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10 best biking trails to explore in Austin and beyond

10 best biking trails to explore in Austin and beyond

Georgetown hike-and-bike trail
Grab your bike and hit one of these tracks around Austin. Photo courtesy of Georgetown CVB

Austin boasts a host of outdoor spaces just waiting to be explored. Maybe you've always wanted to try mountain biking, but you weren't sure where to start. Or maybe you're a biking enthusiast looking for new trails off the beaten path.

No matter your experience level, here are 10 of the best biking trails around Austin.

Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail
Where: Central
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This downtown trail offers great views with an effortless ride. The path switches from a smooth boardwalk to a gravel trail, but both are easy to conquer. Take a leisurely pace as you tour the 10 miles around Lady Bird Lake.

Veloway
Where: South
Difficulty: Easy
This paved track tucked away in the Circle C Ranch neighborhood is for bicyclists and roller bladers only — no pedestrians allowed. The Veloway is 23 inches wide and a little over 3 miles around.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Where: West
Difficulty: Easy to vigorous
With several entry points and unofficial trails crawling across the 7-mile stretch of greenery, you can easily traverse different areas each time you go. If you're just starting off, try the Loop 360 access point or the entry near Zilker Park. The Greenbelt is part of the Violet Crown Trail, an in-progress, 30-mile regional trail system.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
Where: North
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Most of these trails are long, winding paths looping around the entire park. The terrain here is varied, showcasing everything from grassy areas to wooded enclaves. This is a full-fledged park, so you can also find sports complexes, barbecue pits, picnic tables, a swimming pool, and more.

Slaughter Creek Preserve Trail
Where: South
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Sharing a trail can be difficult, but the Slaughter Creek Preserve Trail has a clever solution: Bikers head clockwise and pedestrians walk counter-clockwise. A lot of open track means you can easily pick up speed — just keep an eye out. There's not much shade, so be prepared for sun.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail
Where: North
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This 6.75-mile trail, alternating between concrete and stone, winds through several parks, each of which offers an opportunity to stop and hang out for a bit. Amenities include bathrooms, picnic tables, water activities, and more. A portion of the trail will be closed until June 30 (more info here).

Goodwater Loop
Where: Far north
Difficulty: Moderate to vigorous
Lake Georgetown promises quite the biking adventure. The 28-mile dirt loop in the San Gabriel River Trail does not have a lot of elevation, but there's a lot of ground to cover and greenery to explore. Feel free to stop for a swimming or fishing session at certain parts of the lake.

McKinney Falls State Park
Where: Southeast
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Around 9 miles of natural paths snake around McKinney Falls (but avoid the Rock Shelter Trail, because that's for hikers only). Need a break from biking? Enjoy scenic overlooks, historic buildings, and swimming, if Onion Creek is full enough.
Cost: $6 for adults; admission is free for children 12 and under.

Emma Long Metropolitan Parka
Where: West
Difficulty: Moderate
Another popular camping destination, Emma Long is a large park nestled against the banks of Lake Austin. Swimming and boating are big draws, but the varied terrain on the hike and bike trails allows for a journey that's a little off the beaten path. Depending on which trail you pick, you may find rough terrain and creek crossings.
Cost: $5 Monday through Thursday; $10 Friday through Saturday and on holidays.

Pedernales Falls State Park
Where: Far west
Difficulty: Moderate to vigorous
Ready for a real mountain biking expedition? Pedernales Falls is waiting for you. The Johnson City park boasts miles and miles of trails, but the pros will want to check out Juniper Ridge, a 10-mile track with lots of character.
Cost: $6 for adults; admission is free for children 12 and under.