- October 1, 2016

Adventure in Austin: Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

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Free Fun in Austin reporter Katie is exploring every hiking trail, swimming hole, and breathtaking view in Austin. This week’s adventure was to Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Note: This was the reporters favorite spot yet.


Friends. Let us tell you about our new favorite place in the state (seriously). Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was perfect for all of my likings, which means you may hate it, but we’ll state our case.

  1. Beautiful views
  2. Outside of the city
  3. Wandering paths
  4. Paths that can be conquered in under three miles. I’m still trying to increase my hiking ability, guys. Give me a break.
  5. The crickets were louder than the passing cars. Win.
  6. No dogs were allowed and I’M SORRY but I loved that. I’m so sorry. Please keep reading.

The first sign you’ll see upon arrival. They’re open Sunrise to Sunset.

Now, one of the things I adored most about this hiking spot was that you can do different loops for however many miles / views you’d like to explore. I took this picture of the trail map below and it came in handy about five times while I was on the trail. Make sure to grab a snap of it yourself! I apologize for the two toned lighting situation – it worked more as a reference than a “WOW that’s an amazing shot, Katie!” image.


One thing I would definitely recommend when you explore these trails for the first time is to have no time constraint, no real motives and no sense of direction. You’ll do great!

I had all of those items checked off my list and it made the experience all the better. I went down random paths and only turned around (choosing the other side of the fork in the road) once because spontaneity is a trait that always needs honing, am I right?




Now, I kept making my way down semi-steep paths (remember my lack of hiking skill) and marveled at each view. The breeze was the perfect combination with the hot end-of-summer sun. The path was secluded and there was something special about the fact that they are adamant that you stay on said path. This is run and managed by St. Edwards University and they use it as a Creative Research Center. See, that’s why dogs aren’t allowed and that’s why you have to stay on the path. It felt like a specific duty to keep focused and on the path that is carved for you. It added to the experience for me!

But! Yes. I kept making my way down to the creek at the far end of the trail. Calming water and more shade was the perfect halfway point.



Is it even an Adventure in Austin post if there isn’t a picture of my feet?

From the creek, I made my way back up the other side of the loop, stopping once and a while at one of the views to soak it up before my hike was wrapping up.

Mostly, you guys, this trail was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Seclusion allows my mind to wander in the ways that it should and I had some pretty stellar moments out on those paths. I think this spot will be my new HEY I need a break from you, world spot. It was the perfect combination of all my favorite things. And no, I don’t hate dogs. I apologize again.

Quick Facts:

  • Address: 805 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX
  • Hours: Trails open daily, sunrise to sunset; Creative Research Center open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • No dogs, no picnicking, no bikes, no disturbing anything since it’s a research preserve. Basically just walk around!
  • Cost: Free – Reservations are required on weekends and holidays. The reservation system is open now for booking dates between July 31-October 31, 2021.
  • For more information, check out their website.

Katie is exploring every spot around Austin. Have any suggestions? Leave a comment below! Check out some of her other posts about these adventurous places: 360 Overlook, McKinney FallsBarton Creek Greenbelt