Austin's Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail
Winding through trees, bridges and more along the shores of the Colorado River, the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail stretches from the Tom Miller Dam in the West to the Longhorn Dam in the East. The Town Lake trail's 10.1 miles are some of the most popular in all of Austin. It is great whether you like to walk, run, bike or just people watch.
It is hard to believe that you are just seconds from the downtown of a large, vibrant city like Austin while you are enjoying Town Lake and the visual, natural beauty of the outdoors. And this beauty can be enjoyed practically year round because of Austin's mild climate and sunny skies. Over half of the visitors take to the trail in the morning according to a Town Lake survey done by the City of Austin.
A host of all athletic levels comingle peacefully along the mostly crushed granite trail. Only 2.5% of the Hike and Bike trail has more than an 8% grade so it is flat enough for beginners but long enough to challenge the most frequent runners. There are many access points and bridges along the trail, including the famous Congress Avenue Bridge with all the Mexican Free-Tailed bats. This allows you to easily vary the lengths of your run and get a change of scenery by trying the other side of Town Lake or starting a different point. Be aware that the trail breaks, connecting via city sidewalks on the South shore of Town Lake on either side of IH 35. Just take a look at a map of Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail.
Along the trail are several mile markers. The 0 mile marker is located between South 1st Bridge and the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue. And along with these mile markers, there are many Austin attractions along and near the Town Lake trail. Among these are Zilker Park (with tons of fields for soccer, rugby and volleyball), kayak/canoe/rowing rentals, Barton Springs, Auditorium Shores, Austin High School (with tennis courts), Deep Eddy pool, Eilers Park, Downtown YMCA, Fiesta Gardens and Festival Beach. The trail also connects to many other hike and bike trails both North and South of Town Lake.
Some of the areas and neighborhoods surrounding the hike and bike trail are Downtown, East Riverside, Travis Heights, SoCo, Bouldin Creek and Barton Hills.
Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail is maintained by the City of Austin but is also looked after by a non-profit group called the Town Lake Trail Foundation. It was formed in 2003 by a group of runners and friends of the trail whose mission is to expand, improve, beautify and maintain the scenic Austin trail.
The Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail is the central meeting point for many special events and outdoor activities. The Trail is a critical feature that makes Austin such a livable city. So go enjoy it the next time you want to get outside and enjoy some exercise.