out.
So I’ve decided to share with you 5 beautiful places to walk this Spring in Austin, which have features than come alive in Spring.
Whether it be walking Town Lake (I know, i just can’t seem to call it Lady Bird Lake), hiking the Barton Creek greenbelt, checking out the wildflowers along Turkey Creek, or walking the hundreds of steps at Mount Bonnell… There’s a walk to suit every mood.
Here’s The Top 5 Walks I’ve Picked For You:
1: Mount Bonnell:
Also known as Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is a prominent point overlooking the Lake Austin part of the Colorado River. It is located at 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd on over 5 acres to explore at your leisure. It is considered the best view in town by many, but be warned, first there is a long, long set of stairs to negotiate to the top and it does attract crowds.
Popular since the 1850’s, it provides a vista for viewing Lake Austin, the city and the surrounding hill country. Designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and being listed on the national register of Historic Places make it a place worth checking out.
If you want to make a picnic out of it, a table or two are available.
It’s perfect for a family day out and get ready to take some pictures.
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2: Turkey Creek:
Located in Emma Long Metro Park of Hwy 2222, just west of Loop 360, Turkey Creek is a moderate, 2.9 mile hike along a well maintained path along a creek that should have water still in the Spring.
This trail is accessible year round and is dog friendly. There is a small parking lot at the head of the trail, but do not park on the street if the lot is full, towing is enforced.
This parking area has a sign labeled “Nature Trail” and is before the entrance to the park, so it is free!
Look carefully and you might even catch a glimpse of the animals like squirrels, deer and fox, in their natural habitat between the towering trees.
Turkey Creek will have very few tourists in jeans and flip flops like you will see at Mount Bonnell.
3: Barton Creek Greenbelt:
When the water is running in the creek in the Spring, Barton Creek Greenbelt is truly an amazing place to spend a day. With over 800 acres and a length of almost 8 miles, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is ranked the 7th best hiking tail in Texas. Known for its swimming areas, limestone cliff walls and dense lush vegetation, it allows more than just hiking. Rock climbing, biking and swimming are hugely popular in the spring for the folks looking for a bit more adventure.
Access points to the Greenbelt include Zilker Park, Spyglass, Gus Fruh, Loop 360, Twin Falls and Scottish Woods Trails.
The Barton Creek Greenbelt consists of three areas: the Lower Greenbelt, the Upper Greenbelt and the Barton Creek Wilderness Park.
My favorite access point is the Loop 360 access with gently sloping cutback trails so that everyone can enjoy the trail.
So, if you feel like exploring something a little different, this is the place to go.
[images style=”0″ image=”https%3A%2F%2Ftherapyandpilates.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Faustin-walks-2.jpg” width=”400″ caption=”Cheryl%20and%20the%20boys%20at%20the%20Greenbelt%20near%20the%20Spyglass%20entrance” align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]
4: Town Lake / Lady Bird Lake:
Now its time to put the tennis shoes back on after the hiking boots serve your needs better on the last 2 suggestions. We are now on the north side of Zilker Park, on the shores of the Colorado River as it makes it way through downtown Austin. It is damed on either end to become Lady Bird Lake, or Town Lake if you have lived in Austin more than a few years.
Over 10 miles long, the trail is great for walking, running or biking. Be ready to see tons of dogs and a vibrant feel oozing from everywhere. Gorgeous and huge trees line the shores and its easy to get lost in the scenery of nature. But just in a blink of the eye, the sight of the many high rise buildings going up all over Austin pull you away from the trees and nature.
Bring some bread and feed the ducks, they are always around the branch of Barton Creek meeting Town Lake.
Kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board rentals are available on the lake in multiple locations and bring a swing suit to hit Barton Springs Pool. Spend a day in the area and walk to many restaurants, shopping and live music options.
5: Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve:
Located at 805 N Capital of Texas Hwy (Loop 360) just north of Bee Cave Rd. What makes this one different is that it DOES NOT ALLOW DOGS! So I have only been here a few times, because the boxers are usually with me on these walks. But it is an excellent hike and sometimes it nice to not deal with other dogs.
The Preserve consists of 227 acres of beautiful Hill Country woodlands and has trails 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.
This place is great if you are preparing for a backpacking trip. As I was preparing to hike the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas/New Mexico around 2010, I would load up my pack and put on my boots and hit this trail.
Take a moment to soak up the views of the hill country and there are even a few water holes that are really secluded and nice.
Bikes, pets, and picnics are all prohibited at Wild Basin.
So, there you have it! 5 different places to walk/hike in Austin that suit everyone.
Get outside as much as you can this Spring, walking is a great way to keep active and mobile – and moving towards a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy a gentle stroll, and enjoy what Austin has to offer.
And if you take any pictures while you’re out and about, be sure to share them with us over on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TherapyAndPilates) – we’d love to feature them on our page 🙂