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AUSTIN'S BEST BIKE TRAILS

12 PLACES

UPDATED JUL 14, 2020

From bustling to downright serene, our city is crisscrossed with stretches best explored by bike. If you’re looking for a quick jaunt or you’re in it for the long haul, we’ve gathered up the must-try trails.

author

TESS HALPREN

FITT AUSTIN CONTRIBUTOR

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is a wild trail biking escape with city limits. In total, the main Greenbelt trail spans almost seven miles, but there are tons of different entry points, like 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 of people looking on their phones.

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. Know before you go: 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 and winds around seven miles through Cedar Park. Along the trail, you'll pass through various parks with swimming spots, climbing areas, and fun water activities bring your most adventurous friends along for the ride.

Head out west to Lake Travis for a beautiful 12-mile bike trail along the shoreline, perfect for every level of biker. There's tons to see over at Pace Bend Park, including impressive views of the lake, limestone cliffs, rocky coves, and so much wildlife! 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 that make for an easy ride all year round. Plus, you can 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. The park is packed with extras, too — there are BBQ pits, picnic tables, a swimming pool, and even a sports complex. So, after you get out of the saddle, 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. Heads up: the trail can be rough and rocky at times.

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. Oh, and 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. Designed 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, so make sure you've got a helmet.

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, and 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.

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 interesting! 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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