Explore Recon Don - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Recon Don Map

Some areas pretty muddy after rain but there are alternate trails right around it. I love this hike and so does my dog. Good elevation changes for the area.

Love this trail! Great for kids and pets.

This is the most challenging trail I’ve been able to find in the area. It’s also beautifully scenic. If you are hiking with a dog consider how challenging it is before you take them along. There are several places where you use a chain to cross sections of the creek. My American bulldog handles the trail well but the narrow paths or tricky when keeping them leashed. There are difficult climbs followed by flatter areas. You get a little time to recover between grade changes. If you start on big bend road and come out by the little fern trail you’ll have about 30 minutes of walking through the neighborhood back to your original starting point. Otherwise it’s an hour or so in reverse. I’m jogging half the time. People who walk or hike at a slower pace say it takes them 1.5-2 hours to make the trail. FYI There are signs posted saying that all dogs must remain on a leash but no one seemed to obey this rule. Expect to see dogs off leash usually owners close by. I wouldn’t bring an aggressive dog out. I always encounter off leash dogs.

This is a beautiful west Austin park. It’s not too big, however it’s very scenic. Great trail for dogs!

A nice morning hike, well traveled and maintained trail that feels like it’s a lot farther out of town than it is.

Crappy slick trail. hard to navigate and crisp over saner parts of trail many times. Felt like I was in Blair witch project. in the middle of a neighborhood and accessed through a playground. Should be marked as EASY. water was pretty, but waste if a hike.

This is an awesome trail for hiking or jogging. There are a few creek crossings so you can’t run the whole time, but it’s nice to take a couple breaks anyway. My dog loves this trail because there is a creek the whole way and lots to explore. The end of this trail is a seemingly endless staircase that will give you an excellent workout, but you can turn around if you’re not in the mood. Really amazing and beautiful.

The butt-kicking moderately difficult Canyon Trail at River Place Nature Trail is not to be missed: 3.5 miles, 9,802 steps, 28 floors and only takes 1.5 hours! Of course, that’s one-way, so you do the math. Great views.

Love the elevation. Highly populated though.

Distance plus good elevations up and down.

21 days ago

The trail was a little annoying to walk due to the horse tracks and mud. Not much scenery along most of the trail, especially when it ran parallel to the road.

22 days ago

Best trail for a hike/run workout in ATX. Multiple water crossings can be muddy after a rain. Peaceful and beautiful. I like to start at the Little Fern trail to get to the main trail. Hiking or trail running shoes are recommended. This trail is not for the faint at heart! If you, your dogs or children are not a regular hiker or in shape please find another trail!

Great trail. Had rained the day before so the 4 stream crossings each way required waterproof hiking boots or wet feet! Path is generally single file.

23 days ago

You have to venture past the paved trail to find the nice parts. Once the pavement comes to an end, keep going! We went the day after a good rain, so the creek was flowing well. We even found a pretty good sized waterfall (good sized, relatively speaking) on the side of the trail opposite of the creek.

Great workout & overall stair stepper hike! Fun and challenging, but could have used more energy snacks and electrolytes!

1 month ago

This trailhead starts at the playground’s edge and ends in a cul de sac where you follow a city sidewalk back to the playground. The trail along the creek is reasonably well-maintained and peaceful. The last quarter of the trail is along a fence on the backside of a subdivision. A loop trail, it is not !

trail running
1 month ago

Parked at the bottom and hiked up. Went through the detours. Made it to top then ran down along River Place rd back to car. About 6 miles total. Pretty good. Relaxing.

Amazing trail! Definitely a decent workout if you keep your pace up. There is a ton of stairs as the others have mentioned, but I really enjoyed them. My Garmin said I did 170 flights of stairs today!
I started around 9AM on a Sunday and there was a fair amount of people, but not as much as I thought there would have been. I would on the way up that I would come across others every 15-20 minutes, but on the way down it was probably every 5 minutes, if that.
Pups loved getting a bit muddy and then crossing the streams.

1 month ago

this was hard. the over 2000 steps really gets to you. the trail is well kep, clean and with plenty of signs. i was left gasping on a few ocasions. there are many water ponds and small falls along the creek. all beautiful. i only completed it one way this time, will try back and forth the next time.

1 month ago

Great trail for a 1 or 2 night backpacking trip. I parked at Cedar Breaks Trailhead on the inside of the gate. There is parking outside the gate, but the attendant said it would be safer inside. The sign denotes fees, but if you tell them you’re hiking the loop, they’ll let you in for free. I hiked the trail clockwise and stayed at Sawyer Hollow camp night 1 (6.5 miles) and Walnut Springs camp night 2 (a little over 9 miles). I hiked out Day 3 (about 11 miles). Next time, I might do the loop counterclockwise. I had no trouble finding water on the trail, but would suggest to camel up before camp unless you want to get water from the lake itself. I had one wet crossing between mile 11-12, but was able to keep dry feet the rest of the time while the lake was at 794. Trail was decently marked, but I pulled up this app a few times to make sure I was on track. If you try to take some of the shortcuts, you’re likely to hit high water crossings and have to turn around, so I found it best to follow the map. I went on a Sun-Tues and didn’t see anyone else at the camps, just day hikers. Overall, would recommend, especially for new backpackers, and would hike again.

Our favorite trail in Austin. No sounds of traffic, creeks, trees, beautiful. Lots of stairs though and therefore pretty tough. Take some water and food with you!

it's a fun trail, many switchbacks, fun environment and close to town. You don't see and motorized vehicles, but do hear them on every part. Still fun and just challenging and long enough for an easy Sunday afternoon hike!

Great hike in November. Natural setting, and had perfect weather. Week of Thanksgiving so quite a few people out on trail, but not too crowded to enjoy. All the stairs provide some good exercise. Good place to do some warming up in Austin if prepping for a more serious hike.

Tough hike. Lots of stairs up . Local resident gave us a great tip when we arrived at the top of Canyon Trail. He suggested we walk back down the highway to the little fern trail instead of coming back down the trail in the same direction. Saved us more exhausting stairs and little fern is nice trail.

This was much more challenging than I expected, but a great hike and an even better workout. The trail constantly takes hikers up and down inclines. Bring more water than you think you'll need. Most of the trail is shaded, but in the summer, it's still hot and there are plenty of stretches where you'll be exposed to direct sunlight. The views are decent, but the roller coaster-like terrain is what makes this one unique.

Nice hike with elevation change. Very crowded on Sunday afternoon. Lots of dogs on leashes, but a fe owners weren’t picking up after their pets. Narrow trails.

Great workout

1 month ago

Beautiful. Varied terrain. Hills, rocks, flat, sand. Many picturesque views of woods and the lake along the way.

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