Parking: 7301 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759
(based on rocky trail and challenging hills)
Trail Distance: 3.5 miles in St Edwards alone. You can connect up to 15 miles of trail by running into Forest Ridge and Bull Creek
Facilities: None. Day park only (small 10 car parking lot with an additional smaller lot just up the road)
Fee: Free Entry
Park Closures: None, However adjacent Forest Ridge Park Closes March 1st - July 31st and you must take a preservation class to gain a permit to access the preserve.
Pet Policy: Pets allowed on leash
Best time to visit: Spring-Fall
*Tips* Be prepared to cross Bull Creek to get to the hilly section.
Park: : 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744
Trail Distance : 5.5 mi of dirt trails, 3 mi paved path
Difficulty: Beginner/ Easy
Restrooms and camping avialable
Fee - $6/person
Best time to visit: Spring and late Fall
Dogs allowed on leash
Tips - Soil gets sticky if raining. Run on a dry day!
Stay out of the bushes. They are loaded with Poison Ivy, so be cautious if emergency pit stops must happen.
Address: 187 Trophy Dr, Lakeway, TX 78738 Map
Difficulty: Challenging (Rocky and Hilly)
Distance: 3 mile loop up to a 15 mi out-and-back
Terrain: Single track dirt and some exposed limestone. This is sticky clay dirt and slippery rock when wet.
Ammenities: Restrooms .5 mi down the trail at junction of Trophy and Canyonland trails
Lakeway Swimming pool + dressing rooms and bathrooms = $5 entry
Parking: Street parking on Trophy Dr and overflow parking in the school or swimming pool parking lot.
Long Run: Connect Canyonlands to Mt Lakeway over to Serene Hills to Bee Cave primitive trails for nearly 15 mi.
**Construction Notice - there is a new road being built by Serene Hills that intersects the trail. We will update as it changes and any rerouting as it is completed.
Address: 9901 Farm-to-Market 1826, Austin, TX 78737 (Gate opens at sunrise and closes at sunset)
Difficulty: Easy - flat and easy to navigate
Distance: 5k and 5 mi routes
Terrain: Dirt and crushed limestone
Pet Policy: No dogs allowed
Parking: Limited to about 20 spots (other places to park are at the nearby Gorzycki middle school)
1)Slaughter Creek Trail FB Page: Use to see if trail is closed do to wet conditions
2)Runners and Bikers are required to travel in opposite directions. Recommend not using headphones so you can hear bikers coming head - on
Additional Info: To get to the trail you must use the groomed crushed granite 200 meter trail that heads east from Travis Country Cir. This dead ends into the Greenbelt access (on "Power line" ) where you will start on the single track. This is called Power line because you will see the tall power lines above and the head straight across the greenbelt from East to West. You can take Power Line trail straight down 1.25 mile to Barton Creek.
Riverplace trail is a point to point trail in west Austin off 2222 and Riverplace Blvd. With 1,000 ft of vertical gain in 3 miles Central Texas trail runners use this route to practice their hill running! While this is not a rocky terrain, the elevation gain will challenge beginner to experienced trail runners. As an out and back you can get 6 miles. If you extend into the Panther trail you can get a little more mileage. The Panther Trail has some great swimming holes to soak in during or after a hot run.
Address: 8820 Big View Dr across from Woodland Park at River Place
Parking: Street parking available
Distance: 5-6 mile out and back or 5 mile loop using Riverplace Blvd
Facilities: No bathrooms, chairs and charcoal grill at bottom of hill
This West Austin trail is located right on the Colorado River! While the trail system is only near 4 miles long it is well worth it! What is unique about this trail system is the diversity of terrain. While the trails close to the river are flatter and mostly dirt and lined with Pecan trees, the trails further inland are rockier and more technical and include some elevation change.
I lived on off Cuernavaca back in 2009 for a year and would use these trails every week for my marathon training workouts. There is a 1 mile loop that is beginner friendly and offers a slight incline on the Southern side of the park. This loop is great for interval or fartlek workouts. This park has little traffic weekday mornings. Mostly you will see neighborhood folk walking their pups.
Parking is limited. If you come on a Saturday mid morning you might be out of luck. You can park on the road outside of the park if you have no other options. Inside the park there are spots for about 10-15 cars. There is a bathroom/outhouse on the trail close to the lake, but it is not very visible. Visit the Austin Parks website for more info!
Across the road is where you start running more inland. This trail is all single track and runs along a spring. At the top you arrive at a beautiful soaking hole. During dry summers this is barely running, but it still will hold enough water to sit. After the run take a dip in Lake Austin (The Colorado River). There is a sandy shore that is knee deep and perfect for an ice bath or cool down soak.
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.
This is a fun and challenging 10k trail loop. The trail is mostly single track with a few wider sections. It is pretty challenging and technical. There are lots of ledges and sharp drops and climbs. There are no long climbs, but the repetitive up and downs wear you down after a loop or two. The trail is marked with signs on trees that say "main loop" which can be easy identified. This is the 5.5 mile loop. To get the rest of the 10k loop you have to cross the parking lot and add on the 1/2 + mile of trail that starts just on the south side of the bathroom.
Best breakfast option post run: Ski Shores located on Lake Austin! Great for post run tacos and beer! Located 5 minutes from the trailhead. Ski Shores is closed for the winter months.
***Note- This park is a motocross course and closed to hikers and runners unless otherwise specified. Most dirt bikes and mountain bikers don't get out to the course until about 9 am though, so if you are off the trail by 8:30 or 9 you typically don't see many people.