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Parks & Nature in Austin

If you're looking to explore the great outdoors in Austin, you're in luck! With its numerous parks and natural attractions, the city offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. From the stunning views at Mount Bonnell to the iconic Barton Springs Pool, there's something for every nature lover to enjoy in Austin. Are dogs allowed in Austin parks?

1. Sculpture Falls, Austin

Sculpture Falls

Popular swimming location reached by a hike along the Barton Creek Greenbelt trail. A refreshing spot to cool off mid-outing. The falls themselves are roughly 45 minutes from the trailhead.

2. Mount Bonnell, Austin

Mount Bonnell River

One of the highest points in Austin; hike up the 781-foot ridge for views across the Colorado River. Visit during sunrise or sunset hours for the best atmosphere - arrive early to secure an unobscured viewpoint.

3. Barton Springs Pool, Austin

Barton Springs Pool - View 2

Popular, spring-fed pool drawing crowds of swimmers and sunbathers. The spot, located conveniently near Downtown Austin, maintains a constant year-round temperature and attracts up to 800,000 visitors annually.

4. Enchanted Rock, Austin

Enchanted Rock Sky

Central, pink granite dome of the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - the peak itself rises to a height of 556 meters. The surrounding landscape includes kilometers of trails and offers rock climbing opportunities.

5. Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin

Congress Avenue Bridge - Birds

A seemingly obscure entry, but Congress Avenue Bridge is center stage for Austin's bat population. Upwards of 1.5 million bats take to the sky at sunset between the months of March and October. Expect crowds.

6. McKinney Falls State Park, Austin

Mckinney Falls State Park - Waterfall

State park south of the city center notable for all things outdoorsy - camping, swimming, biking, fishing, and hiking. Resident landmarks include the namesake falls and "Old Baldy," a 500-year-old cyprus tree.

7. Zilker Park, Austin

Zilker Park View

Major urban park in Austin spanning 351 acres along the Colorado River. The space has something for everyone - from sports facilities and an outdoor pool to an amphitheater and a botanical garden.

8. Blue Hole Regional Park, Austin

Blue Hole Regional Park Trees

Lush park ideal for escaping the Texas heat. Blue Hole is best known for its natural swimming area - the space has been fitted with rope swings for a more adventurous experience. The surrounding landscapes also offer walking trails.