There are a number of parks in the Westlake area that offer everything from running paths, hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, child and pet-friendly green spaces. The majority of the parks don’t charge admission and all are open year round.
Barton Creek Greenbelt is spread over 809 acres and offers runners, mountain bikers and hikers over 7.9 miles of trails. Rock climbers are also drawn to the limestone cliffs. During the summer, the Greenbelt provides Austinites with a refreshing swimming hole. There are several access points to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. One of the more popular and easier access points to the Greenbelt is off Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). Visit Barton Creek Greenbelt for a map and access points.
Boulder Park in Lost Creek is located just south of Bee Cave Road (FM 2244) and west of Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). It’s a small, hidden park in Lost Creek and provides the perfect place for a picnic or a walk.
Commons Ford Park is located on Commons Ford Road. This park covers 215 acres and includes 2 trails, one featuring waterfalls and the other offering lake views. You can fish, use the boat ramp or enjoy a picnic by the lake. You can also reserve a picnic area or even a 2,500 square foot house for bigger events. No swimming is allowed.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park is located off City Park Road. This park charges a small entrance fee per car, but provides public showers, bathrooms and roped off swimming areas. Two sand volleyball courts are available at a first come first serve basis. Camping is available, but the park fills up fast, so reserve your space early.
Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail (also known as Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail) is the most used trail in Austin, totaling approximately 6 miles. The main trail is quite wide and extremely popular. Many locals bring their dogs with them for a jog or walk. Other trails branch off of the main one. The trails are smooth, primarily flat and mostly crushed granite. The beautiful and beloved lake that runs through the center of Austin was called Town Lake for decades. It was renamed Lady Bird Lake in July of 2007 in honor of former first lady and Austin resident Lady Bird Johnson.
Lost Creek Park is located just west of Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) in Lost Creek on Lost Creek Boulevard. It has a playground for children, grills and picnic tables.
Red Bud Isle is a popular park in Austin for dog owners. It is a leash-free park for dogs and their owners that covers over 17 acres of land. Red Bud Isle is located off of Redbud Trail, between Lake Austin Boulevard and Westlake Drive. Kayakers and canoeists are often seen nearby on Lady Bird Lake.
Rollingwood Park is a quiet, hidden park in the Rollingwood neighborhood just west of Mopac Expressway (Loop 1) and north of Bee Cave Road (FM 2244). It has 2 play areas for children, a pavilion and baseball fields (Hatley Field). It is also near the Rollingwood community pool.
West Lake Beach is located in West Lake Hills off Westlake Drive on Lake Austin. Although it’s a privately owned park, it’s also open to the public. West Lake Beach provides a roped off swimming area with volleyball net, picnic tables, grills and a volleyball court. Fishing is allowed with your own fishing pole and bait.
Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is located on Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) and provides hiking trails that cover over 227 acres of land. Pets, bicycles and picnics are prohibited. St. Edwards University acquired the Preserve in 2009 and it now serves as the living laboratory for the School of Natural Sciences. Trails at Wild Basin Preserve are open from sunrise to sunset each day.
Zilker Metropolitan Park is located in the heart of downtown Austin. It covers over 351 acres and provides visitors with picnic areas, sand volleyball courts and the popular Barton Springs Pool. There are many city-wide events that take place throughout the year at Zilker Park including Austin City Limits Music Festival in October, the Kite Festival in March, the Zilker Holiday Tree in December and The Zilker Hillside Theater Musical in the park during the summer months. It is also home to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum as well as the Austin Nature & Science Center.