Southern Walnut Creek Hike & Bike Trail

Southern Walnut Creek Hike & Bike Trail

As told by
Rooster
Southern Walnut Creek Trail is a nature lover’s delight. Located in East Austin, this beautiful twisting and turning maze of trees and foliage is the city’s newest recreation resource for hikers, joggers and bicyclists.
Price:
FREE
Best time of day:
Anytime

What everyone knows

Of all the wonderful trails in Austin, this urban trail is the least known.

What they don't tell you

Congressman Lloyd Doggett was responsible for securing the funding that has allowed the City of Austin to build the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. As an avid cyclist, and a longtime member of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Doggett was eager to strengthen bike and pedestrian resources in East Austin. He has worked through three Mayors trying to get this trail completed since funding was secured in 2006. Thank you very much, Congressman Doggett!

Do it like a local

The next time you are looking to go hiking or biking, check out the SWCB. It’s a great way to get out of town to the un-crowded roads east and north of the city, and for the most part, allows you the opportunity to ride side by side and converse with friends and family.

For the History Buffs

There is a fantastic, scenic, and not-too-well-known hike and bike trail I love to ride my bike on in East Austin called the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. It opened in 2014 and is Austin’s first urban trail. It extends from Govalle Park to the Walnut Creek Sports Park at Johnny Morris Road and Daffan Lane, and has been in the works two decades ago. Currently, the SWCT is a 7.3 mile, 10 foot wide concrete path winding through the Walnut Creek Greenbelt with a yellow divider line seperating oncomers. It is definitely kid-friendly due to its smooth surface, and full of wildlife. While biking on the trail, you will see bright red Cardinals darting back and forth in front of you as you wind your way around it’s scenic curves. I have also observed deer, armadillos, some snakes, bats fluttering overhead at dusk, and even some bullfrogs in several of the tiny ponds that are adjacent to the trail. I have several different favorite sections of the trail due to its scenery, including the large empty field of wildflowers near the Austin Tennis Center turn off. The trail gets its name from Walnut Creek that flows nearby. If you are lucky, you can find some millions of year old fossils in the creek bed, like me. The majority of your ride via this gorgeous trail is remote. You will not see any streets, neighborhoods, or buildings for several miles at a time. There is a great span of trail that passes adjacent cricket, rugby, and soccer fields as well as the Harvey Penick Golf Course. It connects to multiple neighborhoods and landmarks including Govalle Park, The YMCA at Hwy 183, Davis White Park, Walnut Creek Greenbelt, The Austin Tennis Center at the Walnut Creek Sports Park. What I am excited about is that there currently are plans to connect this scenic trail to Walnut Creek Park, in North Austin. It will be an additional eight miles of trail that will connect to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail that leads to Balcones District Park. This project is scheduled to be completed in Winter 2021. Plans are also underway to continue developing the trail five additional miles eastward connecting to Ben Fischer Park in Manor, TX.
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