When most people think of Texas cities, hiking is not typically at the top of the list of stuff to do. We are so thankful in Austin to have some solid hiking paths, though! From spots that give you great views of the city to ones that make you feel like you’ve escaped it, we’ve got you covered with a range of options.
Read this guide for some easier hikes in South Austin for the next time you need a quick, light exercise to enjoy solo, with friends, or with your pup.
Barton Creek Greenbelt, lovingly referred to as “the Greenbelt,” by locals, has some of the best hikes in South Austin if you’re looking for an easier option with great views. With over 12 miles of gorgeous trails, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. The trailhead access point starts near Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park, and spans 1.2 miles with no real incline before crossing another trail!
Another entrance to Barton Creek Greenbelt is the Loop 360 access, which is tricky to find but worth it when you’re there. When you pull up, you’ll see the Austin Park and Recreation sign and a designated parking lot. This trail is popular for mountain bikers and climbers, but also offers hikers an easier option with straightforward access to the rest of the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
A third access point to the Barton Creek Greenbelt is the Trail End/Sculpture Falls option. While this one is more difficult, the views at the end are worth it. Climb a half-mile uphill to get to the Sculpture Falls swimming area, then cool off with a dip and some lunch. It’ll be easier if you take your time and spread out the hike throughout the day!
This 10-mile long trail is an Austinite favorite for its stunning view of the skyline and beautiful scenery. On your hike on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, you’ll pass by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields, and cultural attractions, making it an exciting adventure with tons to explore. More than 4.4 million people visit each year, so it’s a must for both locals and visitors!
Prefer to hike with your pup? Shoal Creek Greenbelt is a fantastic option! The park, the greenbelt is in, features shady trails for the hot summer days and a dog park. Enjoy the 5.3-mile trail then rest at the dog park, while your furry friend continues to play!
Across the street from St. Edward’s University sits forty-acre Blunn Creek Nature Preserve. This spot features well-maintained looped trails and an out-and-back segment that leads to the Volcano Overlook where you can see the extinct volcano. Even though you’re still in the city, this hike will give you an adventure as you explore incredible nature! After you’re finished, be sure to explore South Congress Avenue for delicious eats and more fun.
This 2.1-mile loop is great for hikers looking to see beautiful wildflowers, trees, and birds on their walk. While the trails are not maintained, some sections are well-defined and easy to follow. If you decide to veer off, be sure to have a map to get you back on track, as it can be easy to get lost at Stephenson Nature Preserve and Outdoor Education Center!
More Stuff to Do in Austin
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