2 months ago

Enjoyed this trail

2 months ago


Bull Creek Preserve Permit Overview

Bull Creek Preserve Entry Permits are issued in January & February each year, just before the golden-cheeked warbler breeding season begins in March.
A permit is only required March-July. The trail is open to all users August through February.
Permits are issued January-February each year.
Permits are good for three seasons so a permit issued in February 2015 will expire August 2017.
Learn how to earn a renew a permit here:www.austintexas.gov/ecoweb

on Bull Creek Trail

trail running
3 months ago

Sign said by permit only March - July.

Always fun

trail running
4 months ago

This one is pretty tough. BIG incline about halfway into the run that starts toward the back and going after you make a right at the gate. If you can make it past that include me then the rest of the run is pretty smooth. Also, as another reviewer stated it is a little confusing at the beginning, but marked pretty well the rest of the way. I stayed off to the right at the beginning. There are two entrances at the sign (one on the left and one on the right). After the incline you curve off to the right, and then the trail appears to dead end into dirt road. The road is actually part of the trail. Take a right at the road. It turns back into a hiking trail after you pass the water tower.

I wasn't aware to day was a holiday. There where a lot of people out there today! It's kinda cool to be running and jumping and ducking along the rocks and trees, and people look at you like you're nuts.

trail running
5 months ago

First time running this whole loop without stopping to walk or take a break. Sweet!

some parts are really nice and some parts are awful

went today was a little wet. overall nice.

trail running
5 months ago

Ran this plus the Valburn trails, got 2 hours and ten+ miles in! This definitely has good elevation gains but also some flats, many step-ups but also some level elevation gain, lots and lots of dense brush but also some open spots, etc. Everything except a creek crossings.

This trail has signs but you could still get a little turned around near the beginning of the trail. All signs and the info kisoks says no horses, bikes, dogs- this is just for feet.

trail running
5 months ago

Parked at Lakewood Dr parking lot. Found a way over the creek and then located a trail. Enjoyed the run to the falls and found a few geocaches.

I used WAZE to get to the trailhead and ended up at the wrong park. Hit directions on All Trails and went straight there.

Nice trail for a quick three miles. It had a few spots of crawling down some rocks but otherwise easy.

It was my first hike and it wasn’t to challenging defiantly manageable. The water made for a very pretty hike.

Strictly NO PETS. This was super disappointing. Good incline, no views, no water.

trail running
6 months ago

As usual, got a good workout and discovered new trails, new ways to run around and have fun. These Bull Creek trails, along with the Valburn trails, make for almost endless exploration and varying terrain.

trail running
7 months ago

Last time I ran here, I started on the north/east side of the big loop, and came down the south/east side seemed like it'd be a challenge to run up. Well, this time I started on the south/west side, and discovered that it was actually easier. When I got to the very back part of the trail, on the service road beneath the huge powerlines, I kept going on the service road. You'll hit a gate, cross the neighborhood street, then through the gate agin, and if you keep going down the trail (the trail is every easy to follow, it's the only trail back here), you eventually get to another gate and, going through it, you'll be at the back of St Edwards park. Want some more mileage, more elevation change, more loose rocks, leaves to the face, huff'n and puff'n? Run around St Edward's a bit. The trail between the Loop and St Edward's Park is more of the same- single track, skinny and wide, rocks and tree limbs a dirt an etc.

trail running
7 months ago

To find the trail head, you gotta go southwest on Lakewood Dr. Go past the first clear parking on the left. Rather soon, the trees will break and you'll see the Bull Creek park on your left. Got rest rooms, a creek to play in, some picnic tables, a volleyball net, and even a mini canyon (canyon like, at least) place to play. But the trailhead is just past the Volleyball net, not towards the creek but more towards the road (west side of the creek)- if you cross the creek here, the trails go multiple ways, and it's hard to even find the trailhead at first.

The trail this time around was rather muddy, but I don't mind. On this section- the section between the park and the first 360 overpass, you'll have some signage. But the trail also has just enough intersections to confuse you. Don't worry, if you take a wrong turn, it seems they all lead back to the main trail (remember, this is the west side of the creek trail).

After the overpass, you'll be more in the jungle-ish area. After unning awhile longer, you'll get to some open area where the creek widens out- on a nice day people will often be swimming there- and after a scramble up some rocks, you'll have a little ways until you can hit the restrooms. But first...

To get on the east(south) side of the creek, you can do it the easy way- cross the road, and the creek will get way shallow and skinnier, and you're able to hop across, take a right just past all the weeds, and you'll hit the trail again. The way easy way- just wade through the low water crossing on the road, and the parking lot with the restrooms will be on your left.

Going back on the east side of the creek: be very careful to stay close to the creek, unless you want to run some uphill miles. Many intersections, the trail will go up the hills, and you could end up running the Valburn trail system longer than you'd want. But hey, that's why these trails out here are fun!

Anyway, on this side of the creek it's less jungle-like, and more woods-like. You'll constantly be saying, "hey, I was just there" as the creek is not too wide. But it's fun to run both side, as both are unique. When you see some signs, you know you're getting close to the park, and soon you'll have to take a right and head towards the creek, for the end of the trail.

trail running
9 months ago

Trail running here again. As said before, signage is a bit lacking, and no hills really (though the Valburn trail system just to the east of loop360 has all the hills you need). But other than that, it's got everything a trail runner wants.

