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Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin

4.6
#6 of 22 in Trails in Texas
Biking Trail Hiking Trail
The Barton Creek Greenbelt, located in Austin, Texas is managed by the City of Austin's Park and Recreation Department and is considered the seventh best hiking trail in Texas. The Greenbelt is a 7.25mi stretch of public land that begins at Zilker Park and stretches North/Northeast to the final section commonly referred to as "The Hill of Life" which ends in the Woods of Westlake subdivision. The Barton Creek Greenbelt consists of three areas: the Lower Greenbelt, the Upper Greenbelt and the Barton Creek Wilderness Park and is characterized by large limestone cliffs, dense foliage, and shallow bodies of water.ClimateLocated in Austin, Texas, the Barton Creek Greenbelt has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The Greenbelt receives 30 to 35in of rain, with the majority of the precipitation coming in the spring, and secondary maximum in the fall.3 Small bodies of water can be found at all times of the year throughout the Greenbelt, however the creek bed that runs along the spine of the Greenbelt actively flows only 1 to 2 months out of the year depending on precipitation levels. Watershed from Barton Creek, a tributary that feeds the Colorado River in Central Texas, is responsible for the area's highly concentrated vegetation.Sports and recreationWith its diverse terrain, the Greenbelt is a popular location for adventure-loving locals. The large limestone cliffs that line portions of the Greenbelt make for excellent rock climbing. Hikers and bikers can be found year round, although during the wet season mountain biking is more challenging as the biking trails crisscross the creek bed, making it difficult to cross when it is full. During years of heavy rainfall the water level of the creek rises high enough to allow swimming, cliff diving, kayaking, and tubing (recreation). During the annual "Tubin the Belt" parade hundreds of individuals tube the greenbelt on a Saturday in Spring.
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Austin bills itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World," so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of its hotels sell out long before the city's popular festivals. If you wish to stay near downtown's live music scene, look for package deals and book your accommodations well in advance. If downtown clubs and bars aren't your priority, consider hotels located just outside the central part of town, in comfortable areas where you won't need a car to get to most of the city's major cultural sites.
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4.7
  • Oh man. I could have spent all day at “the greenbelt”. Apparently there are numerous greenbelts in Austin, but this particular one is so treasured that locals speak of it as if it were the only one. T...  more »
  • Love this place. Beautiful and peaceful even when crowded. A few complaints though, I love that Austin is mostly dog friendly but I don't love that not all pick up after their dogs and then someone st...  more »
  • A great place to walk, take the kids or the dogs. It is possible to get to it from multiple locations. The shade trees are welcome on a sunny hot day.  more »
Google
  • Austin is BLESSED by this greenbelt. Yes it's often crowded but it's because it's freaking wonderful to have trails and water so close to the city. The greenbelt is so long and has so many different entrances, there is something for everyone. Do you love a challenge? Try the Hill of Life. Do you just want a quick swim? Try Twin Falls or the entrance near Barton Springs Pool. Long live the greenbelt!
  • Wonderful trail. Good for a few hours of walking. If you wish to finish the whole trail at once you'll need a few hours. Lots of greenery and flowing water. Can also be used as a place to chill and enjoy few beers. Family friendly place.
  • Great place to hike and bring your dog. After it rains you can get in and swim in certain areas along the creek, but when it's dry the water may not be moving much. My dog loves to hop in and take a swim. Remember to bring extra poop bags and keep your dog on its leash when hiking.
  • Great place to hike. Diverse group of people hiking it also. lots of "swim holes" though not many are very deep because of the water level being low currently. i recommend Sculpture falls.
  • Pool was closed for maintanence the day I went. However, really enjoyed the trails and small museum there. Swimming in the river was also a blast. Rented a bicycle nearby and went for a bike ride. All around, a great place for a day out with family and loved ones.