UPDATED FEB 14, 2020
There are a couple things we Austinites really, really love: breakfast tacos, margaritas, and exploring our beautiful city by bike. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced rider, the city is filled with some pretty awesome biking paths — and we know exactly where to find all the best ones.
One of the most fun biking spots in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt. In total, the main Greenbelt trail spans almost seven miles, but there are tons of different entry points and trails. Some of the most popular entrances include Spyglass, Gus Fruh, and Loop 360. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a treat. Beginner bikers can simply follow the paved trails, but advanced bikers should keep an eye out for the off-chutes of rugged terrain. And be sure to pack a swimsuit so you can stop at any of the popular swimming holes for a quick cool down.
Head south for a three-mile bike trail through Circle C Ranch. Veloway is a beautiful, paved route with some fun hills and scenic, natural terrain. Plus, it’s one of the few trails that says No Pedestrians Allowed. That’s right — only cyclists and rollerbladers are allowed here, so you don’t have to worry about weaving in and out. Load up the car, and head out to Veloway on your next day off!
Perhaps the most notable trail in Austin, the Hike and Bike Trail is one of our favorite places for a nice jog or bike ride. The entire trail is 14.5 miles and takes you on a journey through downtown, out east, over the boardwalk, and back. It’s the perfect trail to take in the downtown views, watch pups play, and snap a pic of the amazing artwork on the East Side. Fitt Tip: This trail can get a bit busy during the weekends, especially on a sunny day, so be sure to get out there early!
Brushy Creek Regional Trail starts in the northern suburbs of Austin, winding through Cedar Park. The trail is around 7 miles total, and it’s the perfect pick when you’re up for an active day. Along the trail, you pass through various parks with swimming spots, climbing areas, and fun water activities. So pack up the car with adventurous folks and a cooler for a sweaty, fun-filled afternoon.
Head out west to Lake Travis for a beautiful 12-mile bike trail along the shoreline. There’s tons to see over at Pace Bend Park, including impressive views of the lake, limestone cliffs, rocky coves, and so much wildlife! The sunsets aren’t so bad either. This path is perfect for every level of biker and a great day activity for friends and fam. Fitt Tip: After your ride, make the short drive over to The Oasis for good food and even better views.
One of our favorite spots to hike, bike, and explore is McKinney Falls State Park. Just 13 miles southeast of downtown, McKinney Falls features nearly nine miles of natural paths. It’s a pretty easy bike ride, but definitely scenic and fun! Make it a weekend and pitch a tent at one of their campsites for a real epic adventure.
For an entire day’s worth of fun, check out North Lamar’s Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. It’s filled with tons of different biking trails that wind around the entire park. Plus, this is a full-fledged park, so there are BBQ pits, picnic tables, a swimming pool, and even a sports complex. So, after you get a good ride in, you can kick back and barbecue with your buds.
For a more rugged trail, check out Georgetown’s Goodwater Loop. This 27-mile dirt loop is one of the longer trails in the Hill Country, and it’s also one of the coolest. The trail takes you around Lake Georgetown with beautiful views of the lake, natural springs, and plenty of other interesting sights along the way. It’s definitely more of a rough, rocky bike path, so make sure you’re up for the adventure!
For an easy bike path, Slaughter Creek Preserve trail doesn’t disappoint. Winding through South Austin, toward the Circle C neighborhood, this trail is filled with bikers, pedestrians, and even your occasional horseback rider. One unique thing about this trail is that bikers and pedestrians flow in different directions, so bikers ride clockwise while pedestrians head counter-clockwise. It minimizes traffic and gives you the opportunity to really pedal fast. The entire trail is pretty open, with little shade, so make sure to pack lots of water and sunscreen.
Just northwest of Austin along the banks of Lake Austin sits Emma Long Metropolitan Park. It’s a great place to camp out and hang with friends, but the bike trail is not for the faint of heart. The trail is for off-road motorcycles and mountain bikes, and bikers must yield to motos first and foremost. It’s a bit technical, with rocky terrain and ledges, but it’s definitely a fun, adventure-filled challenge! Pack a bike, head out for a ride, then finish by pitching a tent at the campgrounds for an exciting weekend right inside the city.
Ready for a solid mountain biking expedition? Pedernales Falls is your pick. Just 30 miles west of Austin in Johnson City, Pedernales Falls offers everything beautiful about nature. There are tons of different paths that vary in mileage and difficulty. Pro bikers should make sure to hit up Juniper Ridge, a 10-mile track with tons of character and challenges. Take in the beautiful nature, recharge, and pedal away at Pedernales Falls.
Reimers Ranch is one of our favorite biking hot spots for obvious reasons. The canyon and forest preserve along the Pedernales River has a bunch of different bike loops for all types skill levels. The trails are mostly sandy but run through different terrain types. Plus, there’s a one-way single track and wooden pump track to keep things fun! Once you’re done, stop at the park to check out the astronomical observatory and other cool events they have going on for the public.
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