Best Autumn Hikes Near Austin

Couple on an autumn hike near Austin.

As much as we all love Texas in the summer, by September most of us are ready to say goodbye to sunscreen and hello to fall foliage, football season, and all things pumpkin. Autumn in Austin is not to be missed. It is the perfect time to throw on a good pair of hiking shoes and explore some of Austin’s most beloved trails. Here is a list of some of the best hikes near Austin where you can say farewell to summer as you soak in the abundance of color and cooler weather around the area.

St. Edwards Park

Running along Bull Creek, St. Edwards is a great place to enjoy a spectacle of vibrant fall colors. Offering two main trails, The Creek and The Hill, hikers have the option of a family-friendly route or a more difficult route. For the easier hike, take The Creek Trail. Two miles round-trip, this trail leads hikers along Bull Creek, where they can take in Bald Cypress trees as they sprinkle the creek with their rusty orange leaves. If you are looking for more of a challenge, try The Hill Trail, an upward hike along limestone bluffs. You’re rewarded at the top with beautiful views overlooking the clear waters of Bull Creek. St. Edwards is located in North Austin off Spicewood Springs.

Walnut Creek

Autumn leaves are at their finest at Walnut Creek, where the changing colors of the red oaks and the Flameleaf Sumac stand in stark contrast among the evergreens. As you hike, look up at the bare branches of Ashe Junipers as they reach towards the sky, making the perfect spot to catch vulture land. This expansive 293-acre park, located in North Austin, not only features miles of paved hiking trails but is a great spot for mountain bikers. There is also an off-leash area for dogs to frolic in freedom. Be sure to bring your swimsuit, just in case you hit the creek on a warmer day.

McKinney Falls State Park

Autumn and spring are the ideal times to view waterfalls and McKinney Falls State Park is the ultimate spot to do this. The tranquil waters of Onion Creek, the water flowing down the limestone bluffs, and the colorful splashes of oranges, reds, and yellows will leave you feeling like you are hiking through a postcard. Just 13 miles south of downtown Austin, the park offers over 9 miles of hiking and biking trails. One such trail is The Homestead Trail, where hikers can get a view of the old homestead once owned by Thomas McKinney, the park’s namesake, and dating back to the 1850s. In addition to hiking and biking, visitors can enjoy camping, bouldering, fishing, and picnicking along the creek. 

Zilker Park Nature Preserve

Most Austin residents and visitors are very familiar with Zilker Park’s beauty. But few are familiar with the hiking trails scattered throughout Austin’s Nature and Science Center, located within the park. These hidden gems are the perfect place to welcome in cooler weather while taking in Austin’s beauty. While these trails are short and easy to hike, they remain relatively unoccupied throughout the year, leaving visitors feeling as if they stumbled upon their own natural oasis within Austin. End your time here by hiking up the main hill to take in beautiful views of Downtown Austin, allowing you an overlook of the city as it makes its autumn transformation.

Mount Bonnell

While Mount Bonnell is one of the most touristy things you can do in Austin, the fall season highlights why visitors and residents alike love making this hike. At 775 feet above sea level, Mount Bonnell is considered the highest point in Austin City Limits. The cooler weather makes the trek up the 102 step limestone staircase a breeze. Once at the top, you can take in the sunset or sunrise as you view hues of orange, yellow, and red below leaving you in utter awe of Texas’s natural beauty.

Life at Lakeside at Tessera

Living at Lakeside at Tessera offers you a quiet life on the lake, set among the Texas Hill Country where you can witness Austin’s ever-changing beauty throughout the year. Located in Lago Vista, Texas we have new lakeside homes on the shores of Lake Travis starting in the mid-$300s. Contact us today to chat about Lake Travis homes for sale.

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