Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail

EASY 142 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail is a 2.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Austin, Texas that features a river. The trail is good for all skill levels offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
78 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

river

over grown

rocky

trail running
15 days 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
2 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.

2 months ago

so cool

hiking
3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

It was good but......

hiking
3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

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

4 months ago

Nice walk.

hiking
4 months ago

nice easy hike on both side of the creek bed

trail running
5 months ago

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.

trail running
5 months ago

Connect this trail to the trails going into the nature preserve north of 360 and also to Spicewood Springs for a great run. Can be crowded in spots when the water is up and the sun it out.

5 months ago

Water was stagnant and too warm and too shallow. Would not recommend for hiking or swimming

hiking
5 months ago

It is a lot of fun. You can stay on the rocky trail or use a dirt path. My dog loves this hike.

trail running
6 months ago

So a few weeks ago I ran here again, and I was a bit surprised though I shouldn't have been. I'm sorta new to Austin, and didn't realize how many families, parties, etc. come to hang out at the creeks. I was running, and I kept coming up upon group after group of people with their drinks and lawn chairs, and some even had canopies. It was pretty cool to run and see some people, as sometimes you do trail running, and it's as if you're all alone.

A quick note: at the south end of the trail, at the big open area on Lakewood drive, the official trail itself actually goes along Lakewood Dr. When running from the north, you can easily follow the creek, there are trails back there, and still get to the end/beginning of the trail.

6 months ago

Really enjoy this trail, it's everything I love about hiking, weaves in and out of trees up and down rocks along a creek. Very pretty and peaceful, with waterfalls along the way.

trail running
7 months ago

This has almost everything: water crossings; woods, open areas, rock areas; dirt trails, rocky trails, skinny trails, wide trails; and some very cool swimming holes, and lost of unmarked trails to explore. But I give it four stars instead of five, because it lacks any large hills to climb.

But all in all, it might be my favorite place to trail run, due to the wide variety of terrain and plant life. To get them hills in, just stay on the south side of the creek on the east side of 360, climb up the embankment (or do it the wussy way and cross 360), and head to the Valburn trails.

I notice on the map, it starts in the middle of the trail. The trail actually continues northeast along the creek, and back into the woods, where there's more of the same- water crossings, variety of terrain, etc. To start at the actual beginning of the trail, take the somewhat-hard-to-spot road to the north, just before the intersection of west Spicewoods Springs and 360. The road loops under 360, and then there's parking on the left.

trail running
7 months ago

Great trail for cross country running. Variety of surfaces to run, from thickly wooded dirt paths to the narrower gravel & small rock scampering trails along the escarpments. The wider, rockier portions of the path along the creek demand careful foot placement or you'll end up face first in the rocks. I take my dog (no leash) who gets along well with all the other dogs we meet there.

Trail is straight enough to run, rocky enough to be slightly challenging. Love the mini waterfalls after a good rain!

hiking
7 months ago

Bring extra clothes and jump in the refreshing water!

hiking
8 months ago

Fun to bring your dog. Always next to the water which is nice, but after a rain it's very marshy.

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