Downtown Austin Tour
ElevationAscent: 106' 32 m
Descent: -106' -32 m
High: 472' 144 m
Low: 439' 134 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)
Current trail conditions
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“An easy day hike for anyone who wants to experience some of the best scenery and outdoor spaces in the downtown area!”— Donovan Acker
Family Friendly My middle school and high school age kids love this route. Everyone can go at their own pace. Lot's of places to rest, hydrate, and eat along the way.
This hike has tons of 'postcard-worthy' photo ops. It's a perfect way to give visiting family and friends an up close way to see many of the popular outdoor spaces Austin is known for.
Once you get to the Colorado River section of the hike, you'll be following the Lady Bird Lake Trail toward the Mopac highway bridge (Mopac = Missouri Pacific). The bridge takes you across the river under the shade of the highway above. The bridge itself is a bit of a tourist attraction as you'll have gorgeous views up and down the river as you pass over.
Once on the other side of the river, you continue on the Lady Bird Lake Trail with the river to your left and Zilker Park to your right. The trail will take you around to the Baton Springs inlet where you can stop and spend some time at the springs if you want. In the summer, this is THE spot to go swimming and hang out. If you go inside the paid area of the springs (3 dollars) you'll have some nice grass hills to hang out on. If you stay on the river side of the springs (free) there are plenty of places to plop down your stuff and jump in the water. This is a VERY dog friendly area...and known for being very 420 friendly. People are very respectful and polite, and it is no issue for families (we go all the time with our kids and it is always a blast!).
On the return leg of the hike, you'll pass back over the Colorado River on the Lamar street walking bridge. This is another great photo op. Then you'll be heading back on the Shoal Creek Trail again towards your starting point at Deep Roots Garden.
Local Club: Shoal Creek Conservancy
Jan 28, 2019: Getting to Know the SCC Board – Ted Siff, President
Jan 8, 2019: Dreaming of swimming and fishing in Shoal Creek?
Land Manager: City of Austin - Parks and Recreation
May 23, 2019: Great Hills Neighborhood Park Playscape Ribbon Cutting
May 22, 2019: Lifeguards Needed!