When talking about fun and free recreational activities, hiking is one that always tops the list. The best part is, there’s no shortage of hiking trails in the Cedar Park area. Whether you’re looking to do a solo activity or bring the whole family, and whether you want to get away for a couple of hours or a full day, there is a hiking trail for you here. Check out some of the best places to hike near Cedar Park, Texas, for a range of skill levels and ages.
Brushy Creek Regional Trail
The Brushy Creek Regional Trail passes through Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park, Texas. The main section of this concrete and crushed-stone trail is nearly 7 miles long, and it has a ton of recreational opportunities along the way. Bike or walk the entire trail in one go, or stop at some of the parks along the way to enjoy activities like Frisbee golf, skateboarding, kite flying, and dino digging. Another great feature is its proximity to water, so you can access fun water activities like kayaking, canoeing, and fishing as well.
The trail is an easy, paved path and is open 24 hours a day, though Brushy Creek Lake Park is open a half-hour before sunrise until 10 p.m. daily.
Twin Creeks Historic Park Trail
Another hiking path in Cedar Park is a little-known spot called Twin Creeks Historic Park Trail. The Twin Creeks Park is a 46-acre area with a historic home on the property. The trail itself is 2.2 miles and paved, making it great for hikers of all skill levels. The trail leads to the home on the hill and continues along a creek. It’s a very peaceful walk if you’re looking for a leisurely stroll to clear your head.
To access the home and trail, you can park right off of 2679 Volente Road near Abbotsbury Drive. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Hamilton Pool Preserve
The Hamilton Pool Preserve, located at 24300 Hamilton Road in Dripping Springs, is a beautiful waterfall and nature preserve established in 1990. This amazing 50-foot waterfall comes from the Hamilton Creek, right upstream from the Pedernales River. The waterfall drops into a canyon and continues running, even in dry seasons.
To access the waterfall and pool, you can hike down a narrow trail that is a quarter of a mile long. Even though it is short, the terrain is steep and uneven, so be sure to bring sturdy shoes. It takes about 30 minutes in total to get to the waterfall and back from the parking lot.
The pool preserve is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, though you will need to make a reservation. It’s a bit of a drive from Cedar Park, but it’s certainly worth it. What makes this trail unique is that the preserve is home to many species of birds and vegetation. Some of these species are pretty rare, so make sure to keep an eye out and your camera ready.
Mayfield Park and Preserve
Mayfield Park and Preserve is a beautiful and unique wildlife preserve located a short drive away in Austin. The Mayfield Park Lake Trail is a 0.3-mile trail with even terrain that is great for hikers of all skill levels. The hike itself is less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and it’s looped so that you end where you started. There are also many other trails around the 21-acre park. Some of these trails should be used by more experienced hikers due to the rockier terrain.
Mayfield Park is unique in that wild peacocks are constantly roaming around, especially in the springtime when they are looking for mates. Beyond the wildlife, Mayfield Park and Preserve offer astounding views of the forest and neighboring areas. There is free parking at the park, and there are restrooms available if you need them. The park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is free to the public, but pets are not allowed.
Mount Bonnell Trail
Image via Flickr by jeffgunn
Mount Bonnell is near Mayfield Park, but the hike is so unique and the view is so astounding that it deserves its own shoutout. To get to the Mount Bonnell Trail, you’ll take a short drive north from Mayfield Park toward Covert Park, where you’ll find Mount Bonnell. From there, you can hike up 106 limestone steps to the highest point in Austin.
The hike up is a little challenging since it’s all stairs, but it will be worth it for the view. From the top, you can see downtown Austin, an expansive part of Lake Austin, Pennybacker Bridge, and more of the area’s natural landscape.
Mount Bonnell is open to the public from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is free. Unlike Mayfield Park, pets are allowed at Mount Bonnell. Parking is also free, and there are portable restrooms as well. The path is about a third of a mile, and it takes around 30 minutes to complete it.
Sculpture Falls Loop
Sculpture Falls Loop is a 4.2-mile trail near Austin, Texas. It features easy terrain and is great for hikers of all ages and skill levels. The trail is used for hiking, running, and nature trips. Something that makes Sculpture Falls stand out is that it features a waterfall where you can stop to rest or take a dip in the water.
The trail and waterfall are open 24 hours a day and are free to the general public. The hike can take a few hours if you’re looking to complete the full trail, so be sure to pack sunscreen, water, and snacks and wear your bathing suit so that you can go for a swim.
So there you have it, some of the best places to hike in the Cedar Park area. Take in the breathtaking views, spot rare and popular wildlife, and splash around in waterfalls and pools. Whether you want to take a solo trip or bring the whole family, you’ll have a great time when you hike these trails. Are we missing any of your favorite Cedar Park hiking spots? If so, drop us a line at Creme de la Creme of Cedar Park so we can add them to the list!