Kristen and I did 3 miles of this in the light rain. Look forward to finding more. Very flat

Absolutely love it! Beautiful scenery with numerous MTB trails that vary in difficulty. Great for walkers, runner's and bikers. The dam area is now open again and they did a fantastic job of widening the path and adding new fencing. It offers an up close view of the new dam structure which is impressive. I travel this beautiful trail every chance I get and hit as many of the MTB trails as I can. I usually average 18 to 20 miles from start to finish and enjoy every second of it. Totally recommend it!

Awesome trail. I never knew it even existed until I ventured off my normal walk down the sidewalk. My walks will never be the same having this alternative route.

I have done this quite a few times now. Lots of joggers, cyclists, pets, kids every time. Rest rooms were clean every time and the lake side provides ample fun for all.

So I started at Brushy Creek Sports Complex, and instead going west on the trail itself, on the south side of the creek, I went west on the north side of the creek. There's not really a trail there, it's just fun to walk through the more "wild" parts. Eventually you gotta cross or wade down the creek. I hit some cool rocky spots, and one spot with lot of huge tree limbs that was fun to climb over. Eventually I met up with "picnic".

Very nice trail nice and clean restrooms . Great fun for the whole family!!!

Nice paved trail, but a bit busy for me.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Tough in some spots. Nice little hidden gem

Decided to do the whole route this time. Started at the sports park and ran the regional trail until I got to deception, ran all of deception and finished by taking the regional trail back to my car. It should be noted that the normal entrance to deception is now blocked. I think there may be a new entrance a little further down the regional trail, but I haven’t tried it yet. I had to climb through some brush to get to the old entrance. Also, my GPS only recorded 6.9 miles so I’m not sure about the 7+ listed for the trail.

I like to start on the left side of the trail and finish with a road run where it dumps out at Dodge Cattle Dr. Trail is very difficult with a lot of switchbacks and quick elevation changes. Watch your step and keep an eye out for mountain bikers.

Some new updates-

The stuffed snake I mentioned in my last review is no longer there. In fact, almost none of the sill trinkets, toys- there was even a cow skull- are no longer there.

What is now there are various trail signs. Not very many, but at various forks there are signs, and at the one skinny wooden bridge (bridge? it's about 6 inches wide and five feet long, over a small water area) warning of the bridge. There's one sign with an arrow pointing straight, and looking to the right I noticed a trail- guess they don't want us using that one, I think it meets back up with the main trail almost immediately. There are also a few signs that say "EMS access". That's good- a biker, runner, hiker injures themselves, and there's some EMS access points to make rescue a little quicker and easier. And lastly, a few markers at forks showing either "trailhead" or another part of the trail. The markers do make it feel less intimidating to first time runners/hikers/bikers.

The end of the trail has a marker that simply says "END". Go north on the service road and you'll get to the Regional trail. Go south and you'll eventually get to the neighborhood. But towards the west there are more trail heads. I'm guessing these'll be marked soon, as there are already some signs on them, and they are used frequently.

The trail was mostly dry, saw one spot of water in some shade that was still icy (it's been cold down here, it was 35 degrees [fahrenheit] when I was running), but no mud anywhere. Saw another runner, some bikers, and some hikers. All in all, this trail is quiet possibly my favorite in the Austin area (I really like the Bull Creek&Valburn area, but as for a single trail this one is good).

And oh, the way you get the whole 7.2 is by parking over at the Brushy Creek Sports Park, running the Regional Trail to the trailhead, then the trail itself (Deception/Top Notch), then running the Regional Trail all the way back to your car. But the actual Deception/Top Notch trail by itself is about 5 1/2 miles.

I was in the Austin area for day on business. I got done early and thought I'd try a new trail. The trail was nice and easy to walk. I love the fact that one can leave the paved trail and follow mountain bike trails cross country, through the woods etc to add a bit of a challenge. The trail on the map(in this app) is not very clear when it comes to the turn around spot at the YMCA, by the lake. I ended up going around the lake, over the one way bridge and then along the other side of the lake on top of the hill (nice view). I also left the main paved trail and followed the upper picnic trail going and the lower picnic trail on the way back. There are signs along the trail showing the "off road trails" and they are color coded by difficulty (for mountain bikers, but also very useful for hikers and trail runners). The nice part was, while there were a few people on the main trail on this Thursday in January (windy, but nice temps in the 60's), I saw only one other person using the "off road trails".... The trail does continue further east, but the crossing over the lakes dam is under construction until fall 2017 and closed. There are, however, signs for an alternate route to connect to further trails at the end of the trail (right up at the road, by the entrance closest to the dam). I followed it for a bit, but the north wind got to strong with 40 mph gusts and so I turned around and called it day. I will probably go that way next time when I am in the area (I do come down into the area at least once a month)

So from the start of the trail on the map, run along the crushed gravel going west, instead of east. When the trees are on your north, look for a path going into the trees just before the bend in the trail to the south. The eastern most trail into the trees is to a Labyrinth. But there's a trail just to the west (before the bend).

