Wellness & Nature

Hiking Heaven: 13 Trailblazing Routes to Explore in Austin

As a nature lover and avid hiker, I have had the pleasure of exploring the hiking trails in and around Austin.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Austin has a variety of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels and preferences. From scenic views to challenging terrains, the hiking trails in Austin offer an unforgettable experience.

The hiking trails in Austin are well-maintained and offer a range of landscapes, from rocky hills to lush green forests.

Some hiking trails are in close proximity to the city, while others are located in the outskirts of Austin. The trails are open year-round, but it is important to check the weather before setting out on your hike.

Whether you want to hike alone, with friends, or with your furry companion, there is a trail for everyone in Austin. Some trails are popular among hikers, while others are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

In this blog post, I will share my favorite hiking trails in Austin that I believe are worth exploring. So, grab your hiking boots, water bottle, and let's hit the trails!

1. Turkey Creek Trail

Turkey Creek Trail
1401-1711 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

Looking for a short, moderate challenge in nature with plenty to see and varied elevation, check out Turkey Creek Trail.

With over 2.5 miles of trail, it offers a constantly changing terrain depending on the weather.

The trail crosses the creek numerous times, which can make for a refreshing trip through the woods.

Keep an eye out for off-leash dogs, and wear proper attire.

2. WCMP Trailhead

Wcmp Trailhead
Austin, TX 78758 (Google Maps)

WCMP Trailhead is a great spot for hiking and biking. The park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels.

The paved pathway is perfect for those who prefer a leisurely walk, while the dirt trails offer a more challenging terrain. The park is dog-friendly, with an off-leash area for furry friends to run around.

However, visitors should be aware of the crowds on weekends and the limited availability of restrooms.

Despite these minor drawbacks, WCMP Trailhead is a beautiful and enjoyable destination for anyone looking to get outside and explore nature.

3. Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail
3753 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail is a 12.68-mile hiking and biking trail that is perfect for nature lovers.

The trail is surrounded by greenery and offers scenic views of waterfalls and streams. It is accessible from downtown and is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the area.

The trail is well-maintained and is perfect for a day of hiking or biking. Visitors are advised to bring water and to explore the creeks and cliffs.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail is a great way to experience the beauty of nature in the heart of the city.

4. River Place Nature Trail

River Place Nature Trail
8820 Big View Dr, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

River Place Nature Trail is a picturesque hiking trail that offers a challenging workout for hikers. The trail spans 3 miles and features over 2,000 stairs, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery.

It is well-maintained and pet-friendly, making it a great adventure for both humans and their furry companions.

However, it is not recommended for beginners due to its steep inclines and numerous steps.

The trail is also popular and can get crowded on weekends. Despite this, it is a great place to escape the busy city life and immerse oneself in nature.

5. Spicewood Valley Trail

Spicewood Valley Trail
8043-8585 Scotland Well Dr, Austin, TX 78750 (Google Maps)

Spicewood Valley Trail is a well-maintained hiking trail that provides a great escape from the city.

With its lush greenery and beautiful creek, it's easy to forget that you're in an urban area. The trail is easy to navigate and perfect for beginners or those looking for a relaxing walk.

The trail is dog-friendly and offers plenty of shade to keep you cool on a sunny day.

If you're looking for a quick nature getaway without leaving the city, Spicewood Valley Trail is definitely worth checking out.

6. Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead

Great Hills Park - Floral Park Trailhead
10801 Sierra Oaks, Austin, TX 78759 (Google Maps)

Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead is a scenic hiking trail with lots of ups and downs. The rocky terrain and creek crossings make it a bit challenging, so proper footwear is recommended.

The trail is well laid out, with plenty of space and a variety of offshoot trails to explore. The park is dog-friendly and has running water even in August. However, there are no trash cans or water at the trailhead, so be prepared.

The park is quiet and therapeutic, making it an ideal spot for a short child-friendly hike or a peaceful nature walk. The trails are clearly marked, and there is a well-designed outdoor exercise area at the trailhead.

The park is compact but offers diverse scenery to enjoy. All in all, Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead is a great spot for hiking enthusiasts looking for a quick escape from the city.

