St. Edward’s Park & Greenbelt Trail
If you feel like you know the Barton Creek Greenbelt like the back of your hand, maybe it’s time to check out one of Austin’s other great hike and splash trails. Tucked away on scenic Old Spicewood Springs Road, St. Edward’s Park is a lovely 80-acre gem that offers something for toddlers, teenagers, and even the family dog.
This secluded park is ideal for trail runners, hikers, and dog walkers. There are several trails and wide open spaces to enjoy the views of the hill country. It also has a stream running through the center and cactus all over the place.
This park, located in northwest Austin along Bull Creek, offers a variety of trail options, including easy, flat walks for young children as well as a more challenging hill trail along a bluff for more ambitious hikers. There are a plethora of trails and areas to explore, so do as much as your family is willing to do on your first visit, and know that you can return again and again.
The park’s primary appeal is that Bull Creek runs through it, providing spots for little ones to splash in the shallows and bigger ones to fly off a rope swing, jump from a small dam or hop across strategically placed rocks. Fishing rods and minnow nets are totally apropos, and a mid-creek picnic would be an ideal way to fritter away a summer lunch hour.
If you want to earn your dip in Bull Creek, St. Edward’s Park has about 3.5 miles of hiking trails that can easily be navigated in a way that suits the least motivated hiker in your group. There are two main paths: the Creek Trail and the Hill Trail. The Hill Trail is the tougher and longer of the two while the Creek Trail takes you exactly where you’d imagine—along Bull Creek.
Though the hikes don’t cover great distances, you’ll see lots of different scenery. From pretty wildflower-filled meadows and a giant cactus patch to limestone outcrops and steep, rocky but shady hills, there’s little chance of getting bored with the view.
Both trails are frequently marked with signage, but it’s possible to get somewhat “lost” as there are many offshoots from the main trail. Even so, if you take note of where you are in relation to Bull Creek, it isn’t difficult to find your way back to a main path. Whether you decide to hike both trails in total or simply walk the few hundred yards from your car to the creek, your family can have hours of fun at St. Edward’s Park.
St. Edward’s Trail Waterfall
Stay to the left to find the trail that leads to Texas’ tiniest waterfall. On a hot day, this is the best place to go. There is, for example, a rope swing right next to the waterfall. Furthermore, there are numerous areas along the creek that are ideal for toddlers to wade in. As a result, this trail is suitable for hikers of all ages. Your children will undoubtedly want to get wet. In other words, bring your swimsuits and towels. We quickly returned to the parking lot by following the paths that were closest to Spicewood Springs Road.
Beginner Bird Walk: St. Edward’s Park
Come birding in a hidden park with Bull Creek running through it and cactus strewn about. The varied habitat may provide a first-of-season (FOS) view of Golden-cheeked Warblers (GCWA), our Travis Audubon logo bird. Many warblers, tanagers, orioles, and thrushes stop in St. Edward’s during their spring migration.
The Beginners’ Bird Walk is held on the first Saturday of each month and is open to all levels and ages of birders. It’s completely free. It’s entertaining. It is not necessary to join. There is no need to register. Do you require binoculars? We have loaners. Each month, the location changes.
The park is located west of 360 at 7301 Old Spicewood Springs Road. The short drive feels surprisingly, wonderfully rural given its proximity to the highway, and you’ll soon find a tiny parking lot on your left a few miles down. Just a bit further is the main (only slightly larger) parking lot, and cars can also park on the shoulder of the road if necessary.
- Cost: Free
- Hours: 5:00am to 10:00pm
- Bring: Leashed dogs, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water and snacks.
- FYI: There are no toilet facilities in the park.
Map & Directions from Downtown Austin
St. Edwards Park is 22 minutes from Downtown Austin. Parking lot is 7301 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759
- Get on N Mopac Expy from W Cesar Chavez St
- Continue on N Mopac Expy. Take TX-1 Loop N and TX-360 Loop S to Spicewood Springs Rd
- Follow Spicewood Springs Rd to St. Edward’s Park