The Turkey Creek Trail is technically inside Emma Long Metropolitan Park, but you catch a lucky break: the trailhead is outside of the paid-usage area. (If you get to the guard shack, you've gone too far.) However, it's still very well maintained -- which makes it a perennial family-favorite destination.
What Makes It Great
Much of the 2.7-mile trail is shaded; there's very little elevation gain; and the trail crosses the creek several times. It's a great way to cool off, or to let the kids explore the amphibious wildlife. Dogs are allowed on the trail -- and Turkey Creek Trail is an off-leash area. Even if you don't have a dog, you should be prepared for a wet mutt to shake off after a dip in the water. Also, you might see a sign that says "Welcome to Mountain Lion Country!" But don't be alarmed: In 100 years, there were only four (non-fatal) encounters reported. Those are good odds -- the hike is worth it!
Who is Going to Love It
Turkey Creek is basically a flat, mellow trail good for families or an outing with the pups. Those looking for a quiet hike (or a nice hour or so trail run) will enjoy the trail.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Emma Long Park is located at 1706 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730 and the Turkey Creek Trailhead is located just before the pay area at a well-signed trailhead.