McKinney Roughs is a great option just outside of Austin. The trails are different from much of the hill country trails with taller pine trees and more granite instead of limestone. Because this trail is made for horses, it is wide and less technical. This is great for those looking for a beginner friendly course. It is well marked as well, so with this above map you should be set to run on your own. This is not a great trail to run after recent rains. The Riverside trail turns especially muddy and is not fun. There is a small entrance day fee. You can start at either the Pope Bend Trail Head or at the Headquarters. By combining most of these trails you can get 15+ miles of trail.
Deception starts from a few different access points. The one I like to use is the Brushy Creek Sports Park parking lot. You jump on the Brushy Creek Regional trail to warm up a few minutes and head west for less than 1/2 mile. There will be an unmarked single track trail on the South side of the trail that heads up into an open field. There is where you will find the start of Deception. Take your 2nd right hand turn after you cross the fence line.
This trail has plenty of twists and turns and rolling hills. There are a few steep climbs but nothing too long. The trail is fairly easy to follow and not too technical. Deception is an out and back trail, but has a few access points along the trail where you can drop off extra water if need be. There are ways to connect the end of the trail back to Brushy Creek as well, but that takes some personal exploration on your end! Start early around sunrise to avoid mountain bikers. Check it out in March/April to see Bluebonnets!
This is a great 5-6 mile trail in West Austin that offers scenic overlooks of Lake Austin and some of the hill country. There is a spring that runs through parts of the trail and typically has water year round. This trail does offer decent elevation change with a few challenging climbs. Running down by the creek offers full shade and is great in the summer heat. On higher elevations the cypress trees give limited shade, but if you start early in the morning you will not have to deal with overhead sunlight.
When I have visited friends that live in this neighborhood we start from the parking lot by Cups and Cones cafe. This is a good place to start with plenty of parking and options for food after.
*This trail is posted as private property to be used by Steiner Ranch neighborhood members and their guests.
Up to 11 miles on intermediate loop. Most intersections offer arrows on the fastest route back to the parking lot so if you are looking to get lost for a bit you can and not be worried about finding your way back home.
Perfect for beginners, but still enjoyable for experienced trail runners.
Large parking lot, bathrooms or port-a-john, swimming pool during the summer.
This is a very popular trail in Austin because of its central/north central location and moderate difficulty. Many mountain bikers and trail runners both use this trail system. This is a perfect option for someone looking to test out trail running as the trails are fairly flat and not nearly as rocky as Austin's western trails such as the Barton Creek Greenbelt. You will have sections with lots of roots though, so beware! Also, keep in mind that these trails probably should be avoided during rain. The mud cakes up nicely on your shoes and is not fun to run on.
This trail system is about 30 minutes from downtown Austin in the heart of San Marcos, Texas. It is an out and back with side trail options to lengthen the run. The main route, "Dante's Trail" is 4 miles one way making it 8 miles out and back. If you include the trails off of Dante's trail you can get closer to 12 miles out and back.....
This trail starts in Travis Country at 3904 Travis Country Cir. There is not a specific trailhead, but only a crushed granite path that comes out of the woods on the North side of the street. This 5 mi loop has a mixture of jeep road and single track. This route also offers plenty of hills and a few water crossing, so be warned! This trail is not marked or maintained by the city for the exception of the mile long stretch along the creek. This course is rated 3.5/6 based on elevation change and technicality.
This is a great loop if you want to get a mix of single track, hill work, and flat running. The start is from the 360 access and stays flat until you hit the turn off from to Gaines Greenbelt. Just after the turn off to Gaines, take your 2nd left that heads straight up for a .25 mile hill. It is an out and back only, but is just over a mile from the start and great for some quick hill work. It also offers pretty good views. You can bypass this hill and continue onto the "Sweet 16" trail which eventually spits you out into Travis Country. Instead of going under Mopac to finish "Sweet 16" this route however turns onto a 1 mile windy single track loop filled with short and steep hills. I loop around to connect back to the "Sweet 16" trail and head back towards the 360 Access.
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