Diverse terrain: Grass, dirt, woods, small rocks, large rocks, loose rocks, completely nothing but rock with "pot holes" via erosion, shallow creeks, deep creeks, dry creek beds (the "completely nothing but rock" areas), and even a area with a sheer overhang covered with moss and ferns, the water dripping onto your head from above (not a water fall, small drops- it's pretty cool).
Diverse elevation: Like I said no large hills, but plenty of ups and downs, some short climbs, some climbs with rocks some with roots some with just the dirt.
Diverse scenary: Green woods, old woods, dry creek, full creek, some fields, some spots of the highway even if that's your thing. The best scenery is, I think, either the spot halfway between loop 360 and Bull Creek District park with the overhang/ferns/water droplets (I don't know the name of that type of geological feature), or else the very large spots of dry creek bed with all the pot holes via erosion.

This place is also rather popular for people to just play in the creek, let their dogs roam a bit, or bring the family and the portable grill and lounge by the creekside. It's always fun to see a group of people's faces when I come out of nowhere: they're chilling in their lawn chairs, shooting the breeze, watching kids play in the water, then suddenly this tall dude pops out of the woods, lunging across the rocks, jumping into the creek or else disappearing back into the woods. And oh, there are rest rooms, water fountains, and benches at the beginning, middle, and end of the greenbelt.

so cool

This may be one of my favorite trails in Austin. It's challenging and rocky at times, but comfortable and leisurely at others. The terrain and elevation changed quite frequently, so it was never boring. It's certainly a moderate hike with exposed sun, so bring plenty of water. Make sure to start at the correct location, as it's easy to get confused (when I tried this hike for the first time I got lost and went on the wrong trail, which is easy to do)
Make a right at the entrance sign and walk along the fence to begin this trail correctly. It's a bit hidden, but if you follow the all trails map, you'll find it. Whole loop took me about 2.5hrs with a few brief stops.
There are quite a bunch of loose rocks along the way, so be careful with those ankles!

This was my wife, daughter, and Is first hike. It was great scenery and was easy to navigate. It initially stated that it was suitable for children which it is if they are mostly playing in the water. If you are solely going for a hike with a toddler please make sure they have some sort of slip resistant shoes on/ hiking shoes.

It was good but......

Great little hike! Went on Labor Day and it was really busy. The trail was very difficult to follow so we ended up just walking through and around the water which was very nice. I'd definitely do this again!

trail running
10 months ago

This review will be short since I just wrote one.

Took the entire trail. I took the east path first. When I got to the top I was happy that the trail turned into a service road, some smoother running. But when I went back down (go west at the huge powerlines, it looks like just another service road but it is the trail), I went downdowndown. I swear, it was half a mile or more of some pretty steep elevation drop, with huge steps. I'm looking forward to getting into better shape, so I can try and run up this side.

EDIT: Since running this trail more and doing more trail running in general, I've noticed that when going down in elevation, especially in more wooded, rocky areas, it always seems longer and steeper than when going up.

This is not the way hiking trail. Things got crazy and we ended up on a steep cliff. It all worked out though!

trail running
10 months ago

Parking for this trail is hard to spot at first. Going gotta be going south/west on 360, past Spicewoods Spring but before some apartments, there's a small unmarked dirt-looking road on the right. But once you find this road, go left the lot is very easy to spot.
At the trail head (near the entrance to the parking lot) if you go left, the trail ends pretty quickly at a make-shift wooden fence and Bull Creek, but there's also a little side trail to a nice view of Bull creek. So to get to the actual trail-

At the trail head go right- when the foliage is in full bloom it doesn't look like a trail, but just keep going along the fence and soon you'll come to a sign and the trail itself begins: and boy it felt massive to me!

Fixed rocks, loose rocks, small and large, all shapes and sizes. Twist in parts, flat in parts. A few ups-and-downs. But the main appeal: the elevation just keeps rising. I only went about halfway down the trail on the on the more north/west side, turning around before getting to the "halfway point". But I'm sure the other side has just as good elevation change.

No super steep hills, but definitely 90% steady elevation change. Very good for long hills. I give it four instead of five stars because the trail lacks creek-crossings, which are favorites amongst trail runners. The signage was rather good, but I could see how even with the signage one could go in circles, so be prepared.

11 months ago

I'm sure I would've liked this trail much better if it had some decent trail markings. I got lost twice, which was very easy to do, given the layout and lack of markings. A map or this app is necessary to do this trail, lots of routes and options that don't follow the correct route.
FYI, the trail starts at the entrance to the parking lot. Be careful, this trail does not begin ahead of the sign. You need to make a right at the sign and follow the fence (which does not look correct, but it is). Photo attached for reference.

Upper trail has no real water views.

nice easy hike on both side of the creek bed

trail running
Monday, July 10, 2017

Ran again, and I think I've failed to mention this the last few times. The signage is pretty horrible. I mean, the trail isn't meant to be a "walk in the park", it's a greenbelt. So sometimes the trail might be hard to follow- this trail is very good for exploring. But still, of the signs that are there, a lot of them don't really point the way and/or they are totally blank.

All in all, I still really like running here, but just thought I'd mention the signage, since I haven't in the past. Also, you can cross the creek and connect up with more trails, specifically a loop trail, behind the Bull Creek District park. it's rather pretty back there. If you're trail running and want to take it easy, like for a warmup or cool down, this little loop is good.

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