Best Bike Trails In Austin

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Best Bike Trails In Texas

The Best Beginner MTB Trails in Austin TX | Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

One of the best ways to get out and enjoy nature is by riding your bike. While there are many places you can discover and explore, you have to know where you are going. If you are looking for a new hobby or just want to get outside more, there are several great bike trails for all skill levels in Texas. The Lone Star State is a great place to ride your bike with mild winter weather and a variety of terrain, whether its urban, rural, or anything in between you are sure to have a great time in a great state!

River Place Nature Trail Canyon Trailhead

Enough relaxing this is one of the most intense hikes in Austin! There are three trails, the Fern Trail, which has beautiful waterfalls, the Canyon Trail, which has challenging elevations and rock formations, and Panther Hollow, which starts with a very high climb, followed by a flatter part for you to catch your breath.

Biking & Cycling In Austin

Contributed by Peter Mallett

In a community as tuned to its’ athletic mindset as it is to its’ music and food, Austin offers visitors a cycling experience rivaling any serious U.S. cycling destination. The hype is real when it’s rated among the top bicycling cities in America by Forbes Traveler, top 10 fittest cities by Forbes Magazine and top 20 most bike-friendly cities in America by Bicycling Magazine. And with nationally recognized events Austin commits itself as the place to visit for anyone looking to get the most out of pedaling on two wheels.

Visitors can easily get in on the action with plenty of options to anyone desiring a good ride. Whether taking a mountain bike out to the Barton Creek Greenbelt or straying a bit further to Rocky Hill or Pace Bend, there’s room for the fat tire. Maybe hop in on the Saturday morning ride from Austin Tri-Cyclist at 8:30 a.m. sharp and join the roadies along the dam route. Looking for something more recreational? Check out the Veloway – a three-mile course located in South Austin for cyclists, bladers and skaters. Afterwards, grab a cup of coffee at Juan Pelota Cafe and browse through Mellow Johnny’s bike shop – a local favorite and must-see for any cycling aficionado.

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Ann And Roy Butler Hike

In the heart of Austin is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, a lush, urban path that meanders along the waters edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions. With the completion of the Boardwalk portion of the Trail in June 2014, the 1.3 mile gap along the south shore has been closed, and the Trail now serves our city in an additional way as an alternative transportation route for our growing urban core.

With more than 2.6 million visits a year, the 10-mile trail is Austins most recognized and popular recreational area. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, named for a former Austin mayor and his wife, is a natural gem in the heart of the Texas capital.

But the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is more than a great pathwayit is a place where Austin thrives. For many citizens and visitors, it represents the best Austin has to offer: outdoor recreation a scenic, natural environment and a diverse, vibrant mix of people.

Ann And Roy Butler Hike And Bike Trail

The 10 Best Bike Paths For Austin Families

Take a turn around Lady Bird Lake on this 10.5-mile loop that takes you past parks, along the water, down boardwalks, and offers stunning views of the city skyline. The path itself is a mix of packed dirt, pavement and gravel, but is mostly flat. And if you dont want to ride the whole loop, there are two opportunities to shorten your trip by crossing over the 1st Street or Pfluger Pedestrian Bridges. Just be prepared to share the trail with lots of pedestrians and other cyclists.

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Slaughter Creek Preserve Trail

Located in South Austin, the Slaughter Creek Preserve Trail is a sunny single-track dirt trail for beginner to intermediate bikers. There isnt much shade so this ride is best done early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or during the cooler months. The 5-mile trail features small rock gardens and easier technical sections with little elevation gain. Riders take the trail clockwise while hikers go counter-clockwise. That means you can carry speed and easily keep an eye out for other trail users.

A Beautiful Hidden Gem

I am surprised how many people still dont know about this trail, but then again maybe thats a good thing. It is clean, well-maintained, and quite peaceful. The trail wanders through the neighborhood, around Mills Pond, through the main parks areas, along a disc golf course, and it follows a creek most of the way with multiple bridges. I recommend this trail to everyone and they are always pleasantly surprised by how great it is.

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Explore The Great Outdoors In Austin

Austin may be most well-known for its live music and food, but its also an excellent location for bicyclists. Whether youre in East Austin, north of the city limits, or right in the downtown, getting on a bike trail is easy. Take the Southern Walnut Creek Trail on the east side of Austin, hit the southerly located Veloway, or head north to the Brushy Creek Regional Trail. Best of all, you dont even have to leave the city of Austin if you want to get on your bike. Just head over to the Lady Bird Bike Trail, Barton Springs, or Zilker Park for a quick jaunt in nature while still within the city limits.

Looking for other ways to stay outdoors and explore Austin? At ATX Guides, weve got you covered. Check out our guide on the best hiking in Austin and trails nearby if you want to keep moving. Youll also find advice on the best outdoor patios and rooftop bars when you want to soak in the great weather and experience the culinary scene.

