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Hiking guide for Austin

Check out these 11 hiking trails catered to all skill levels in and around Austin for outdoor adventures.

Two people and a dog walking along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, with buildings in the background.

Who said you can’t find nature in the big city?

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

From quick and easy loops around town to drives that take you to watering holes and hilltop views, our city has so many options to hit the trail. So lace up your hiking boots, because we’ve compiled a hiking guide for the Austin area with 11 routes and trails to help you plan your next adventure and experience breathtaking views.

Note: While parks and trails may be listed as open, we recommend checking park websites before visiting for further info, current trail conditions, and safest practices for the area.

Key: Easy = 🥾 | Moderate = 🥾🥾 | Hard = 🥾🥾🥾

The skyline peeking through trees and rocks, with a reflection in the water below.

The 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is one of Austin’s most-used natural amenities.

Photo by ATXtoday

Central Austin

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, Multiple access points

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 10-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Although more likely to be used by runners and dog walkers than intense hikers, this trail running along Lady Bird Lake is a favorite recreational spot for Austinites. Several bridges crossing the lake connect the trail in multiple points, meaning the 10-mile loop can be reduced into shorter loops as needed.
Waterloo Park Amphitheater Garden Loop, Multiple access points

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 0.9-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Go for a quick walk on this short trail that beautifully juxtaposes nature and cityscape. Along the way, walkers will be able to spot views of the Texas Capitol, waterfalls, and native plants.

A waterfall at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

Take in water features like streams and waterfalls at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

Photo by Beverly Hamilton, @beverlyandersonhamilton

West Austin

Laurel, Yaupon, Possum and Arroyo Vista Loop, 805 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 1.8-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

Explore the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a pristine 227-acre plot of Texas Hill Country. This trail meanders up and down hills and contains streams, a waterfall, and views.
River Place Canyon Trail, 8820 Big View Dr.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 5.4-mile out-and-back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Expect to get your heart pumping, because this trail has lots of elevation changes. The good part? That means lots of views, too.

Turkey Creek Trail, 1600 City Park Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 2.7-mile out-and-back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Emma Long Metropolitan Park runs along the north bank of Colorado River, but this trail largely explores the forested inner areas of the park. If you want to extend your hike, take some of the smaller paths that branch out from the main trail.

A view of the lake from the Mueller Lake Park, with pink wildflowers in the foreground.

The Mueller Lake trail weaves around outdoor amenities and Mueller Lake.

Photo by ATXtoday

East Austin

Mueller Lake and Southeast Greenway, 4550 Mueller Blvd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 3-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Looping around Mueller Lake Park, this trail borders waterfront seating, a playground, a food truck park, an outdoor stage, and several grassy recreation areas. Although parts of this trail are packed gravel, most of it is paved and gently sloped, making it a great option for those with mobility needs.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt trail, overlooking the Hill Country

Take in the Hill Country from the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.

South Austin

Greenbelt Twin Falls Trail, 3918 S. MoPac Expy.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 3.2-mile out-and-back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

There are several hiking trails along the Barton Creek Greenbelt, but the trek out to Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls is one of the most popular. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, because the falls areas are great spots for a quick mid-hike dip.

The St. Edward's campus as seen in the distance from Blunn Creek Nature Preserve.

Spot parts of the St. Edward’s University campus from the Blunn Creek Nature Preserve trails.

Blunn Creek Greenbelt Trail, 1200 St. Edwards Dr.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

Expect to see some flora and fauna on your walk — this secluded trail near St. Edward’s University runs through a nature preserve. The short path also loops around a creek that runs through the property.
Onion Creek and Homestead Trail Loop, 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 6.8-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Wander through wooded areas, over waterfalls, and among wildflowers at McKinney Falls State Park, the only state park in Travis County. In addition to rock formations and 1800s-era shelters, you might spot some exciting bird species.

A bench in front of a pond at Mary Moore Searight Park

Take in a peaceful moment at Mary Moore Searight Park.

Photo by @vishwanand

Mary Moore Searight Park Metro Trail, 907 W. Slaughter Ln.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.8-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

This trail is open year-round for runners, bikers, hikers, and walkers. If you’re bringing kiddos, plan to check out the playground at this park’s trailhead.

North Austin

Walnut Creek Loop, 12138 N. Lamar Blvd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.3-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Sit by the water — and let your pups take a splash — on this trail that runs along the Tar Branch of Walnut Creek. A portion of this North Austin park is off-leash for dogs.

Get the right gear

Get the most out of your trip with comfortable, handy, and helpful hiking gear:

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