This short 3.5-mile west Austin trail is family-friendly and offers several swimming holes along the way. It's also great for trail runners looking for a short and speedy and easily accessible running route.
Looking for a quick and easy eest Austin trail run? The marquee loop is a short 3.5-mile hike that's beginner friendly and heavily frequented. You don't have to worry about being left out alone on this trail. Trail runners will make a point to cool off under the waterfalls on warm spring or summer days. It's a great trail to run, with easy access, plenty of parking, and speedy terrain. Try to avoid the trails after a heavy rain; they are in close proximity to a creek (hence the name), which can make for sloppy conditions.
What Makes It Great
The trails are frequented mostly by hikers with dogs and kids, so you will find it crowded on a weekend afternoon. Most trails run north to south, so there's little chance of getting turned around -- even off the main loop. There is little elevation change on these trails, but you do have a few water crossings.
Once you get comfortable on this part of the trail you can head up the hill to get in some more single track and elevation change. There is a 6 mile loop that can challenge the best Austin trail runners. This part of the trail is less widely used and there won't be as many hikers as there are closer to the creek. Because this part of trail is a bit off the beaten path you may want to experience it with a group of other runners who have experienced it. The Trail Roots running group frequents these trails on a regular basis. They mark the trail so that it is easy to follow a specific route, as well as there are other runners to pair up with. This can be a great way to check out new trails and get comfortable so you are able to eventually run them safely on your own.
Who is Going to Love It
The Bull Creek Greenbelt is an area for users of all interest and skill levels, used mainly for hiking (but also open to trail running).
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Bull Creek Greenbelt is located northwest Austin just off HWY 360 and RM2222. The Bull Creek park at Lakewood Dr has men's and women's restrooms and a large parking lot. Avoid this area during rush hour because these highways get crowded and can take quite some time to navigate.