Austin >Barton Creek Greenbelt
Swimming, hiking and outdoor fun.
The Greenbelt is one of the best things about Austin. It's foresty and the water's warm enough for swimming. The trees and brush open up for little coves that offer a lot of privacy and give you the illusion that you are alone in a little lagoon even though everyone else in Austin is swimming nearby. We went during spring break, and even though it was packed, we were able to find a swimmy little spot away by ourselves.
If you have an overactive imagination you might feel like Huck Finn exploring the set from The Blue Lagoon. There's a rope swing, people!
It's a beautiful place to hike and take a dog, even those that can behave unleashed.
Escape from city life in this 812-acre swath of green in Zilker Park..
This hushed stretch of wilderness area brings visitors in throngs, yet it still manages to be a secluded, seemingly private escape. The eight miles of semi-maintained trails invite outdoor enthusiasts and athletes to enjoy its beauty and its shade. To runners and hikers, the combination of smooth hardpack and rocky limestone makes for interesting yet navigable terrain. For mountain bikers, it translates into a moderately technical, twisting single-track. Rock climbers can find more than 100 lofty limestone climbing routes surrounding the trail.
Fantastic trails. Whether you're hiking or biking, this is the best trail in town. I have a hybrid bike, so it's a little too rough for my wheels. And I like to bring my dog, so I hike the trail all the time. I particularly like how sections are separated for hikers. Also the creek bed is almost from another planet, it's so cool. Bring plenty of water and don't forget to bring the mutt and let her cool off in the creek afterwards. Not bad for free.