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Northern Walnut Creek Trail is part of an expanding trail project located in north Austin. The two-lane, concrete trail connects Balcones District Park, on the west side of MoPac Boulevard, to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, on the east side.
The 51-acre Balcones District Park features a public pool, a children's playscape and provides a natural retreat in the heart of the city. Walnut Creek runs through the park, and its namesake trail snakes alongside it, wandering away from the water's edge and then crossing over it at different points. Narrow spurs reach into the nearby neighborhoods, inviting residents to join the trail. Thanks to ample tree cover, the pathway remains delightfully shady and cool even on summer days.
The trail heads east and emerges at MoPac Express Lane. There, if you turn right, you can join the MoPac Express Lane Shared-Use Path or turn left to continue on the Walnut Creek path. The trail sweeps down to the cavernous space underneath the highway and then continues shrouded by tall bushes and trees on either side. It remains in the greenbelt and ducks under Metric Boulevard and enters Gracy Woods Neighborhood Park, a grassy open space peppered with trees which provide shade for picnickers.
A bridge skirting the tops of the trees takes you into the heavily-wooded Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. This park sits on 290 acres, and is a great spot for birding and wildlife-watching. Follow the trail to its conclusion in the parking area.
There are future plans for an expansion of this trail and eventual connection to the Southern Walnut Creek Trail.
Parking is available at either end. Balcones District Park's address is 12017 Amherst Dr., Austin, while the address for the Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is 12138 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, Texas 78758. Residents can also access the trail on foot or by bike via the neighborhood spurs.
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