Best Parks in Austin
It’s a beautiful day in the community park. When you’re all set to delight in the great outdoors, Austin provides everything from nearby playgrounds to not-too-faraway woodlands. But with more than 250 parks in the town limits, decision fatigue begins fast. Let’s take a look at the top parks in Austin. I’m sure this list can encourage anybody to get outside.
Mueller Lake Park
4550 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Mueller’s parks, trails, and open space weave through the community, establishing a native, local ecosystem and bringing outdoor recreation and education options to Mueller residents, employees, and neighbors. With 20 percent of the neighborhood dedicated to parkland and open space, every resident will live less than 600 feet away from a community greenspace. Mueller’s green space will be developed along with the rest of the neighborhood, connecting the many elements of the project as a part of the Mueller vision to create a walkable and sustainable community. – muelleraustinonline.com
Emma Long Metropolitan Park
1600 City Park Rd.
Austin, TX 78730
Emma Long Metropolitan Park (City Park) is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7:00, am to 10:00 pm. The park features open space, campsites, boat ramps, reservation-based picnic table sites, and a designating swimming area. – austintexas.gov/department/emma-long-metropolitan-park
Pease District Park Master Plan
1100 Kingsbury St.
Austin, TX 78703
The Austin City Council adopted the Pease Park Master Plan at its October 16, 2014 regular meeting. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) appreciates the contributions of the Pease Park Conservancy (PPC) and all the community members who participated in the development of the master plan. With a focus on enhancing and preserving the naturalistic feel of the park, opportunities were identified for improving gateways, sensitively adapting the historic Tudor Cottage restroom building and enhancing the playscape area. Additionally, the plan calls for additional bridge crossings across the creek and a much improved and enhanced trail system. PARD and the PPC will keep the community updated as the implementation phase begins. – austintexas.gov/department/pease-district-park-master-plan
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
12138 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78753
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is an expansive 293-acre park situated just north of downtown Austin and features miles of hiking trails, an off-leash dog area, a swimming pool, a playground, and sports and recreational facilities. – austin.com/park-profile-walnut-creek-metropolitan-park/
Bull Creek District Park Greenbelt
6701 Lakewood Dr.
Austin, TX 78731
Family-friendly activities in Austin, swimming holes at Bull Creek District Park + Greenbelt, Austin TX, The Bull Creek Greenbelt has multiple entrances along the creek. Above are just some of the most popular entry points. For more info on accessing the trail, or about swimming, fishing, and park rules. – austinparks.org/bull-creek/
Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
3800 Mount Bonnell Dr.
Austin, TX 78731
Mt. Bonnell has served as a popular attraction since the 1830s. Considered a more rural part of Austin then, picnics and outings were popular at the site, as well as entertainment, such as when Hazel Keyes, trailed by her monkey, slid down a cable stretched from the top of Mt. Bonnell to the south bank of the lake below in 1898. Today thousands of visitors ascend the 106 stone stairs to the summit to take in sweeping panoramic views of the lake, downtown, and the western hills of Austin. – austintexas.org
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy,
Austin, TX 78744
Listen to Onion Creek flowing over limestone ledges and splashing into pools. Follow trails winding through the Hill Country woods. Explore the remains of an early Texas homestead and a very old rock shelter. All of this lies within Austin’s city limits at McKinney Falls State Park – what are you waiting for? Think of the park as Austin’s backyard; we’re just 13 miles from the state capitol. Here you can camp, hike, mountain or road bike, geocache, go bouldering, and picnic. You can also fish and swim in Onion Creek. – tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls
Balcones District Park
12017 Amherst Dr.
Austin, TX 78759
This is one of the most relaxing and scenic hiking trails in the city. Whether you’re looking for a cool date activity, a place to burn some calories, or the perfect spot for a spirit walk, this spot belongs on your bucket list of places to visit. A small creek runs through Balcones Park and feeds into Walnut Creek. Ordinarily, the creek bed is dry, and one can easily jump across it.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B,
Austin, TX 78704
The Barton Creek Greenbelt has multiple entrances along the creek. Above are just some of the most popular entry points. The Violet Crown Trail runs through much of, but not entirely within, the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It starts at the Zilker access point down to Hwy 290 in sunset Valley. It will eventually reach the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and into Hays County. – austinparks.org/barton-creek-greenbelt
Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park
900 W Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX 78704
Auditorium Shores is located on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, immediately west of South 1st Street. To its south are the Long Center and Palmer Events Center. The Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail pass through the park from west to east near the shore; one of the trail’s major trailheads adjoins Auditorium Shores. The site includes a memorial statue of late Austin resident Stevie Ray Vaughan, who played a number of concerts at Auditorium Shores. The park is known for its large off-leash dog area by the water (though recent redevelopments have moved to reduce the space available for off-leash dogs) and its scenic view of the downtown Austin skyline. It is also the site of the Town Lake Gazebo, which sits by the shore at the park’s northeast corner.