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The Willow Branch Hike and Bike Trail winds and loops through the Austin neighborhood of the same name. The trail connects residents to a series of parks and recreation areas. Starting from the north end is Willow Bend Park (on Bratton Lane and Sauls Drive) Park, with a pool, soccer fields and rec. center.
Mills Pond is next, a scenic natural gem in the heart of the neighborhood. The pond is rimmed with trees, and has a fishing pier and a boat dock for non-motorized boats. There are plenty of ducks, geese and cranes to be found.
The next point of interest is Katherine Fleischer Park. This large park is home to the Wells Branch Homestead, a time vault into 19th century Texas pioneer life, with its original log-cabin built in 1853. There are immersive tours available but you need to reserve a slot in advance. Katherine Fleischer Park also hosts the Wells Branch Community Center as well as a playground, and sports fields.
From the park, the trail branches off in two directions but they still loop right back to that point. Taking the west branch takes you between homes, then after Northwest Elementary School, it curves back north. This segment connects to the Wells Branch Disc Golf Course, then ducks under Wells Branch Parkway and eventually returns to Katherine Fleischer Park.
The trail surface is decomposed granite, which can endure traffic from pedestrians and bicycles alike, although many trail users prefer to use the trail for a relaxing stroll.
From the surrounding neighborhoods, you can approach on foot or by bike. You may be able to find on-street parking but follow posted parking regulations.
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