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.

Mayfield Park

Mayfield Park

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.


Convict Hill

Convict Hill Quarry Park

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.


Austin Nature and Science Center

Austin Nature and Science Center

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.


Secret Beach

Secret Beach

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.


St Edwards Park

St. Edwards Park

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.


Bepi Park

Bepi Park

1101 Enfield

“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.


Fairy Alley

Fairy Alley

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.


Sparky Pocket Park

Sparky Pocket Park

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.

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast.

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