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.
The trails at Mayfield are well maintained and several bridges provide easy stream traversal.
Mayfield Park is a small nature preserve overlooked by
Austinites. At 22 acres, what the park lacks in size it makes up for in convenience and
solitude. One of the things that makes Mayfield interesting is a feature that makes GPS
readings harder to come by. The heavy foliage cover over much of the park provided
uneven GPS reception for much of the hike, so the mapped out trail that appears on our
topo map is a bit less accurate than we would like.
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.
A female and male peacock watch over three chicks, and wait for food at the door.
Despite Mayfield's small size it packs a nice set of trails. One simple loop through the
park does not do it justice, so we mapped out two loops that will travel over almost all
of the trails offered. One loop's trail is highlighted by an excursion on an unofficial
trail along a rock ridge on the eastern boundary of the park. We call this one the
Mayfield Ridge hike. The second's highlight is the inlet that brings Lake Austin to
Mayfield's shores. This one we call the Mayfield Lake hike.
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.