I found this trail by looking at some other trail websites. Apparently, it's called "Carcass Cafe". Weird, I know. It's a BMX trail made by the locals. Some of it is very compact, flat dirt, some of it is more rough and loose dirt/rocks with som trees roots, some of it seems freshly mulched (although the trail dates back years). All of it is single track, there are a few manmade obstacles (eg a wooden ramp at about 45 degrees, the overpass and culverts from Parmer), some more natural obstacles like rocks and trees roots, and lots and lots of twists and turns and bends and curves.

Trail running on this was a treat. had to make a few leaps over some dips, watch my footing right next to a tributary off the creek, duck under the Parmer overpass, make lots of twists without loosing my footing, etc. I'm sure that during busy days I would want to avoid this as many bikers probably ride this trail..

I didn't run the actual trail, but I ran some bandit trails.

From the 183 parking area, I first went west along the regional trail. Almost immediately before the bridge which takes you into the open are with the YMCA, vere left (south). From there, there's a great hill climb at the first left- not too long but steep. This takes you to dirt flats, some winding paths through the trees, a service road, and you can loop back around to the regional trail eventually. If you instead go straight at the first intersection, you get to run right b y the lake, great views. It eventually takes you to the Twin Lakes park, though there are more intersecting trails. Not much mileage on these trails, but if you take the right trail, I believe you could end up connecting with the next section of trails.

Getting back to the regional trail, I then went east. Immediately before the first bridge past 183, there's a trail into the woods. This trail also has some climbs. The trail loops back on itself so if you go straight or right, you're good. In the middle of these trails is what looks like an old, abandoned dirt bike area. It's rather small, but it's kinda neat.

After getting back to the regional trail, I definitely needed more mileage. So I went east some more and, immediately (yes, everything is immediately) after the bridge there is a trail to the right (south). This trail is, I believe, dubbed "The Rim". Go straight, straight, straight some more. You'll be running in a creek bed, and eventually it'll turn into a very miniature canyon. Eventually you gotta take a left, and after an uphill, you hit the actual rim. Nice views, very rocky and rooty, lots of shallow dips. This trail eventually will link up to the service road which, go south and you'll hit the regional trail. But keep going east and you'll be on Deception (the very long, strenuous dirtbike trail). That's where you can get your mileage.

After running the regional trail back to my car, I took the "shared path", concrete bike and pedestrian path, to the north. I only ran until I hit the first road, maybe a quarter mile. But it was good to be in some wide open spaces, even if there were a few buildings and 183 traffic nearby.

Anyway, great set of trails to run on back here. I'm sure there're more around, as I keep finding them (but am definitely not discovering anything brand new).

Upon running again a few weeks ago, I thought of some "advice".

About a mile into the trail, you'll see a stuffed snake, or something like that. When you run a little further and you should see it again on your right. If you're like, "This is too much, not what I planned for!" this is a good place to turn around, before you've gone so far that turning around is pointless and you gotta go the next 3 or so miles.

Also, right around mile five, just after you hit the dirt up-down right next to the Brushy Creek regional trail: on your right you'll notice a bridge. This is also a place to get out. You don't have time for the next two or so miles, or you're getting tired, or whatever, just take a hard right towards the bridge, and then you're on the Brushy Creek Regional rail. This is also a good place to enter the trail. I'll often run the easy trail on the south side of the regional trail, and it goes under the bridge, then I hti Deception for the last two miles of harder trail.

Great for any level. many off paths for bikers or hikers but lots of paved area for strollers and casual walkers!

Another fav for trail running! I don’t get a ton of elevation from it but super technical.

Ran again yesterday. As usual, it was awesome.

While the title here says "Mulligan and Deception", I discoverd yesterday that while Mulligan is a part of the Brushy Creek MTB trail system, it's a smaller section just to the east of the Deception trailhead. The map here doesn't even have the path marked for Mulligan, just Deception.

If you want to do Mulligan, park at the sports complex, and when you cross the very first bridge on the way to the Deception trailhead, take a left. There's a smallish, smooth rock in the grass right at the trailhead that has the word Mulligan painted on it. The rock is easy to miss amongst the tall grass, but the trailhead is easy to spot. Anyway, this trail is rather short, but it is still a good trail for biking and trail running. Lots of turns, switchbacks, tight spots, climbs, etc. It's like a mini Deception.

