Guide to Austin Greenbelt Entrances
Reroute no more! Here's a list of Greenbelt access points.
By Tinu Thomas,
8:00PM, Fri. Mar. 30, 2018
Editor's note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some city green space may be closed to the public. While accessing parks, the Austin Parks Foundation urges you to remain six feet apart from people not in your household, wear a face mask when not exercising, do not touch equipment or structures, and follow the latest safety recommendations.
With summer months looming ahead, Austin will soon be swarming with folks searching for the perfect spot to swim, hike, bike, jog, or just lounge in the sun. But the last thing anyone wants to do is try to navigate the many trails, paths, and crevices of the Barton Creek Greenbelt in the scorching Texas heat to find it.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this list of official and unofficial Greenbelt access points in optimal roundtrip order. You'll be splashing in natural pools and hiking trails faster than you can say "Hey, Siri."
Trailhead2201 Barton Springs Rd.
The Trailhead entrance to Greenbelt is a low-impact trail for beginner hikers. This access point is the most accessible entrance for downtown dwellers and paid parking is readily available. The trail itself is flat enough for a relaxed first-time hike, but watch out because it is also frequented by avid joggers and bikers. Four miles into the Trailhead, the path will be divided by a fork at which you can continue on the Greenbelt or diverge onto the Violet Crown Trail.
Barton Hills Access2010 Homedale
Found just north of Barton Hills Elementary School, you can access the east entrance of the Greenbelt from Barton Hills, a residential neighborhood. This entrance leads to multiple hiking trails as well as Campbell’s Hole, a popular family-friendly swimming hole.
Gus Fruh Access2632 Barton Hills Dr.
Looking for a more adventurous swim? The Gus Fruh access point, which is also located in a private neighborhood, provides access to some lesser-known, deeper swimming holes as well as a handful of climbing walls just south of the entrance.
Rae Dell2642 Barton Hills Dr.
Also known as “Land Bridge,” the Rae Dell access point is great if you are looking to hike advanced terrain. With steep cliffs ranging from 10 to 50 feet high, the Rae Dell entrance is not for beginner hikers given the steep climbs. However, the abundance of watering holes and popular cliff-jumping sports makes the effort worthwhile.
Violet Crown Trail4970 Hwy. 290 W.
The Violet Crown Trail follows the Greenbelt from Barton Springs and notably features a plethora of caves and cliffs for the spelunker at heart. This access point is for the adventurous hiker looking for a challenging trail. It's home to several advanced creek crossings and steep climbs but nothing a semi-experienced hiker can't handle.
Lost Creek3755 Capital of TX Hwy. W.
Also known as the “tourist entrance,” Lost Creek is now one of the most frequented entryways to the Greenbelt. This once-secluded patch of greenery is now a popular watering hole equipped with parking, plenty of hammock space, and a lounge room for partygoers.
Loop 360 Access3755-B Capital of TX Hwy.
Perhaps the most popular Greenbelt access point (perhaps because it's the recommended access point by Google Maps), the Loop 360 entrance is visitor-friendly with plentiful parking and access to pretty much every trail Greenbelt has to offer. This entrance is also the main access point for the climbing destination Seismic Wall and is very popular for mountain biking.
Bull Creek7806 Capital of TX Hwy. N.
Bull Creek is ideal for a day of wholesome family fun. Set up with volleyball nets, picnic tables, and scattered with small waterfalls, Bull Creek is a little nook of nature for a day of wholesome outdoor activities.
Trail's End1710 Camp Craft Rd.
If you’re a serious, no-frills hiker, Trails End is the entrance for you. This access point leads to plenty of secluded trails ready to be explored as well as access to two hidden Greenbelt gems: the Hill of Life, which is a half-mile downhill hike from the entrance that ends at the foot of Sculpture Falls, a concealed swimming hole, perfect for a post-hike dip.
Gaines/Twin Falls Access3918 MoPac S.
There is no official parking lot for the Twin Falls/Gaines access point, so keep an eye out for parked cars on the side of the road. If you’re willing to go the extra mile to hike up Gaines, your reward is Twin Falls. The less-frequented and scenic expanse is perfect for photo-ops and picnics.
Spyglass Access1601 Spyglass
Known for its proximity to Tacodeli, the Spyglass entrance is a great place to lounge post-pig-out. Spyglass provides easy access to Campbell’s Hole, and after you’re done digesting you can hit the trails or climb south to reach the Greenbelt's Enclave, a prime bouldering wall. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, go further down to Seismic Wall, a more advanced bouldering area.