A view of the trail along the north side of Slaughter Creek.
Slaughter Creek Park is located in south Austin in Circle C.
On MoPac head south and take the Slaughter Lane exit and head west. Look for a parking area
on the left after passing Escarpment Blvd. Slaughter Creek flows parallel to Slaughter Lane
on the left and the parking area is on the opposite side of the creek from the main road.
We started off our hike at the waypoint marked "Trailhead" that is north of the creek.
If you are walking from the parking area near the more southern trailhead to get to this point
be careful of any traffic coming down the road. A jeep trail starts here and heads east, following
just north of Slaughter Creek. Much of the trail is a straight shot east towards South MoPac,
where it terminates in a small loop and doubles back to the trailhead. The trail surface here is
crushed granite and its width calls to mind an old jeep trail.
Slaughter Creek's loop around the soccer fields provides a very easy hike.
On the way back towards the northern trailhead a side trail splits off to the left and crosses the
creek at the waypoint "Creek Cross". A concrete walkway extends over the creek making passage easy.
The trail continues west and loops towards the southern trailhead in the main parking area.
Through much of this portion of the hike you will be within earshot, if not eyesight, of the soccer
fields that the trail circles. On one visit to the park there was a soccer tournament in
progress with some teams coming from as far away as Mexico. Chances are Sunday mornings
are not normally this busy, or loud.
As the trail nears the southern trailhead it will pass next to the waypoint marked "Karst".
Here you'll find a mysterious fenced-off area near a soccer field and a playscape. Closer
inspection reveals that the feature being fenced off is a hole in the ground, known as a karst,
that typically feeds right into an aquifer underground. In such a park the karst is fenced
off not only to prevent people from crawling in, but also to prevent anyone from dumping trash
into it. Since it is not being filtered by a large quantity of rock and soil but feeds directly
into the aquafer, it is much more sensitive to human abuse.
The second creek crossing is more challenging, but not too difficult.
The northern trailhead's trails shot off to the east and west, so we returned to that
point and then took the western trail. The trail turns to the left and crosses the creek again
at the waypoint "Creek Crossing". Unlike the eastern creek crossing, this one does not contain a
concrete path spanning the water way. Instead, you'll have to hop from rock to rock across the
stream if the water is flowing.
The farther from the trailhead, the more solitude.
Shortly after crossing the creek the trail hugs along the sideline of a soccer field but
then continues straight back along a fence and power line maintenance trail. As you can
see from the topo map the trail along here is straight as an arrow. That trail eventually
peters out near some homes on the southern boundary of the park. Doubling back, there are
some side trails that lead to the east towards the main loop we already hiked or the main parking
A noisy soccer tournament that we encountered on one trip is not the norm as far as activity goes
for the park. On nice days there's a pretty good contingent of walkers, runners and bicyclists on
the trail, so solitude is not in great supply. However the more distant one gets from the trailheads
the fewer people one encounters.
Note: The name of this hike used to be just "Slaughter Creek". However, the City of Austin
refers to it by its long name that you now see above. Plus, the city has recently acquired another
piece of property downstream on Slaughter Creek and they have been referring to it as the
"Slaughter Creek Greenbelt", so we'll use the long name for this hike to avoid confusion.