PARKS AND RECRECATION
Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered "Austin's
most-loved park." This 351-acre park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities and special events for individuals and families. Enjoy a ride on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train or paddling a canoe on Town Lake. Play on the large multi-age playscape, hike and bike trails and large full-service picnic areas, six of which are reservable.
Zilker Botanical Garden:
2200 Barton Springs Rd., (512)477-8672
You'll find several gardens, including Oriental, rose, butterfly and even prehistoric gardens, where dinosaur tracks were discovered in 1992.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
There are multiple greenbelts in Austin, but the Barton Creek Greenbelt is so beloved that locals commonly refer to it as “the Greenbelt,” as if it were the only one. Located in south-central Austin, the Barton Creek Greenbelt contains 12.68 miles of gorgeous trails, with the main trail spanning about 7 miles. This particular greenbelt is considered one of the top hiking trails in Texas.
But this area is not only for hiking. One of the city’s most prized attractions, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is filled with mountain biking trails and beautiful limestone bluffs for rock climbing. And when there’s enough water in the creek, there are several swimming holes locals like to enjoy.
It’s hard to believe something so beautiful is located minutes from downtown. Unfortunately for newcomers, accessing the Barton Creek Greenbelt can be a little confusing. To help, the writers from austinot.com have put together a complete guide to all the public access points for Austin’s natural gem.
Visit their website for a full, in-depth guide:
McKinney Falls State Park:
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, (512) 243-1643
In addition to areas for camping, fishing, and hiking, this park has a Homestead Trail ideal for mountain biking. Break a sweat on the designated rock climbing area between the upper and lower waterfalls, then cool off with a refreshing dip in the water.
404 Krause Spring Rd, Spicewood, (830) 693-4181
Krause Springs is a well-known camping & swimming site located in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. It is located in Spicewood, Texas approximately 30 miles west of Austin. The 115 acre property is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites and has been privately owned by the Krause Family for over 50 years.
Krause Springs has many natural sites to explore. There are 32 springs on the property, and several feed the manmade pool and the natural pool which flows into Lake Travis. It’s a refreshing treat to swim in the Springs during the hot summers of Texas!
Cypress Valley Canopy Tours:
1223 S Paleface Ranch Rd. Spicewood, (512) 264-8880
Soar through the trees, harnessed in climbing gear, for an exciting look at Texas Hill Country nature from a completely new perspective. After your canopy zip tour you are welcome to enjoy a picnic and swimming at their small private lake or clear water pool.
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures:
14529 Pocohontas Trail, Leander, (512) 614-1996
Zipping across incredible Canyons and Lake Travis inlets, your Lake Travis Zipline experience offers unmatched thrills and chills! The 3 hour adventure includes a total of 5 ziplines ranging from 250 feet to over 2800 feet! Your finale will be a launch off a cliff 20 stories above Lake Travis on the longest zipline in Texas. Bring your coolers and picnic baskets and spend the day.
Water Sports on Lady Bird Lake:
It’s the best time of year to paddleboard, canoe or kayak throughout downtown’s favorite waterway. Take a sunset cruise in a two-seater kayak rented from Rowing Dock or take a rowing class at Texas Rowing Center. The rowing center also offers SUP ATX’s signature stand-up paddleboard rentals, plus free lessons for any first timers, so you can get on board and paddle with plenty of confidence.
Lake Austin is a part of the Colorado River, it begins below Mansfield Dam and is principally fed by the outflow of Lake Travis. The lake meanders generally from northwest to southeast, with a few significant tributaries, the largest are Bull Creek, entering from the north near where Loop 360 spans the lake at the Pennybacker Bridge, and Bee Creek, entering from the west just above Tom Miller Dam, where the lake ends.
For boat rentals visit the following websites:
Lake Travis is 63.75 miles long, and it's maximum width is 4.5 miles. There are 270 miles of shoreline around the lake with many parks offering visitors a multitude of options for boating, swimming and sunbathing. For options for the different park locations please ask the Owners Club staff, for boat rentals we recommend Just For Fun, they offer everything from boats to jet skis to pontoon arty boats.
For more information please visit