Austin, Texas is known for its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and beautiful outdoor spaces. For dog owners, one of the best ways to explore the city's natural beauty is by hitting the trails with your furry companion.
With so many scenic dog-friendly hikes to choose from, it can be tough to decide where to start.
Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll with your pup, Austin has plenty of options for every skill level.
From winding rivers and stunning hilltop views to shady forests and peaceful meadows, there's no shortage of breathtaking scenery to discover.
Not only do these hikes offer a chance to get some exercise and fresh air, but they also provide an opportunity for you and your dog to bond and create lasting memories.
Plus, with so many dog-friendly restaurants and cafes in Austin, you can easily make a day of it by grabbing a bite to eat after your hike. So grab your leash and get ready to explore the best scenic dog-friendly hikes in Austin!
1. Barton Creek Greenbelt
Looking for a scenic hike with your furry friend in tow, look no further than the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
This dog-friendly trail offers a relaxing walk along the creek, with plenty of wildflowers and waterfalls to admire. The trail is fairly easy, making it accessible for all levels of hikers.
However, be sure to arrive early as the trail can get busy quickly.
With a mix of man-made amenities and natural beauty, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is the perfect place for a quick escape into nature without leaving the city.
2. WCMP Trailhead
If you're looking for a scenic dog-friendly hike, WCMP Trailhead is a great option. The trail is well-paved and in good condition, making it easy to walk or bike along.
There are plenty of blue trails and elevation changes to keep things interesting. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and fish.
While there are no public restrooms, there are porta-potties available. The only downside is that some visitors don't clean up after their dogs, so be prepared to see doggy bags around.
If you're planning to hike with your furry friend, it's best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. All in all, WCMP Trailhead is a lovely place to spend some time in nature with your dog.
3. Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail
The Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a 10-mile loop around Town Lake, offering scenic views of the city skyline and Ladybird Lake.
It's a dog-friendly trail with plenty of amenities, including restrooms and drinking fountains (some for dogs) and a new boardwalk for a unique experience on the water.
Whether you're a runner, cyclist, or just looking for a peaceful stroll, this trail is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
4. Violet Crown Trail
Looking for a scenic hike that's also dog-friendly near you?
Look no further than Violet Crown Trail! This multi-use path offers beautiful views of Barton Creek and is well-maintained by park rangers.
While some areas may be challenging for beginners, it's a great option for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers alike.
Don't forget to wear proper shoes and bring plenty of water for longer hikes.
With over 30 miles of trail to explore, you and your furry friend are sure to have a great time on Violet Crown Trail.
5. Turkey Creek Trail
If you're looking for a scenic dog-friendly hike, Turkey Creek Trail is a great option. The trail is around 2.5 miles long and has varied elevations, with plenty of creek crossings.
Dogs are allowed to run free on the trail, making it a magnet for dog lovers. The trail is well maintained and clean, with some steeper climbs and stairs for a good workout.
The creek bed has great rocks to climb when it's dry, and the trail offers plenty of photo opportunities.
The only downside is that newcomers may find it challenging to navigate the trail without more brightly colored markers. Nevertheless, Turkey Creek Trail is a hidden gem worth exploring.
6. Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead
Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead is a fantastic place for a scenic hike with your furry friend.
The trails are well-marked and offer a variety of terrain to explore. The park is compact but packed with features, including running water and shaded areas.
Be sure to wear appropriate footwear as the trails can be rocky and slippery in places. The park is dog-friendly, but be mindful of cleaning up after your pet as there are bag stations available.
Great Hills Park – Floral Park Trailhead is a peaceful and therapeutic space, perfect for a quiet nature walk with your pup.
7. Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park
Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park is a fantastic dog-friendly hike with miles of trails to explore. Dogs can roam freely off-leash and enjoy playing in the creek crossings.
The park offers both paved and unpaved paths, providing different experiences for walkers, runners, and bikers.
The trails are well-maintained and offer beautiful views of cedar forests and wildlife. The park also has playgrounds for kids and facilities such as bathrooms.
Hiking Trail Walnut Creek Park is a great place to spend a day with your furry friend and enjoy the outdoors.
8. Spicewood Valley Trail
Spicewood Valley Trail is a scenic dog-friendly hike that offers plenty of shade and water. The trail is well-maintained and has a few different paths to explore.
The scenery is reminiscent of the Midwest, and there are waterfalls and a lake at the end of the trail.
The trail is easy to navigate, but it can get busy on weekends. Visitors should be cautious of ticks and snakes in the area.
All in all, it's a great place to take a leisurely hike with your furry friend.
9. River Place Nature Trail
River Place Nature Trail is a beautiful hiking area that welcomes dogs on its well-maintained trails.
The trail is moderate in difficulty and offers over 2000 steps, bridges, and waterfalls along the way. The majority of the trail is shaded, making it a great option for a hot day.
The trail is popular, so it can be crowded on weekends. Visitors should bring water and wear sturdy shoes.
The trail is a great escape for those looking to enjoy nature and get some exercise with their furry friends.
10. River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead
River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead is a beautiful hike for both dogs and their owners. The trail offers a variety of skill levels, making it a great place for anyone to enjoy.
The scenery is breathtaking, with picturesque views of the surrounding forest and river. The trail is challenging, with lots of elevation changes and narrow paths, so it's important to bring plenty of water and be in good shape.
The trail is well-managed, and there are resting spots along the way. The park charges $10 per person and $10 per dog on weekends, but it's free on weekdays.
If you're looking for a challenging and scenic hike with your furry friend, River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead is definitely worth a visit.