I can’t remember the last decade I ran the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin. Maybe the early ’90s. I usually look forward to running on Lady Bird Lake downtown but this trailhead off Loop 360 is only a couple more minutes south down Mopac. Before I moved to Colorado in 1989, I would run this trail several times a week.
That’s back when I was young and fast and I probably wasn’t huffing and grunting as hard as I am in this video. I filmed this with my iPhone on my favorite stretch along a bluff. I was happy to see the iron safety chain still there attached to the cliff wall. I was concerned they might have installed some wimpy safety rail considering the drop on the creek side of the trail. This is simply the coolest damned inner city trail in the country. It starts downtown at Zilker Park. This trailhead is about 3.5 miles upstream to the south near the Barton Creek Mall, and I run it further west to the end which is about another 3.5 or 4 miles. If you click on the pic to enlarge the photo of the trail map, my description is from right to left. I started in the middle at the “you are here” designation.
The bluff in the video where the trail dangles ten feet or so above the creek is in the first mile. I captured the video though on the return. The trail crosses the creek at Twin Falls about two miles in. I’d forgotten exactly where that was though and crossed at different spots on the outbound and return legs – because the creek was dry at this point and I could cross almost anywhere. There is still water upstream near Sculpture Falls. The turn-around has another trailhead access via Scottish Woods Trail which is a short road that intersects with Loop 360 a few miles west of Barton Creek Mall. I got in a 7.25 mile run which was my old route from back in the day. If you ever have an opportunity to run in Austin, run the Barton Creek Greenbelt.