7. Violet Crown Trail

Violet Crown Trail
William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

The Violet Crown Trail is a great hiking trail suitable for all skill levels. The trail is well-maintained and offers scenic views of the surrounding area. It's also a popular spot for trail running and mountain biking.

The trail is patrolled by park rangers on mountain bikes, ensuring safety for all visitors. The entry point to the 30-mile multi-use path is conveniently located, making it easy to access.

Some parts of the trail may be challenging for beginners, so proper shoes and attire are recommended. Visitors planning to hike for a long time should carry enough water and ensure their phone is fully charged.

All in all, the Violet Crown Trail is a great outdoor destination for those looking to enjoy nature and get some exercise.

8. Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park

Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park
Walnut Creek Park Rd, Austin, TX 78758 (Google Maps)

Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park is a great place to explore nature. The park offers both paved and unpaved paths for biking, running, and walking.

The trails are well-maintained and there are plenty of options to choose from. The park also has a playground for kids and bathrooms for visitors.

Dogs are allowed off-leash on certain trails, making it a great spot for pet owners. The park is generally not too crowded, even on busy days.

Visitors can enjoy the shade of the cedar forests and play in the creek crossings. All in all, a wonderful place to spend some time in the great outdoors.

9. Spyglass Trailhead

Spyglass Trailhead
1601 Spyglass Dr, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

Spyglass Trailhead is a great hiking trail for those looking for an easy 5-mile hike. The trail provides access to the full greenbelt and offers beautiful scenery.

The neighborhood is cute and provides street parking for those looking to hike the Barton Springs trail.

Fun climbs off the trail can be found at New Wall, making it a great spot for adventurous hikers. Parking is available along the side of the road in the neighborhood.

All in all, Spyglass Trailhead is a must-visit for hikers looking for a fun and easy hike with great views.

10. Inga VanNynatten Memorial Trail

Inga Vannynatten Memorial Trail
Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail, Austin, TX 78731 (Google Maps)

The Inga VanNynatten Memorial Trail is an easy hiking trail with 100% shade.

The trail offers a nice mix of terrains and vegetation. You can hear Bull Creek down below as you walk along the trail.

The trail is wide enough for a durable kids wagon for about a 15 minute walk each way from the parking lot before it becomes a little more rocky.

You'll come across many small waterfalls, and a few benches to take in the beauty of the scenescapes. It's a great place to spend a few hours in nature.

11. St. Edwards Park Trailhead

St. Edwards Park Trailhead
7301 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759 (Google Maps)

St. Edwards Park Trailhead offers a scenic hiking experience with its crystal clear creek and fields of flowers. The park boasts numerous trails that cater to hikers of all levels.

The high banks on one side of the creek provide a challenging hike, while the fields of flowers offer a more relaxed stroll.

The park is well-maintained and provides a beautiful natural escape from the city. Hikers should be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the Texas sun can be intense.

All in all, St. Edwards Park Trailhead is a must-see for anyone looking for a picturesque hike in a serene setting.

12. 45 SW Trail

45 Sw Trail
Austin, TX 78739 (Google Maps)

The 45 SW Trail offers a beautiful hike with well-paved paths and plenty of rest stops. The trail is perfect for walking, running, or biking, but it can get a bit crowded at times.

Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms at the trail heads, and the lack of shade can make it a bit hot in the summer months.

However, the wildflowers along the trail are stunning in the spring. Be aware of the slight incline if you start from the 45 SW trail head, and watch out for large areas of exposed trail.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the 45 SW Trail is a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

13. River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead

River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead
4998 River Pl Blvd, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead is a moderate hiking trail that offers a refreshing walk in nature. The 4.6 mile trail features a combination of uphill and downhill paths with frequent changes in elevation.

It is well-maintained and safe for all ages. The trail offers picturesque views of the small creek and has several resting spots along the way.

The trail can be challenging in some parts, so it's recommended to bring plenty of water and snacks.

Pets are allowed on the trail, but it's important to clean up after them. The trail is a local favorite and offers a great outdoor adventure for hiking enthusiasts.