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The Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail winds along Austin's east side, traveling north from Govalle Park towards US 290. Following the path of Walnut Creek, the 8-mile trail is paved and travels mainly through forestry as it traverses several parks. Various spurs connect it with the YMCA, Austin Tennis Center, and schools. The trail's north end terminates at Lindell Lane Trailhead.
Parking is available at the southern trailhead at Govalle Park. Parking and trail access is also available along the trail at YMCA of Austin and Austin Tennis Center.
Great trail BUT please be careful! A couple of bikers were assaulted this morning by a man on a mountain bike. He was acting bizarrely they said. Please be aware of what is going on around you!
The trail is shaded in most places, meandering through nature on either side. Excellent signage is provided along the trail.
I rode this entire trail round-trip three times in one week and found it to be a very nice bike trail. 99.5 % of the concrete joints are barely noticeable, some are slightly rough, and 15 - 20 require some finesse- but none were rim-benders. The trail is lightly used on weekdays and it can get busy on weekends. At the north end of the trail one can ride another mile north on county roads and find the Manor Expressway "Shared Use Trail". On the south end the trail easily connects to the "Lance Armstrong Bikeway" on 5th Street- so the Walnut Creek trail can be a very nice segment of a much larger system in Austin. The trail does have some fairly steep hills that will be very hard to climb with a single speed bike. While it has many flat and easy sections, it also has some sections that are not for beginners- at least not on a busy day. I have ridden many trails around the country and it really doesn't get much better than this, especially considering the overall (constantly improving) bicycle route situation in the Austin area.
This ride was amazing! I have a hybrid bike,and it was a nice smooth! No complaints, just peaceful.
Coming from FL that has bike trails paved with smooth asphalt, this sidewalk trail was way too bumpy for my road bike or 5 star rating! It is made of concrete with the crack lines built-in every six feet or so which makes for a very uncomfortable ride for road bikes that have narrow and hard tires that are inflated with a high PSI (as recommended for these types of tires and bikes). There are also some hazards that you need to be concerned about at high speeds such as dirt and gravel on path and unevenness in trail path due to shifting of land underneath it. For casual and slow riding I'm sure this trail is ok for you but if your wanting to go fast and workout on this trail like I was, you are going to be disappointed. At least I was!
This trail is not good for Road bikes, Roller Skating, Rollerblading, Skateboarding and anything else with hard tires which want/need smooth trail paths!!
The CONS for this trail (Road Bikes):
- Way to bumpy with the crack lines built-in through out
- Uneven in places, if not paying attention will pop your tires at high speeds and hurt your groin (be cautious at high speeds)
- Grass growing up on the sides of the trail creating an even more narrow path in both directions
- Dirt and gravel on the path at some turns and straight away areas (be cautious at high speeds)
- Vibrations in your vision due to the bumpy crack lines in path
The PROS (Road Bikes):
- Long path with not too many cross roads and required stops to watch for on coming vehicle traffic
- Some good scenic views along the path
- Hilly creating some challenging uphill areas
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