Austin is often named one of the best cities in the country for running. A big reason is the abundance of wonderful running trails. Here are a few of our favorites. For even more info about Austin's running trails, check out the EveryParkBlog, which features a review and picture of nearly every park in Austin.
Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail (Aka, Townlake): The city's most popular running trail. This 10.15 mile loop provides scenic views of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin. The soft surface -- mostly dirt and gravel -- is forgiving, and there are plenty of water fountains and restrooms. The trail connects with Barton Springs and Deep Eddy Pool, making it the perfect place for a swim/run. The trail also connects with other favorite running spots, including Roy G. Guerrero River Park and the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail. For a post-run coffee or mimosa, we recommend Alta's Cafe near mile marker 4.25. Trail map, courtesy of the Trail Foundation.
Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail: A peaceful and pretty trail with plenty of trees and greenery. This 4.0 mile, mostly-paved trail starts at Lady Bird Lake and extends north alongside Shoal Creek, meandering through Pease Park and the Shoal Creek Greenbelt. The prettiest stretch is between 15th and 29th, when you feel miles away from the city. The trail concludes at Seider Springs Park near 38th. For a longer run, we recommend continuing north on Shoal Creek Blvd, until you reach Sheffield Northwest District Park. Stop and swim a few laps in the park's 50 meter outdoor pool! For more info about future plans for the Shoal Creek trail, check out the Shoal Creek Conservancy. (*FYI, as of February 2018, the stretch of the trail is closed between 3rd Street and 5th street. This section is expected to open later in 2018 or early 2019).
Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park: A secluded gem right off of the Butler Trail, near the Longhorn Dam at Pleasant Valley Road. Guerrero Park offers more than 5 miles of natural and paved trails, with plenty of places to get lost in nature. As of summer 2017, a bridge is out near the baseball fields, so if you're coming from the Butler Trail, you will need to detour through the frisby golf course. The trails at Guerrero Park also connect with not-so-secret, Secret Beach, on the shores of the Colorado River. Perfect place for a family friendly adventure and dip in the water. Trail map, courtesy of the City of Austin.