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

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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!

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.

Nice trail. Enjoyed the waterfall.

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.

Great workout

backpacking
17 days ago

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

Great for short strenuous workout hike and training. Several elevations changes. Nature stairs.

getting busy and near a busy road in parts.

REWARD: We lost our pup Saturday 11/17 hiking here. He unfortunately was off lease and was chased by another off leash dog. He is a small brown doxie mix, about 11#s. His name is Winston and he is very skittish around people. If you see him please contact 512-758.3126.

Easy hike. Lots of shade on the trails. plenty of water for dogs to play in. Everyone I've met here seems to be really nice.

It was my favorite place to hike and bring my dog to swim until someone decided they needed to break into my vehicle. So take your valuables and keep your eyes open. I won't be back. fwiw I was parked right next to the road and it was early on a Sunday day of all times....

hiking
23 days ago

Went there today... hiked passed the springs to 4 mile marker and back... the springs are wonderful..parts of old rocks houses...

Lots of steps. Narrow path so lots of stopping to let people pass

Nice lake views and good mix of rocky, wooded terrain. Trail gets extremely muddy in some spots so bring your water-proofs!

today, trail was a bit muddy from last night's rain. well worth the time.

trail running
1 month ago

Perfect for running on/off trail options. Bikers are always polite and either ring a bell or say something to give a heads up. Most even let you know when a group passes who’s the last one or how many are in the group. Dog meet ups and play dates created with amazing people. Just love this place.

Be cool

backpacking
1 month ago

Go away! Best 'hard' hike in Austin. If you include panther hollow trail (Big View entrance) it is 3 mi each direction. 1700+ altitude change with 2736+ stairsteps through a shaded ravine following a creek along lower area. Do your share by carrying out a bit more trash than you came with a smile.

Nice, easy urban trail. Not moderate at all. Wide trail, mixed use. Ok for runners, walkers, cyclists, pets. Stevie Ray Vaughan statue on the south side of the river is cool.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, nice elevation changes, beautiful scenery and well marked (which is a luxury in Austin). Highly recommend for a moderate and fun trail.

Great hike to take the dog and family on. Would be nice to hike the entire loop one day.

The trail is very well kept and marked. We went on a Saturday so it was very crowded. Lots of dogs and most were not on leashes. The trail is pretty narrow the whole way so we spent a lot of time stepping off the trail to allow runners to go by. The creeks were high due to the rain but the trail had chain to help you walk across the rocks without slipping. Definitely a hard trail with lots of steps. Great workout and beautiful scenery

backpacking
1 month ago

We just returned from hiking the entire loop around the lake. My first piece of advice would be to check the lake level before you go. 791’ is “normal” and according to a frequent hiker will be mostly dry on trail with a few stream crossings to get your feet wet. We went when the lake was at 799.85’, and it was certainly NOT dry! Ha ha! Still mostly do-able, but certainly more adventurous! (see full description below) Secondly, be SURE to take All Trails with you! There are many intersections without signage. All Trails saved us a lot of heart ache!! I would give the trail 5 stars, (the actual hiking was great!!) but I took off a star for the lack of accurate information, and flat out misinformation provided by some of the park attendants around the lake. They obviously do not hike the trail! For example: do NOT park at Overlook park – even if someone tells you it’s o.k. It isn’t, and you may be towed. Instead, park at Cedar Breaks (It’s free for hikers). But DO stop at the Overlook office and pick up a Topo map. – It’s much better than the Corps of Engineers’ map that you can find online. Also, the mileage is a little off on maps as well as on trail. The map says it’s a 28 mile loop, but there are only 25 mile markers (mm). Our devices clocked us as 28.5 miles, but we had to do some work-arounds to stay dry in a few places. Overall great trail! We saw plenty of deer as well as tracks of other wildlife. The views of the lake were just gorgeous, and well worth the hassle. Trail description:
From Cedar Breaks, the trail is rocky with some fairly steep ups and downs. It’s slick in the rain, but do-able. I would not take a dog on this section without some sort of protection for their paws.
We missed the turn off for Cedar Hollow camp (no sign - just a bare stone column). So we went on to Sawyer Hollow camp. It was fine for hammocks, but ‘meh’ for tents. The designated tent site was rocky and sloped. There are NO toilets there (not that you’d use anyway – see photos). Shortly after Cedar Hollow – between mm 7 and mm 8, we came to water we couldn’t hike around. It was obviously from flooding because there were fire ant colonies floating in it. It was 4 ft. deep (chest-high). Again, the lake level was 799’.
From mm 7 to mm 16, the hiking is easy – through grasslands and much of it on an old dirt / grass road. We ate lunch at Tejas Park. They have chemical toilets and a water fountain as well as picnic tables and trash cans. The bridge was covered in 4ft of fast-flowing water. We were uneasy with the speed of the water, so we chose to not wade through it. The next bridge across would’ve added 10 miles to our hike according to the park host (I have not verified that distance.). We didn’t have that much time, because we wanted to make it to Walnut Springs before dark. So we called Uber(!) to take us just to the other side of the bridge. The cost was $15 plus tip. Approaching Walnut Springs, the grass road we’d been walking was underwater for 150 yards or so. We couldn’t tell the depth or the current in the middle, so we looked for an alternate. There is one on the map, but it is inaccurately marked on the trail. There is a stone column there with some old trailhead names. Coming from the west, turn left and follow the path north and then east to a stream crossing. The path will take you back to the road on the other side of the water. Because of the high lake level / flooding, the stream was 4ft. deep for us. We chose not to try it right before dark (we’d wasted a lot of time on a long lunch, waiting for Uber, and locating the work-around). We were afraid of hypothermia – since the water was super cold and temperatures in the low 50’s, and no chance of a fire that night due to everything being wet. So we stealth camped on the west side (not allowed!). In the morning, we waded through and passed Walnut Springs Camp. There are no toilets. (Well, there are some before the water that look exactly like the ones at Sawyer Hollow – i.e. they’ve been through a hurricane or two.) Walnut Springs Camp looked like a nice spot. There were trees for hammocks. We didn’t sleep there, so I can’t tell you about the tent sites. From mm 16 to Jim Hogg, you get back into some rocky terrain with ups and downs. The ups and downs don’t seem as steep as those near Cedar Breaks, and the rocks are easier too. Jim Hogg is just after mm 21, NOT mm 20 like it says on the online map!!! That last mile is tough when you’re expecting a lunch break! I can’t recommend Hogg as a lunch stop – there are no toilets and no picnic tables. We did get water from a hose behind the check-in building. From Hogg to Overlook is a pretty easy 3 miles. We crossed a few easy streams, and found a work-around for a longer water crossing.
Overlook has State Park style restrooms. From Overlook to Cedar Breaks the "trail" is mostly concrete. Turn right to go over the Dam. Do not cross the road.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for a good workout. Some good elevation changes, beautiful area, and not too crowded (so far).
Folks with dogs need to not only pick up after them but carry the waste to the disposal locations ... of course this is true throughout Austin area.

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