Texas offers its residents access to a variety of outdoor adventures to enjoy, from beautiful parks and walking trails, to forests and open spaces. Everyone in the family can fill up on fresh air and sunshine close to home. Get out and experience nature at any of these six spots around Cedar Park.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

Balcones Canyonlands is a magnificent wildlife habitat just 18 miles west of Cedar Park in Marble Falls. This park’s rugged terrain offers your family amazing views of the Hill Country and over eight miles of hiking trails. It’s designated an internationally Important Bird Area and offers a safe nesting habitat for animals such as the golden-cheeked warbler. The park has already helped unlist the once endangered black-capped vireo. 

Wander through stands of juniper trees and oak forests, past grassy meadows, and along spring fed creeks at this scenic park. You and the kiddos can explore the refuge’s vast grounds from three public use areas. Join in on a dove hunt every fall, or stop by for one of many family friendly events, such as the Christmas Bird Count that’s held every year from mid-December into January.

Brushy Creek Lake Park

A beautiful field of Bluebonnets around Cedar Park, TX.

Image via Flickr by ArturoYee

Brushy Creek Lake is an outstanding 90-acre neighborhood park located on Brushy Creek Road. It’s an ideal place for people of all ages — from infants to grandparents — to stay active and engage in loads of outdoor recreational opportunities. Your children will want to hang out on the playground or cool off during the summer at the water playscape. The older kids will enjoy a hike or bike ride on Brushy Creek Regional Trail, or get the whole family together for a friendly game of sand volleyball.

Launch your canoe or kayak in the 38-acre lake or angle for fish from the pier. There’s even a labyrinth to explore and a wildlife observation area. Adjacent to the nature area is a world-class sports complex. It has it all, from baseball and soccer fields to a disc golf course. 

Does your family include an avid skateboarder or two? Drop them off at Brushy Creek Lake, and let them hone their skills. This 15,000-square-foot skate park is the real deal, complete with two bowls and a modern street course. There are modern restrooms and plenty of parking at both locations.

Cedar Park Sculpture Garden

The Cedar Park Sculpture Garden is one of the most interesting places to visit in the city. It features a wonderful collection of sculptures by local and national artists such as Reynaldo Alaniz, Siri Dehipitiya, and Randy Halsted. Located next to the Cedar Park Recreation Center on Main Street, the rotating exhibits feature a few permanent pieces and many new, annually placed works of art. There’s always something new awaiting your family at this lovely, urban park. 

Load up the little ones in a stroller and discover media ranging from steel to limestone on display throughout this beautifully landscaped setting, including the cut stone and metal piece entitled “The Family” by Warren Cullar. A visit to this garden is a relaxing, nature-filled experience and a terrific way to support Cedar Park’s public art programs.

Elizabeth Milburn Community Park

Your little ones can connect with the great outdoors at the 42.4-acre Elizabeth Milburn Community Park. You’ll discover all the appealing amenities you’d expect from a premier community recreational area like a shady playground, picnic tables, barbecue pits, a pool, and sports courts. What sets Elizabeth Milburn apart is its variety of experiences. It’s the ultimate park for little adventurers.

Take a stroll down the one-mile walking path or spend some time in the community garden. Even toddlers love getting their hands dirty while you cultivate some fruits and veggies for the family’s dinner table. Experience the veloway. The veloway is a bicycle track around 4/10 of a mile long that traverses natural terrain. There’s also a cool BMX bike area with loads of hills and jumps, plus an outdoor rock climbing wall. If your family is into Pokemon Go, this great park offers 18 PokeStops. You’ll find all these nature-filled opportunities at Sun Chase Boulevard.

Austin Nature and Science Center

Your family will enjoy a day out at the Austin Nature and Science Center. Located about 20 minutes from Cedar Park, it’s a terrific place for kids to play, learn, and discover. Since 1960, the Austin Nature and Science Center has been connecting people with wilderness encounters. Spend time in the beauty of nature and explore this center’s exhibits, educational programs, and recreational resources.

Your family will want to start with a self-guided Forest Trail experience. Take your time exploring the native trees, and then stop by the wildlife exhibits and meet animal ambassadors like a red-tailed hawk. The kiddos can pretend they’re fossil hunters and uncover pre-historic life in the Dino Pit. They can touch furs, rocks, bones, plants, and insects in the Naturalist Workshop. Enroll your 3- and 4-year-olds in Nature’s Way Preschool. This unique enrichment program provides children with a uniquely immersive experience.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis is big. It touts 271 miles of shoreline, and it’s nearly 64 miles long. This jewel of Austin is a popular place for families to enjoy crystal clear, blue waters. The reservoir offers your family nearly endless recreational activities, from swimming and boating to ziplining. It’s the go-to spot for relaxing in a resort-like atmosphere that’s just minutes from home.

This destination fun factory has a waterpark and challenge course, camping, picnicking, wakeboarding, kayaking, hiking, and so much more. If your family doesn’t own a boat, don’t worry. You can rent one at one of the many watercraft rental outlets along the shore. There are seemingly endless ways to experience nature on the shores of Lake Travis.

There you have it! These six nature-filled experiences were brought to you by Crème de la Crème on Lakeline Dr. in Cedar Park, TX. How does your family celebrate the wonders of nature? Drop us a line today and let us know so we can share your experiences with other Cedar Park parents.