The trails along this hike are steep and challenging in several locations. However, the natural features of the area are exceptional and the opportunity to enjoy a day of uncrowded lakeside access makes it well worth the hike!
If you are planning on making a day out of this and jumping in the lake, it's good to bring along towels, swimsuit, sunblock, and water shoes if you have them. This is a hiker's hike, so wear appropriate shoes, use your pack, and don't plan on carrying anything in by hand.
I would not recommend starting this hike in the middle of the day in warmer seasons unless you are familiar with hiking in heat and know how to pace and hydrate well.
The best time to start this hike is in the early morning just as it's getting light out so that you arrive at the lake a bit after sunrise when it's truly spectacular! You can also do it in the evening, but make sure you plan to hike fast enough to get back out before it's dark.
You'll see plenty of trail signs along this entire hike. They will all be brown with white lettering. In the Lakeway Canyonlands section of the hike, you'll notice the trail signs have the Lakeway City logo on top of the sign, which is a sailboat and sun picture cut out. In the Rough Hollow section of the hike, you'll notice the sign color and lettering look the same, but the logo at the top of the signs will be a letter "R" (in fancy font) indicating you are in the Rough Hollow Trail System.
To start the hike, make your way to the Lakeway Canyonlands Trophy Trail
main trailhead. There is plenty of parking right in front of the trailhead info board on Trophy Drive, or just across the road at the local community swim center. Then set off down the Trophy Trail
toward High Trail
Make sure to use the restroom at the beginning of High Trail
as necessary....there won't be any other formal restroom along the way. You can also fill up on purified water at this restroom stop.
The first part of the hike from Trophy Trail
to High Trail
to Rim Trail
is pretty easy.
As you go along Rim Trail
, pay attention to your Hiking Project mobile app
as not to miss the Rough Hollow Trail Connector
The Rough Hollow Trail Connector
will take you out of the Lakeway Canyonlands area down towards the creekbed and under the Highlands Blvd bridge into Rough Hollow. The connector trail expects you to cross under the bridge to the other side of the creekbed and start up again. The trail is pretty well marked/worn. Once on the other side of the creek and bridge, you'll hike upward (short and steep) and find yourself at the top south of the bridge on Highlands Blvd at the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail
trailhead sign. From this point, you are now in the Rough Hollow Trail System.
From this point on, the hike is pretty straightforward. You'll be taking the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail
to the Peninsula Pass Trail
. Along this section of the hike, the trails will have more deadfall and overgrowth, so be sure to pay attention to your Hiking Project mobile app
. There are also a couple of 'dead spots' for cell reception in the deeper parts of the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail
The last 50 yards of the Peninsula Pass Trail
go down a steep set of mini-switchbacks leading to a rocky/grassy beach in the back of the cove right on the water. The city has put in guideline ropes on these switchbacks to help hikers.
If you are staying the day, make sure you give yourself enough time to hike back out and complete the loop back to the top of Trophy Trail
Expect lots of deer and squirrels... and the occasional owl.