Austin Mountain Bike Trails

The hidden gem of Austin MTB trails

The greater Austin area has really come into its own in terms of shear number of miles of mountain bike trails and the quality of them. In years past we pretty much had the mountain bike trails at Barton Creek Greenbelt and then work got started on the peoples favorite Walnut Creek mountain bike trails.

Being in the Hill Country of Texas we are blessed with some really great terrain for mountain biking. Youll find Austin trails have something to offer mountain bikers at every level and on just about any type of mountain bike. From stripped down fully rigid single speeders to enduro riders on 6 travel bombers and everything in between.

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Best Bike Trails In Austin: 11 Charming Spots For A Two

Austin has an extensive network of outdoor spaces from greenbelts and preserves to tree-filled state parks. The biking opportunities here are extensive and feature little elevation gain. Its the perfect place to hop on a bike for the first time or to improve your skills as a beginner. For more advanced riders, the area offers technical rides and plenty of ground to cover when you want an aerobic workout. Here are the best bike trails in Austin for all rider levels.

Downtown To South Congress Avenue: Easy

If you stay on Congress Avenue all the way from downtown to the South Congress entertainment district, youll have a wide and dedicated bike lane for most of the route. However, it can still be harrowing because the street is always busy, and there are many small side streets that cars can unexpectedly emerge from along the way. The main shopping area starts around West Mary Street. The north-south portion of your journey is almost all downhill. Keep that in mind as you enjoy food and drinks on South Congress. The route back is a little tougher, consisting of a couple of long, gradual climbs.

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Covert Park At Mount Bonnell

Address: 3800 Mount Bonnell Dr., Austin, TX 78731

This is one of the best hiking trails and the highest point in Austin with beautiful sunset views worth the visit! This beginner friendly spot in Austin can take your breath away with its panoramic views of the city. Mount Bonnell is an ideal place for a quick workout. The main hiking path measures just about 0.3 miles with 200-foot elevation gain from the bottom of the stairs. Up to this day, it remains to be an Austin hotspot attracting everyone from hikers, bikers, couples, and families.

Prepare For Your Cycling Adventures

Best road biking trails in Austin, Texas

Cycling Austins bike trails in summer can be tough for the unprepared. Given the heat and humidity, all of our suggested best places to go cycling with your family offer plenty of shaded areas and rest stops along most routes.

In addition to staying hydrated, another thing you can do to enhance your cycling adventure is get kitted with the right gear. Check out our shop for a wide selection of breathable shorts, caps, bibs, socks and cycling accessories.

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Downtown To The University Of Texas Campus: Easy

TripSavvy / Austen Johnson

Starting at 11th and Congress Avenue, the safest route to the University of Texas campus is to head east on 11th, right on Nueces, right on West Martin Luther King and an almost immediate left on Guadalupe Street. This places you at the southern edge of the sprawling UT campus. If you continue a little further north on Guadalupe, youll arrive at the area known as The Drag. Its dotted with coffee shops, restaurants and other stores geared toward students.

Commons Ford Ranch Park

Address: 614 N Commons Ford Rd, Austin, TX 78733

The Common Ford Ranch is a lakefront park on Lake Austin with a trail length of 0.8 miles. A great place to take your family and pet for a picnic after a hike. There are also amenities such as a volleyball court, picnic tables, and barbecue pits.

If you are looking to settle within neighborhoods close to plenty of outdoor attractions, hike, and bike, areas, get in touch with us. Wed be glad to help you out with your search!

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Mayfield Park And Nature Preserve

Mayfield is often used for weddings because of its picturesque cottage and roaming peacocks. However, once you get past this, you can wander in 24 acres of beautiful land! A particular favorite is a path that takes you to a lovely dock that overlooks Lake Austin. Its not a particularly challenging hike, but the surroundings are beautiful.

Where To Bike With Kids In Austin

quarter notch mtb trail in Austin, texas

Did you know that May is National Bike Month? What a great time to get out and explore the city on bikes with the kids. As you look for some places to head out for a ride, check out this bicycling map from the City of Austin can be adjusted to fit your specific needs and can help you choose the best route for your family ride. Below weve rounded up some of our favorite places to bike with kids

Southern Walnut Creek Trail The trail is approximately 7.3 miles long and consists of a 10-foot wide paved trail with 2-foot shoulders. Its an easy one and great for a family bike ride. There are access points behind the East Communities YMCA at 51st. St. & 183 , at Govalle Park , at the Austin Tennis Center and at Johnny Morris Rd. and Old Manor Rd. Our own Do512 Family staff enjoys this spot for stress-free biking. And as an added bonus bonus: if youre entering the trail from the YMCA access point, there is a pretty sweet, shaded playground for the kids, too. Click here to see a map of the trail.

