I get it. The parking is daunting. There are so many places to start the trail. It’s always packed. You can come up with a million excuses, but this week you should take the mini-escape Lady Bird Lake and its sprawling trail system can provide.
In the map I’ve marked two great parking spots in green. (They are both free – but on the weekends just expect to pay some metered parking and save yourself time and frustration). The blue outline that semi-roughly follows the trail markers is a 5K walk/jog/run in what I call Scenic Route West. This is the prettiest part of the park until you get down to 35.
The great thing about Lady Bird Lake trails is that you have a glorious amount of shade no matter the time of day. The trees down by the shore are hundreds of years old and enough of an attraction all on their own. Austin takes their athletes really seriously, and because this section of the system connects to the bigger loops (think 20, 30 miles), these are the niceset parts of the trail with the most maintenance.
You’ll catch glimpses of the city skyline from pretty much every corner, and the Pfluger bridge is probably the nicest pedestrian bridge I’ve ever come across. Really, on this trail you can practically play Bingo with Austin iconic views – especially at sunset. My husband and I actually got married at Lou Neff Point.
- Wear closed toed shoes. This trail was made for runners, so the gravel and dirt can get really annoying if you’re trying to go for a casual walk.
- Watch out for bikes.
- Make a plan – there are only so many bridges along the Lake. Know what you’re getting into before you get stuck on the other side.
- Stick right. YES, I’m talking to you speedwalker. Just assume you are not the fastest one on the trail. It’s running etiquette that you pass on the left – so be a good neighbor.