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Best Places to Explore the Outdoors in Austin, TX

Are you looking for some fun ways to get outside now that fall is here and the weather is becoming more bearable? Austin gets the opportunity to enjoy so many outdoor activities all in one town, whether it’s a dip in a swimming hole, hitting the water by watercraft, hiking a beautiful trail, or getting in touch with nature through a wilderness preserve.

Austin makes you want to get outside and explore with all of the beautiful places to go and almost any time of year is perfect to do so. Whether you’re ready to your body moving or you want to find a place to sit and relax with nature, here is a look at the best places you can explore the outdoors in your hometown of Austin.

Take a hike

A great way to get started on spending more time outdoors in Austin is to pack up for a hike with the whole family. You can find a simple and relaxing hike at the Mayfield Nature Preserve, offering a shaded trail that only goes about 1 mile in length.

There are picnic tables to make it easy to stop for lunch, a portable toilet available, and a water fountain at your disposal. You’ll love being near the gated gardens and ponds of the historic Mayfield Park.

A popular hiking option is definitely the Barton Creek Greenbelt, known for having several access points, several ways to enjoy it, and usually a big crowd. It’s free to get in and spans 12 miles. You’ll have access to a restroom, pets are allowed, and you can do more than just hike here.

Other great hikes include the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, McKinney Falls State Park, and River Place Fern Trail.

Bike the trails

Another great option is to dust your bikes off and hit some biking trails around Austin for some outdoor fun. Check out the Southern Walnut Creek Trail, at about 7.3 miles in length, offering an easy ride for the whole family. There is a shade playground that the kids will love at the YMCA access point too.

You can also bike at The Boardwalk Trail where you’ll get beautiful city skyline views, the Veloway for more of a challenge, or take your bikes tot eh 9th Street BMX Park to practice some cool tricks.

Go for a swim

If it’s a hotter day, you’ll love getting outdoors at one of the watering holes around town. It’s a great way to take advantage of your favorite summertime hobby of swimming while incorporating nature since it’s not your typical swimming pool. One of the most popular options is the Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs which features a 50-foot waterfall. You can also take a swim at Barton Springs, the Blue Hole in Georgetown, or the Blue Hole in Wimberly.

Rent a kayak

One of the most popular activities in Austin right now is hitting the water on kayak. You’ll love getting city views from your boat as you paddle at the Lady Bird Lake or taking a boat onto Barton Creek. Check out rental options in town for everything from kayaking to canoeing, paddle boards, and even water bikes.

If you feel like you need to spend more time outdoors with the family, Austin has you covered. Check out these popular options around town to really get outside and enjoying the simple beauty of Austin.

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