Austin is full of outdoors opportunities, from hiking to biking, paddling, swimming and more. You may know about Zilker Park or the Barton Creek Greenbelt, but there are a lot more parks to enjoy in Austin. Here are 8 parks that you may not know about. These parks offer everything from hiking to picnicking to native animals or swimming. Everyone is sure to enjoy these lesser-known parks in Austin.
3505 W. 35th Street
If you enjoy hiking trails, gardens, picnics, and gorgeous peacocks that roam the space and let you get surprisingly close to them. Mayfield Park is a lovely place for photos and some feel that it’s a contender for most unique park in Austin.
6511 Convict Hill Road
Historians say that convicts were used to move limestone from the quarry to rebuild the state capital that had burned down in 1881. Conditions were poor with heat, little food, and no medical care. Legend has it that 8 convicts were buried here either from poor conditions or escape attempts.
2389 Stratford Drive
The center has pretend fossil excavations, birds of prey and other native animals to check out, and a Trade Counter, where kids can bring in interesting finds (bones, shells, insect exoskeletons, etc.) and trade them for an trinket in the center’s trade collection. The nature center also offers indoor and outdoor exhibits and provides environmental science education programs to schools and the community in and around Austin.
400 Grove Blvd
Inside the Roy G. Guerrero Park in South East Austin there is a secluded little stretch of soft sand along the Colorado River next to a watering hole known as Secret Beach. It’s a relaxing spot to dip your toes in the sand as you can’t legally swim or float in the water. The water is shallow and clear, making it a nice spot for little kids. The beach itself is a treat, but finding it is part of the excitement.
7301 Spicewood Springs
St Edwards and Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail is a 3.3 mile hike or bike loop trail rated as moderate that features a waterfall and a small swimming hole with a rope swing. The trail has wildflowers in the spring and a waterfall over a dam in Bull Creek providing a spot to take a breather. The trail climbs a high hill with views of the creek and its swimming holes below. A shorter, looped trail covers 2 miles.
“Austin’s Smallest Park” named after its location at the Baylor, Enfield, and Parkway intersections, is an island featuring a rotating mix of items, including a fountain, pretty flowers and plants, statues, and seasonal decorations. This is Austin’s newest, tiniest, statistically safest and cleanest park.
1507 Treadwell St.
This mythical road is an enchanted alley of glitter and glitz where people and their kids can go to enjoy a bit of nature, art, and magic while passing through the neighborhood. A perfect spot for the young and young at heart, where you will find a six-foot privacy fence brightly painted, holiday-themed decor, and whimsical items hanging from the trees above.
3701 Grooms Street
Sparky Pocket Park began as an ugly, unsightly eye-sore and was redesigned into a quirky piece of public art. The grotto wall surrounding the old electric substation is made from materials such as karst stone, steel, mirror balls, fossils, seashells, and found objects. This redesign includes an exterior steel and wood canopy, restored steel windows, and a large accordion door system to connect the interior and exterior. This tiny wonder is in keeping with the quirkiness that is so endearing about Austin.