Getting there: The Mayfield Nature Preserve sits next to the Laguna Gloria Museum in Tarrytown. To get there, take the 35th street exit off of MoPac and head west. After passing Balcones Drive prepare to veer to the left at a Y in the road. At this point 35th Street turns into Old Bull Creek Road. Look closely for an entrance to the nature preserve on the left soon after the Y.
Mayfield features peacocks that live around the stone fenced house and garden that sits
near the preserve entrance. The peacocks, garden and koi pools all lend a sense of
tranquility just a stone's throw from 35th street.
Mayfield is a nature preserve, so when visiting it's especially important to leave the
wildlife alone, including the peacocks around the garden. When roaming the preserve
refrain from boisterous activities and let the serenity of area permeate you.
i love coming here, but somehow i always manage to come during the hottest part of the day. it doesn't stop the peacocks from squawking and strutting, and it doesn't stop me from doing a full round of all the trails. sometimes i start out thinking "oh i'll just swing down by the lake" and next thing i know i'm climbing up the bluff.
there are easy ways to go if you're with someone who can't scamper much, but there are also some trails that climb up a bit or have slightly slippery creek crossings, so you can have a mini adventure right here in central austin.
unfortunately i do not think this best-kept secret is very secret anymore. i don't begrudge other folks enjoying the observation deck, but i do frown at the increasing litter and empty beer cans.
next time i'll bring a trash bag.
Lots of trails for such a small area. Make sure to check out the ridge area across the creek. Over a dozen peacocks near the parking lot. Good short hike to do when you visit Mount Bonnell.
Trails were easy to follow and pretty. One trail leads up a small bluff at the edge of the property - a nice view of a creek valley and I stopped and had lunch on top of the rock. Saw very few other people on the trails, but I could hear the peacocks (and the kids calling to the peacocks to get a response) throughout the park. Traffic and construction on nearby houses also intruded.
Didn't see anyone else on the trails, but several milled around the garden area.