Northern Walnut Creek Trail This trail offers a great paved trail section that runs for 3.5 miles, from Balcones District Park to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. The trail can also be accessed from Scribe Drive. to read more about the Walnut Creek Trail system.

Lots of walking, jogging and biking on the Boardwalk

Tips for Riding With Your Family:

Have fun out there! Of course, dont forget your helmets!


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Biking Is Better With Friends

There are a few reasons why biking is better with friends. First, it’s more fun! Biking with friends is a great way to catch up and have some fun while getting some exercise. Second, it’s safer. Biking with a friend or two can help you feel more confident and secure on the road, not to mention more motivated to consistently keep up with your biking routine. Finally, biking with friends can help you go further and explore more. Biking with friends gives you someone to chat with and encourages you to push yourself to go a little bit further than you might on your own. So, it’s time to get your friends together and hit the trails! If you need more friends interested in biking, why not hit up old friends from school? Use handy online platforms to find old classmates or college friends with whom you can enjoy this great activity.

River Place Nature Trail

Address: 4998 River Pl Blvd, Austin, TX 78730

If you want to feel the burn while hiking, the River Place Nature Trails has over 5 miles of trail within this scenic spot near the Austin proper making it one of the best hiking trails in Austin, Texas. The nature trail is also a dog-friendly place so if you need a companion during your workout, you can take your canine with you. The River Place Nature Trail has three trails: Fern Trail, Canyon Trail, and Panther Hollow.

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Austin Bike Paths Every Cyclist Should Explore

Violet Crown Trail

Shrouded in greenery, and with convenient access to a number of swimming holes along the Barton and Gaines Creek Greenbelts, this 6-mile mountain bike trail provides a welcome reprieve from Austins summer heat. The routes main Zilker Park trailhead often swells with dogs, hikers, and day drinkers, so consider starting your ride at the farther-flung Spyglass or 360 trailhead entrances.

The Lost Pines Forest of Bastrop

In 2011, Bastrop was ravaged by the most destructive wildfire in Texas historya blaze that devoured more than 30,000 tree-lined acres southwest of Austin. While scars from the burn still remain, this 13-mile ride, winding along the backroads outside of Bastrop State Park, provides a serene look at vibrant wildlife like white-tailed deer and the resurgent loblolly pine tree population that has grown in the area for nearly 20,000 years.

Northern Walnut Creek Trail

Located in Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, this paved, picturesque ride courses through a maze of foliage. And thanks to its array of intersecting pathsincluding the perimeter-pacing main trail, the Point Six loop thats made for cruising, and the aptly named BMX loop, which is loaded with heart-stopping jumpsno two trips are ever the same.


Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Spider Mountain

Mountain Biking Austin Texas

The 5 Best MTB Trails in Austin

There are miles of mountain bike trails in the area.

Know of a new mountain bike trail not listed here? Please tell us about it here.

Tips for mountain biking in Austin, Texas

  • Trail maps: Explore the map above, and get Singletracks maps on your Wahoo GPS unit.
  • Bike rentals: Check with one of the shops listed above to find rental bikes.

About the best trails

Singletracks members have ranked the best mountain bike trails in Austin, Texas using our unique trail ranking algorithm. The best bike trails are rated by weighing the following ranking factors: average trail rating, number of members who have ridden the MTB trail, and the number of members who want to ride the MTB trail. Disagree with our list of the top mountain bike trails in Austin, Texas? Find and review your favorite Austin, Texas bike trails. Constantly updated.

Austin, Texas mountain biking news

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The 8 Best Bike Rides In Austin

Cycling around Austin is one of the best ways to get to know the city. The hills in west Austin can be a bit steep and challenging, but most of the hills in central Austin are of the gently rolling variety. So grab your bike, pick a route and get moving. While many streets have dedicated bike lanes, most are not protected, and some stop abruptly at major intersections. Wear a helmet, stay alert and have fun.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Brushy Creek Regional Trail is a 7.7-mile trail in northwest Austin made mostly of concrete. It winds through several parks, offering opportunities for swimming, climbing, and even kayaking. The trail offers amenities including food options and restrooms along the way, making it ideal for urban bikers and beginners.

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Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve To Pennybacker Bridge: Difficult

TripSavvy / Austen Johnson

Only for expert road warriors, this route is about four miles long, but its on the shoulder of a busy highway and involves serious hills. Starting at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve , head north on 360. After a few difficult climbs, youll see the iconic, rust-colored Pennybacker Bridge over Lake Austin. For those who have the requisite fitness level and other skills to stay safe on this ride, the rewards are amazing. Despite the challenging nature of the route, this is one of the most popular rides among serious cyclists in Austin. Some even travel much farther, both south and north, along 360 to enjoy dramatic views of limestone cliffs and tree-covered hillsides.

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