11 months ago

One of my favorites

The closest parking is actually on the cul-de-sac at the end of Dodge Cattle Dr. Make it easier on yourself and park where the trail starts on the map here, at the sports complex. Half a mile's jog and a left into a grassy field get's you to the trail proper (the trail itself is the second actual right into the trees)

I do trail running. The first time I ran on this trail I was surprised. I must admit: this, for me, is the most physically challenging of any trail I've ran here in the greater Austin area (including Georgetown and even a rugged trail system up near Belton). Limited signage; no benches, rest rooms, doggy bag stations, water fountains; various marked and unmarked forks; the switchbacks seem to connect sometimes and the trail might disappear due to leaves and/or rock. This is NOT a trail for strollers and families! The only "easy" part about this trail is that there is a lot of shade.

OK, now for a very quick summary: three sections to the trail. The VERY beginning is mostly flat and dirt, but after the introduction:
1) A mixture of flats with dirt and small rocks, larger rocks with large ups&downs, a few minor climbs, and lost of twists and turns. This part is mostly smaller rocks to the feet, but you do have to climb onto a few rocks, go through a few tight spots.
2) This is the hardest part. The trail turns into almost exclusively stone under the feet. The hills aren't steep, but they're long. Lot's of hair pin turns, some spots are sheer (don't slip), more tight spots and large rock climbs. But mostly, it's all stone to the feet and the uphills that get you.
3) You'll FINALLY notice some wooded areas. Ahh, dirt under the feet. You're mostly outta the hard part, though a few rocky climbs are still to come. Some parts here are very BMX friendly, and very fun to run.

If you do finally make it to the "end", you'll discover there's no single trail back to the Brushy Creek Regional trail. Pick a larger trail, and you're sure to get there. Go down a skinny trail through the woods, and you'll find yourself back on Deception ("Deception" is the actual name of this trail), possibly running the thing again backwards!

For dirt biking, I think this trial is good, though I say this as a person who doesn't bike. But as one who runs, this trail is quiet possibly the best overall workout you'll get, the trail with the most varied terrain.

This is an easy trail mostly concrete with beautiful scenery. It is moderate to heavy traffic depending on the day. It is great for the family lots of bikes, runners, walkers, and naturists.

trail running
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

So every time I go trail running here, I find something new.

So used to there was just the concrete path with a few green benches, a few doggie bag stations, a few small bridges. But now I know of all these dirt/rock trails through the woods, closer to the creek (on the north) or for some elevation change (on the south). The trails (most of them) are marked by wooden "kiosks".

Board of the same old concrete trail? Need a better workout or more nature? Take some of the off-trail trails. It's pretty nice, especially when you get near the YMCA (on the west end of the main trail), and take the trails south. With enough searching, you'll find yourself on a path running directly above the lakes, and it's rather nice.

This is more a park for those wanting to bike or kayak or fish, but it's well-maintained and very family-friendly. Very nice area and pretty scenery.

trail running
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I run this pretty regularly- I do a long trail run, then on my way home I stop here for the cool down, to get all the stiffness out. The scenery is good, the people are friendly, the path wide and maintained.


See those blue lines dashed lines to the south of the trail? That's the bike trail, "Deception". You want a major workout for your feet? You want to come home not with sore feet because you merely pounded some pavement, but because you actually have to use every muscle in your feet in order to stay balanced and run well? This trail is for you. Lots of twists and turns, ups and downs, steep rocky climb, high step ups, even some water crossings (though not much water admittedly). But man will your feet and ankles get strong and sore from the workout they'll get. I love it.

Nice city walking trail. Occasional gentle incline and decent. Great for exercise. Paved path.

Really nice trail. All gravel or concrete. But with opportunities for some off road trails I will try next time. Moderately busy with bikers, walkers and runners everyone was very friendly. Hope to go again


trail running
Thursday, May 18, 2017

This trail has adequate parking in several spots, restrooms and drinkable water in several spots. This is always a plus. It's totally family friendly. It's good for walkers, joggers, hikers, bikers, dogs, kids, etc. Very large concrete trail, but if you're into a dirt trail, you can walk or run beside the concrete trail, or go "off trail" to the dirt bike trails.

I really like this trail because it's always got people on it, but not too too many. The scenery is very pretty, and it varies somewhat- lots of trees of course, and the west side has "beauty" while the east side is more "wilderness" looking (though none of it is in the actual wilderness).

The main reason it gets five stars, is that you can exit the trail at various places to go into the woods and run/ride on the bike trails. For a trail runner like myself, that's the really, really fun part. The bike trails are rocky, have lots of ups and down, twists and turns, and just enough intersections to keep you on your directional toes; the path is pretty well marked, but you could easily explore the forks in the path.

If I was just reviewing and rating the concrete path, which is the official path, I'd give it a four: it's only geared towards regular hiking and running on, well, a concrete path through nice, scenic woods, and it does boast a lake, some large fields to play in, lots of metal bridges, and a YMCA at the west end. But since it has the option to go "off path" to some more technical and rugged paths, it gets that extra star. Take the regular concrete trail for a good workout. But take the "deception" bike trail (just west of the Brushy Creek Sports Park) for a major workout, great scenery, and some good wilderness.

All in all, it's got something for everyone.

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