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Best Things to Do Outside in Austin

Austin is known for its great outdoors, both within the city limits and in the nearby rural Texas Hill Country. Get out and explore everything from winding hiking and biking trails to cool swimming holes and lakes perfect for paddling.
HIKING
Hike along the leafy 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, which skirts along shimmering waters and has picturesque views of Austin’s skyline. Snap a selfie with the memorial statue of Austin music legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, stationed along the route at Auditorium Shores.
Just 30 miles west of Austin, hike through a Texas Hill Country landscape of limestone cliffs and stone river beds along the Pedernales River at Pedernales Falls State Park. Follow Juniper Ridge Trail, which wends through a shaded mesquite forest and leads to the park’s rushing Pedernales Falls.
BIKING & CYCLING
The Violet Crown Trail offers great in-town mountain biking, with rocky surfaces and steep slopes. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is also a great destination for mountain bikers (enter at the Loop 360 access point), offering varied terrain within a beautiful landscape of cliffs and shaded groves alongside scenic Barton Creek.
Road riders will want to bicycle from downtown to Mount Bonnell, peddling Scenic Drive along the waters of Lake Austin and catching an awesome sunset view from Pennybacker Bridge. The paved Southern Walnut Creek Trail, part of the city’s Walnut Creek Trail System, is an urban trail designed for both bikers and pedestrians.  
SWIMMING
Combine great swimming with people watching at the historic Barton Springs Pool, just minutes from downtown Austin. Located in the heart of the 360-acre Zilker Park, this swimmer’s paradise features clear water fed from underground springs that stays a refreshing 68 degrees year round, along with grassy hills for sunbathing.
Located a 40-minute drive from Austin in Texas Hill Country, Hamilton Pool Preserve is a geological wonder. This historic swimming hole was formed by the Hamilton Creek spilling out over limestone outcroppings, creating a dramatic 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a canyon.
CAMPING
Emma Long Metropolitan Park, situated along the shores of Lake Austin, is one of the few places where visitors can camp inside the city limits. Located just 25 minutes from downtown Austin, the park features waterside campsites, giant cypress trees, hiking and biking trails, swimming and boating, and spots for picnics and grilling.
Click here to find out more!

 

Posted by: Visit Austin
Posted on: 10/04/2020

Best Things to Do Outside in Austin

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Best Things to Do Outside in Austin

Austin is known for its great outdoors, both within the city limits and in the nearby rural Texas Hill Country.

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