Exploring Barton Creek Greenbelt: Twin Falls


The day after our first winter snow day, I felt the need to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. (I truly feel for those families in northern areas suffering through a tough winter because one school cancellation was enough to make me feel on edge.) I was grateful for the immediate, next-day warm-up, and the kids and I were so happy to get out for some adventure.

My husband is a trail runner, and he’d been telling me we should take the kids to Twin Falls for a little hike. Now, the idea of hiking with my youngest (age 4) always has me hesitating. S-l-o-w steps, whining, lack of caution and listening skills, etc. make me nervous about taking him out in the woods. But my husband assured me that this trail would be pretty easy, and so we gave it a try.

I was instantly assured when we arrived to see other parents out with their little ones. We saw runners, dogs, folks of all ages, and plenty of children.

I am sure there are multiple ways to arrive at Twin Falls, but we chose what I think may be the closest trail by parking just past the southbound entrance ramp for Mopac from 360 (at 3900 W. Frontage Rd).

Twin Falls is located just over a quarter mile from the trail entrance along a well-defined path that heads slightly downhill. Hiking along this stretch of the Barton Creek Greenbelt had us all feeling like we were deep into the woods, and you’d never guess our close proximity to the highway or downtown. It was an easy, peaceful escape into nature.

We had expected the falls to be pretty lively after the snow the day prior, but it wasn’t quite the rapidly running water we envisioned. Obviously, the extent of the falls fluctuates throughout the seasons depending upon the rainfall. We had visited Niagara Falls last summer on a big vacation, so the kids were kind of tickled by the comparison of these waterfalls, but they were still so happy to explore. Many of the shallow puddles were still icy, and the kids found most pleasure in picking up sheets of ice from the tops of the puddles and smashing them.

I look forward to coming out to Twin Falls (and Sculpture Falls, which is not too much further) during the summer for some swimming!

If you go…

  • Be sure to keep the kids close. Some of the trail has steep drop-offs to the side. And the terrain near the falls is very bumpy/rocky.
  • Don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle when you park.
  • If your child is fearful of dogs, be aware that there may be dogs running off-leash in this area.

Twin Falls on the Barton Creek Greenbelt
For a map, visit the Austin Parks Foundation website.

Freelance web producer, Heidi Okla is mom to three boys (ages 4, 6, and 7), and can’t pass up any opportunity for fun family adventures. 

About the Author

Heidi Gollub
Heidi Gollub is the founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning website Free Fun in Austin.com. When not running around on adventures with her five children–ages three to 15–she volunteers for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and shares content with the local news.  Recently, Heidi was a speaker at Mom 2.0 and the Texas Conference for Women.