This post is part of the FREE Hike of the Week series, brought to you by GrowingUpAustin.com. There are a thousand places to hike in Austin on any given day, most of which are always free, but here is a handy reminder about one favorite. Visit AustinKidsHike.com for more kid-friendly hikes and for tips on hiking with kids. A summer tip – early morning and after dinner are the best times to beat the heat!
Shoal Creek through downtown is one of my favorite kid hikes because it is an outdoor adventure in the middle of downtown, with old bridges, pipes and railroad tracks, alongside brand new condos. Duncan Park is a unique spot, because it has picnic benches and room to run around on the creek side of the park. On the other side, there is a BMX bike trail. Don’t accidentally start hiking on this trail! It is fun to watch the bikers from a safe distance, though. The only parking is street parking, so avoid this trail when there are big downtown events.
Stroller friendly: no
Restrooms: no, unless you go up to street level and patronize a business
Water: yes, you can wade in spots, but it is usually too shallow for swimming
West 9th Street & Henderson Street
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.