Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, located along the picturesque Capital of Texas Highway, is a great spot for an easy family hike. With 2.5 miles of nature trails to choose from, you can walk as little as .5 miles on the Easy Access Loop, or take the time to explore more of the 227-acre preserve. Trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk daily. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and children 5-12 years old. The donation box is located next to the Environmental Education Center (where you will also find trail maps).
The Easy Access Loop is listed as stroller-friendly, but this trail does not venture far into the forest. We took off stroller-free yesterday and found the majority of trails to be rocky and laden with rugged steps, but even our three-year-old managed fine. The kids were especially excited to cross Bee Creek and to discover a small waterfall. I believe the waterfall is .56 miles from the parking lot, but… I can’t really read maps, so you shouldn’t trust me on that. I recommend printing the trail map or pulling it up on your phone before you visit Wild Basin. I had to check my phone quite a few times yesterday to make sure we were on the right track. (Update: the trail map is no longer available online.) Our plan was to follow the outside of each loop, making one big circle around the outer edges of the preserve. There was plenty to see along the way. Near the end of our hike we enjoyed the view from the Scenic Overlook. And, although there were houses to our right and traffic on 360 behind us, we pretended we were in the middle of the woods.
For more information about Wild Basin, visit the website. Please note that pets, bicycles and picnics are prohibited.
805 Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360)
Austin, Texas 78746