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Looking for trails to provide a scenic stroll in Austin to get you out of the house with the little ones? Look no further!
Here are five scenic strolls in Austin that your family will love!
Blunn Creek Greenbelt
1200 St. Edwards Drive
This greenbelt, nestled in the Travis Heights neighborhood, connects Little Stacy and Big Stacy parks. Definitely more stroll than hike, it’s still a really enjoyable outing, especially for those with smaller kids who don’t appreciate being confined to a stroller. The trail offers a few fun bridges, a tunnel, a moon tower, cool tree markers, and plenty of wide open spaces for running free. Playgrounds and restrooms at both ends of the trail are a definite plus. You can read more about past adventures at this super park here. Free.
Brushy Creek Regional Trail
219 Perry Mayfield, Leander
The Brushy Creek Regional Trail is the ‘burbs’ answer to Austin’s popular hike and bike trails. It’s easy to spend an entire day traversing this 6.75-mile path connecting Round Rock to Cedar Park. The path is ideal for walking or biking with kids–especially since it connects an unbelievable six parks! While traveling along Brushy Creek, you’ll encounter lakes, dams, bridges (to go over and under), picnic areas, playgrounds, splash pads, rocks for climbing, and lots of geocaches. A favorite for many is the historic railroad trestle, which played a pivotal role in procuring granite for the Texas State Capitol (there’s an historical marker that tells the whole tale). While the trail is mostly flat, be aware that there are a couple of steep sections, the most intense of which is the climb to the top of the dam. The BCRT does get very busy on weekends, so coaching your kids on how to share the trail safely would be wise before getting started. Free.
3809 West 35th Street
Strolling the grounds of Laguna Gloria is the perfect way to while away an hour or two. While you may imagine yourself as Clara Driscoll, surveying your beloved estate, others prefer to jog around as if on an epic adventure. The path, which follows the shore of Lake Austin, is flat and easy other than the initial descent (by stairs or a long, somewhat steep path) from the parking area. What this trails lacks in length, it makes up for in beauty: outdoor art installations; the occasional peacock; benches with views of the lake; a dock ideal for spotting fish, turtles, ducks, and swans; and a gazebo ripe for all sorts of make believe fun. Plus, Mayfield Park and Preserve next door is a great add-on experience. Free.
11701 Big Trail
Schroeter is a great hike (using the term very loosely) for beginning walkers and a great spot for kiddos experimenting with riding their bikes off the pavement. There’s a small web of very short, interconnected trails here, all bordered by a wide lawn and a gravel exercise path. The mulch and crushed granite trails wind through the woodsy core of the park, which is dotted with cool rock formations (urban legend has it that there may be a cave under the park), lots of flowers, and abundant prickly pear cactus. The trails are flat and easy but they give the littlest explorers a feeling of independence. Without creeks to fall in or cliffs to tumble off of, this is a spot where parents can be comfortable letting kids roam solo knowing they will, ultimately, find their way out safely–most likely to one of the park’s two playgrounds. Free.
Turkey Creek Trail
1401-1711 City Park Road
Turkey Creek Trail at Emma Long Park is a beautiful 2.5 mile trail adjacent to one of the city’s largest and most picturesque parks. The trail runs near Lake Austin and is a fun hike with several creek crossings and lovely limestone cliffs. Please note that the trail does allow off-leash dogs, and has some points which are steep/rocky so it is not suitable for strollers. While Turkey Creek Trail is free, the adjacent Emma Long Park charges an admission fee of $5. More info here.