With its hilly areas, beautiful landscape scenery and bike trails dotted around every corner, no matter what your skill level or how you like to ride your bike you can be sure you will have a good time doing so in Austin.
Austin and its surrounding Texas countryside offer a wealth of cycling routes that all come with different demands of endurance and experience so you can easily choose a trail that fits your way of cycling best.
The number of these Austin bike trails however can seem endless with just how many are situated around the large city, so to help narrow down which would be perfect for you so you can get cycling right away, here are some of the best bike trails in Austin currently suitable for all skill levels.
Location: Veterans Blvd to Shady Lane
Length: 4.5 miles
For an easy to get to trail that is incredibly peaceful and will save you having to face any traffic, the Lance Armstrong Bikeway trail was opened in 2009 and is a great and easy way for cyclists to enter Downtown Austin.
The beauty of this route is how easy it is to traverse on bike, there are no hills or difficult climbs and the trail itself is designed to be safe, so you can rest assured no traffic will be coming near you.
The concrete trail the whole way through is easy to ride upon and with a length of just over 4 miles, this is a great route to cycle down if you’re looking for a ride that won’t take too much effort, but is still fun to ride through and look at the sites regardless of your biking experience.
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center looped
Length: 3 miles
First built in the 1990’s, this is another easy to traverse bike trail which is perfect if you just want a relaxing ride with friends or family and don’t want to worry about how experienced everyone is or any obstacles that could be on the path ahead.
With no foot traffic allowed, you won’t have to worry about weaving in and out of crowds while you traverse around the spacious hills, sharp turns and jaw dropping scenery the park has to offer.
This is not just a great opportunity for some fun cycling but it actually is a great spot to practice, being built specifically for bikes and having wide avenues that you can pick up speed on and turn without worry, and can really help someone who isn’t as comfortable with biking gain their footing while at the same time having fun.
With the trail also being fairly short, you won’t need to worry about putting in too much work and getting exhausted, simply ride through and enjoy the scenery at your own pace.
Location: Longhorn Shores Park looped
Length: 14.5 miles
For a longer journey that is a perfect scenic ride through the beautiful Texas capital, the Lady Bird Trail runs through some incredible viewpoints and even activities you can stop off and try out yourself.
Two of the most striking landmarks included in the trail that makes it so popular are the gigantic Lady Bird Lake and clear blue Colorado River.
You will also be able to spot along the path water activities such as canoeing, historical landmarks like former Austin mayor Roy Butler’s house, and regular patches of luscious scenery in the sunnier months.
Another point of curiosity that the trail passes through is going under the Congress Avenue Bridge, home to a few hundred bats that can be spotted with a close eye even in the dark.
With a new bridge being constructed in 2014 to create even more pathways and access points to this looped trail, it is definitely worth considering for a fun ride filled with amazing views for either the whole family or just a solo ride.
Locations: Shoal Creek Blvd. to Cesar Chaves St.
Length: 3.7 miles
A shorter ride that will shelter you from all the hassle and business of the city above, Shoal Creek Trail is perfect if you don’t want to ride through anything too strenuous, but just want a relaxing ride where you can take in the surrounding environment and not have to worry about the sight or noise of traffic getting in the way.
Built in the 1960’s, the trail runs along the creek surrounded by beautiful trees hanging overhead for most of the journey.
The trail continues to run through Pease and Duncan Park which both have a huge amount of natural beauty and are great pit stops for a rest or any refreshments.
With the trail only differing between concrete, crushed gravel and compact dirt as its surface, this is an incredibly easy ride that anyone can enjoy riding through and can be made into a fun little journey with the amount of viewpoints and stops along the way.
Location: Lost Creek Blvd. to Barton Springs
Length: 8 miles
If you are planning to cycle using a mountain bike and are potentially looking for a more rigorous and challenging experience, the Barton Creek trail is a decently long trail that has become one of the most popular in Austin due to its rocky pathways and amazing resting spots.
Cut into the trail from the East near Lost Creek Blvd and it will guide you through the creek with all of its rocky formations and lush greenery surrounding the path.
The path also guides cyclists through the ‘Jedi trail’ where some interesting landscapes can be spotted from afar such as a magically placed pyramid of rocks in the middle of a river.
While the rocky pathway can give a rider a good challenge, there are more than one swimming holes along the way where you can take a breather and even have a little swim to take in the amazing creek viewpoints.
A fun and scenic route perfect for mountain bikes, if you are seeking a little bit more of a challenging trail with its own rewards, then the Barton Creek trail is perfect for you.
Location: Emma Long Metropolitan Park looped
Length: 9 miles
Another rocky and more challenging trail that is a bit longer but easier to traverse, the Emma Long Metropolitan trail is still a long enough ride to take in the scenery surrounding the path and have some fun traversing through the winding single track.
Because of the amount of width and frontal space the trail allows, along with no sharp corners, bends or drops, this is a great path to pick up a little bit of speed and have a good time cycling without worrying about crashing into vehicles or people since this is a designated biking area.
Once you loop around you will arrive back at the Emma Long Metropolitan Park, a hugely popular picnic and camping area which can be great for organizing a biking day out, finished off with relaxing by a fire or having a few snacks.
Locations: Cedar Breaks Park looped
Length: 28 miles
The Good Water Trail is perfect for a much longer ride which is still not too strenuous and won’t take up too much energy to finish, allowing you to relax and take in your surroundings, and you definitely won’t want to miss them.
The trail circles around the beautiful Georgetown Lake which not only makes for a beautiful crystal clear viewpoint to feast your eyes on while you ride, since the trail follows it all the way around it also makes it much harder to get lost along the journey.
Some of the best views of the lake can be seen from the first few miles until it can be a little more hidden from the trees and terrain, however it will appear visibly again at several points.
The actual terrain of the path changes a few times beginning with crushed stone and soon turning rocky as it approaches the lake shore, making for a fun challenge but also some variation on the long journey so you don’t get bored or tired out.
Additionally, while you can try and cycle the entire route with your own supplies if you want to really challenge your biking skills and experience, there are multiple stops along the path with shops and restaurants on the West side of the trail to supply any food and refreshments you may need, as well as the occasional swimming spot.
This makes the trail incredibly versatile, do you want to try and take on the challenge? Or make it an adventure with multiple pit stops on the way? It’s entirely up to you.
Austin may only be one city, but it has such a huge variety of bike lanes and trails sprawled all over it that provide a great opportunity to have fun cycling through regardless of past experience.