May is National Bike Month and a great reason to get out and go for a bike ride. Looking for some new places to explore with the kids? Instead of that usual neighborhood ride, head out and try one of these picks for fun places to bike in Austin.
Southern Walnut Creek Trail – The trail is approximately 7.3 miles long and consists of a 10-foot wide paved trail with 2-foot shoulders. It’s an easy one and great for a family bike ride. There are access points behind the East Communities YMCA at 51st. St. & 183 (middle), at Govalle Park (Southern-most point), at the Austin Tennis Center and at Johnny Morris Rd. and Old Manor Rd. Our own Do512 Family staff enjoys this spot for stress-free biking. And as an added bonus bonus: if you’re entering the trail from the YMCA access point, there is a pretty sweet, shaded playground for the kids, too. Click here to see a map of the trail.
The Boardwalk Trail – The Boardwalk trail links a 1.1 miles gap in the Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. It’s a paved trail that offers gorgeous water & city skyline views. It’s open from 5 a.m. to midnight each day. It can be accessed at several points – the northeast corner of the American-Statesman parking lot, off the Riverside Drive sidewalk at Blunn Creek, from the northeast corner of the Riverside and IH35 intersection and at International Shores Park. Street parking is available on S. Lakeshore Blvd. between Pleasant Valley Road and Riverside. Click here for a map of the Boardwalk.
The Veloway – Maybe better for experienced riders, the Veloway at Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park is a paved bicycle tract that is 3.1 miles long, 23 feet wide, with fantastic scenery. The direction of traffic is one way, clockwise, and fast riders stay to the left, slow riders stay on the right. The Veloway is open year round, from dawn to dusk. Click here for a map.
Dick Nichols Park Trail – This trail in South Austin offers a 2-mile loop with pretty scenery. The wide paved path is good for biking, walking or jogging. If you wish to get off the path, you can explore some grassy, wooded areas. The kids can also enjoy playgrounds at this location, too. Click here for a map.
Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail – This 2.8 mile loop trail is located in McKinney Falls State Park. It’s a pretty scenic part of Onion Creek with shade from Live Oak and Bald Cypress trees. It’s a paved trail that’s great for biking, walking, even pushing a stroller. (Entrance fees to McKinney Falls are $6 for ages 13 & up, free for ages 12 & under.) Click here for a trail map.
9th Street BMX Park – While this is not a trail as the others on this list, it is a fun spot worth noting to anyone who wants to get out with their BMX bike. The South side of Duncan Park is used as a BMX bicycle jumping/trail spot where you’ll see plenty of riders practicing cool tricks. Park hours are from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.