Trails in Austin

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

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Walnut Creek is the best spot for beginners. It's not very technical and heavily travelled. That means you'll have a better chance of being able to pick up other riders and have people show you around. WC is a tangle of trails that go all over the park - they are two way trails, so keep an eye on where you are going.

There is a large 11-12 mile "loop" that many people ride, this starts from the parking lot by rhe pool, you start out to your right, past the maintenance shed and follow what's left of the arrow trail markers (some bonehead keeps trying to take them...)

There are 3-4 creek crossings that can be anywhere from bone dry to a foot deep depending on the time of year. Watch out for roots and loose dirt. Because it is heavily travelled, WC can be subject to heavier erosion so stay on the trails, don't widen ruts and do NOT ride it after it has rained (always ask first).


Location:

Located Southwest of the intersection of Parmer and Lamar in North Austin.


Directions:

From I-35 exit Parmer and head west. The first stoplight is Lamar, go south and turn in on the right just past the Vietnamese temple at Yager. Park is clearly marked. From MoPac exit Parmer and headc east. About 1/4 mile before Lamar, take a right on Willow Wild and follow that into the park.


View Larger Map


Technical Level:

Low, perfect for beginners. Few ledges, not too many climbs, no problem for hardtails or light suspension. Lots of trees, some narrow passes and tight turns so watch your handlebars.


Length:

There is a "main loop" that is about 11 miles, but it is such a twist of trails that you could probably ride 20 miles and cover very little ground twice.


Trails:

Typically hard-pressed dirt, relatively smooth. Few rocks or other obstacles. Watch out for roots, they can throw you. Trial is two way so watch for other riders, pedestrians and especially dogs during the weekends.


Trail Map:

PDF trail map

Overhead image with trails

City Map


Elevation:


GPS File:

GPX Format


Shade:

Excellent shade, good place to ride on a hot Texas afternoon.


Extras:

Several parking lots, can fill up on weekends. City pool located next to the main parking lot.


Fees:

None


Post Ride Beer:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Crisp, refreshing and full bodied. The sharp taste matches the sharp trails at WC.


Links:


ARR Walnut Creek Review
Trails.com review
MountainBike Rider Review


Video:

 

 


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Comments (6)

  • Guest (Mike)

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    In my opinion these are the best trails in Austin. They flow very nice.

  • Guest (Zander)

    Permalink

    Hey, This is a great place to ride!!!

    Just be careful because there are some areas that look like the trail keeps going and it goes over a 2 story cliff..
    KNOW THE TRAIL BEFORE YOU RIDE IT AT ANY SPEED!!!

    Children and their parents also walk the trails, They tend to move out of the way for the bikers but remember that Travis code is everyone lets the walkers have the right of way so be nice please :)

    http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Parks/parkrules.pdf

    B. On the Hike and Bike trails, bicyclist shall yield to joggers, joggers to walkers.

  • Guest (Mike Troutner)

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    Rode WC first time, first trail in TX actually. Very cool trails. Got totally lost but wasn't hard to find an out once I got serious about leaving.

  • Guest (Stephen)

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    Lost my front wheel after loading up on 9/22 at 7:45pm :( It looks exactly as in the picture with Fast Track tire and tubeless. Please contact me if found. stephen.shotwell@gmail.com http://www.evanscycles.com/uploads/Image/Key_Model_Pages/Mountain_Bike/Stumpjumper_ht/StumpjumperHT_03.jpg

  • Guest (Tim)

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    Rode this trail for the first time and loved it. Has a little bit for everyone. I live in Houston and it was nice to have some elevation changes and some rocky terrain. Let a a couple of guys pass me to get on thier tail as I didnt know the trails at all. They showed me the regular loop and explained the dangers of the trail. Thanks for the tour guys!

  • Guest (swampjieux)

    Permalink

    Its been several years for me, but its one or my favorite places in the world. You did a good job with the basic description, but there is so much more to it. I have been through every inch of that place over months of daily visits and it is incredibly diverse with multiple unique features. It has several distinct mini-ecosystems depending on location and altitude and a wide range of impresive wild life including butterflies, snakes, coons, possum, birds of every imaginable description and of course armadillos to name just a few. With so many miles of trails, the majority are appropriate for beginners, but there are a wide variety of challenging features such a perfect big bowl, big air drop offs, really great but challenging limestone river canyons, rarely biked, precariously steep overgrown alpine back trails etc., etc. Some of the trails could probably use some one way signs as there are many blind curves where its easy to run into a quiet rider coming at you from the opposite direction at speed. Highest recommendation no matter what your skill level.

    from New Orleans, LA, USA