5 Winter Walks in Austin

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


If you are spending time in Austin over the holidays, and eating and drinking as much as you have is getting to you, its time to take a walk.  Fortunately, Austin has lots of interesting trails in or connecting city parks.  And if you have Fido with you, many of the trails have off-leash sections.  (They are serious about picking up your dog’s poop, though, and you should be too.)  This iconic Austin scene is along the shore of Lady Bird Johnson Lake. Here are five interesting places for a short or long walk:

1. Lady Bird Johnson Lake (Town Lake)

Town Lake Austin

Photo Credit: Robert C Deming

The grand-daddy of the walks in Austin is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Town Lake.  The main trail is about a 4.5-mile distance but shorter sections are possible. Parking can be a problem during busy times; try a lot at 1st Street and Barton Springs. Lots of runners and bicyclists use the trail, so keep your wits about you.

2. Pease Park

Pease Park Austin

Photo Credit: Robert C Deming

This park trail follows Shoal Creek and part of it runs along North Lamar. Most of the trail is through wooded areas and a round trip runs about 4 miles. The sculpture pictured by former UT Professor David Deming (no direct relation!) is one of many interesting sights to be found on this walk. This is the site of the annual spring event called Eeyore’s Birthday Party.

3. Mount Bonnell

Mt Bonnell

Photo Credit: Robert C Deming

This view is reached by a climb up from Mount Bonnell Road (West of Loop 1) and is popular with families.  The bluff is 775 feet above Lake Austin, so watch your step!

4. Dick Nichols Park

Dick Nichols Park

Photo Credit: Robert C Deming

This beautiful mural is located in a southwest Austin park which has a swimming pool and playground and is surrounded by a paved one-mile trail. There is plenty of good parking and easy access, so the park attracts a lot of walkers but is never crowded.

5. Texas Capitol Building

Texas Capitol Building

Photo Credit: Robert C Deming

This walk is not so long but it will get you outside and the area is well kept. It is best not to try this on a busy weekday, but evenings and weekends mean few walkers and easy parking along Congress. Go at night for a romantic stroll!