Austin is routinely ranked as one of the best cities in America for biking. Sometimes, however, the local roads can be less than ideal for cyclists. To help out, we've put together our list of favorite car-free spots to ride your bike. For more info on safe and supported rides, check out out Group Rides Directory and our page on Austin Area Bike Races.
Southern Walnut Creek Trail: This 7.3 mile paved out-and-back trail is an amazing resource for cyclists of all levels. The trail starts at Govalle Park in East Austin off Bolm Road near Airport Blvd. The trail finishes at Walnut Creek Sports Park at Johnny Morris Road and Daffan Lane near Walter E. Long Lake. The trail is mostly flat and gentle (no humongous hills). It runs alongside beautiful trees, grasslands, and water ways. The path has a concrete surface and is ten feet wide. It's frequently used by cyclists, joggers, and walkers. If you're lucky, you will meet a friendly cat around mile 3.5. We call him Arnold. :) Trail map, courtesy of the City of Austin.
The Veloway: This 3.1 mile bicycle track is a great place to practice your turns without worrying about cars and pedestrians. The Veloway is also a fantastic place to see wildlife. Roadrunners abound, as do birds, deer, and yes, a few snakes. The Veloway is located in Southwest Austin down the street from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. The path is open only to cyclists and rollerbladers. No runners allowed. The path was repaved in 2017, so the surface is great. The loop is a mix of flats and hills. with one very short steep climb toward the end of each lap. There is a water fountain and portable bathroom. Trail map, courtesy of the City of Austin.
Bike Night at COTA: Every Tuesday night starting in March, cyclists can ride the Formula One race track in Southeast Austin. Bike Night is fun! You're welcome to race your friends, but don't be surprised if you get passed by a family of three on a tandem bike. The world-class track is 3.4 miles with 20 turns, so be ready to practice your bike handling (and your hill climbing on Turn One). The event is organized by the great folks at Holland Racing. Pay $15 in advance to ride until dark. Austin Tri Club members receive 20% off single night registration or season passes at COTA Bike Night. After you finish, hang out in the beer garden and grab a bite to eat in the picnic area. There's no other experience like this in the country.