Sunday, November 12, 2023

Top 5 Waterfall Hikes in Austin, Texas

Autumn is generally marked by cooler temperatures and the transformation of colors. In Texas, this season is often accompanied by an increase in rainfall. While the prospect of cold and rainy weather might not immediately sound attractive, it does unveil some hidden gems that are often overlooked. More rain results in more water in the creeks which in turn results in more water flowing over waterfalls. One of the most exhilarating ways to experience the beauty of Texas in the Fall is by embarking on waterfall hikes. 

This is my list of the top 5 waterfall hikes near Austin, Texas that promise stunning views, refreshing cascades, and a memorable experience. Lace-up those hiking boots, pack some snacks, and get ready to hit the trails!

  1. Three Falls Hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt: Our first stop is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a local favorite that offers the Three Falls Hike. This 7.3 mile out and back trail is a delightful mix of rocky terrain and serene beauty. As you navigate the rocky paths, you'll encounter three stunning waterfalls, each with its own unique charm. The sound of water rushing over limestone formations is a symphony for the senses. Explore the trail with this AllTrails map.

  2. Homestead Trail at McKinney Falls State Park: Next on our list is the Homestead Trail at McKinney Falls State Park, just a short drive from downtown Austin. This 3.4 mile loop trail takes you on a journey through lush greenery, leading to the majestic Upper and Lower McKinney Falls. The falls are surrounded by ancient limestone formations, creating a picturesque setting for a peaceful hike. The park's diverse flora and fauna add to the overall enchantment of this hidden oasis. Explore the trail with this AllTrails map.

  3. St Edwards Green at St Edwards Park: For those seeking a short hike and with a view of a waterfall, the St Edwards Green and Red Loop at St Edwards Park is a true gem. This 1.9 mile loop hike offers a mix of shaded trails and open spaces, leading you to a hidden waterfall that feels like a secret paradise. The tranquil surroundings make it an ideal spot for a contemplative hike or a peaceful picnic by the cascading waters. Explore the trail with this AllTrails map.

  4. Brushy Creek Trail at Brushy Creek Parkway: Venturing a bit north of Austin, the Brushy Creek Trail at Brushy Creek Parkway offers a family-friendly waterfall hike. This 6.4 mile out and back paved trail meanders along the scenic Brushy Creek, providing easy access to the refreshing beauty of Twin Lakes Falls. The waterfall is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings, making it an excellent choice for hikers of all skill levels. Explore the trail with this AllTrails map.

  5. Infinity Loop at Bull Creek Metro Park: Our final destination is the Infinity Loop at Bull Creek Metro Park, offering a diverse landscape and, of course, a breathtaking waterfall. This 4 mile double loop moderately challenging hike takes you through woodlands and alongside the clear waters of Bull Creek, culminating in the mesmerizing Bull Creek Waterfall. The layered rock formations and lush greenery create a visual spectacle that's worth the hike. Explore the trail with this AllTrails map.

There you have it – the top 5 waterfall hikes near Austin, Texas. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a nature-loving novice, these trails promise a rewarding experience. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that the Austin area has to offer. Happy hiking!

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