| 4.00 Miles
|| 150 Feet
|The beginning of the trail is dominated by pocket prairies covered in grasses and wildflowers.|
The park resides on both sides of Bull Creek aloong Spicewood
Springs Road west of Capital of Texas Highway. There are two parking areas for the park.
From Hwy 360, take Spicewood Springs west for about two miles. Be on the lookout on the left
for a small parking area to the left with a white mailbox. At this spot there is parking for
at most 4-5 cars parked parallel to the road. Alternatively, proceed down Spicewood Springs
for at most a quarter mile and look for a larger parking area on the left. This parking area
can hold about 15 cars.
|Coppertone wades in Bull Creek along St. Edwards Park's Creek Trail.|
Part park, part preserve, St. Edwards Park is not too well known, even
among long time Austin residents. It's hidden away on old Spicewood Springs Road, beyond the
Loop 360 boundary beyond which most people do not venture.
The park consists of two parts, one park and one preserve. The portion of the park on the north
side of Bull Creek resides within the City of Austin parks system. South of the creek, the park
operates under the somewhat more stringent rules of the Balcones Canyonland Preserve system,
which among other things mandates that dogs be on leashes.
|The southern portion of the park rises above the nothern half's floodplain, providing some great views of the Bull Creek valley below.|
The different rules for different portions of the park pale in comparison to the differences in terrain on one side of the park from the other. The north side of the park includes some pocket prairies and river bottom habitat. The southern side rises above the northern portion and consists mostly of rocky slopes covered in Cedar and Oak.
St. Edwards Park features two hikes that are chronicled here on <%=sSiteName%>. The
Creek Trail parallels Bull Creek upstream for a mile, often within earshot of Spicewood Springs, but providing a few wonderful spots from which to view or wade into the creek. The Hill Trail takes the high road by crossing Bull Creek and and ascending to the highest point in the park at the southern tip. Of the two the Creek Trail is the easiest. The Hill Trail provides far more solitude and more of a challenge for hikers who like to climb.
Lovely Hidden Park
[View Log Page]
Distance: 2.00 Miles
Unless you pass by it on windy, curvy Spicewood Springs, or find it on a parks guide, you'd have no idea this little park existed.
I'm very fond of St. Edwards Park. I find the hiking best in the evenings during the middle of the week. The weekend swimming crowd is gone and it's just cool enough that you don't feel so hot & sweaty on the long, open portions between your car and Creek Trail or Hill Trail.
Generally, I like to hike the Creek Trail if I want some peace and quiet. It's visually more exciting for me and the gentle flow of the creek is soothing. It's also a fairly easy hike, so you can spend more time just soaking in the forest instead of worrying about your next step.
The trail is narrow, so on weekends, you may find yourself being pushed into the brambles and bushes to let bikers, joggers, and horseback riders pass.
There's a nice swimming spot near a teeny bit of rapids. It's easy to spot by the rope swing some kids must've set up ages ago.
Somewhere during the first half of the trail there's remnants of an old treehouse high up in the trees.
There's a nice reading/relaxing spot further down Creek Trail. You'll see a mini-trail branch off to the left. Follow it to a very open limestone bed. When the water is low, the bumpy limestone is a good place to sit down and read. Two tiny waterfalls at this juncture in the creek add some ambience.
After it rains a bit, a waterfall will spill from high above into the creek. Another waterfall willa ppear right across the street where the first portion of the trail spills out onto the road.
[View Log Page]
Distance: 3.00 Miles
Always has been one of my favorites. I kind of did a criss cross this time around. I veered right from the parking lot and off down toward the creek, crossed and went all the way to the top (very steep here). Came back down the top but noticed a new trail (new to me anyway) that is between the top trail and the rim. So I took that back inward from where I came until I hit the rim trail. Followed that out and down (basically to the road) and followed the creek all the way till it hit the road again and turned back for the parking lot. The 3 miles is a guess so don't count on it for accuracy. The weather was nice (sunny, 60s), even though it had snowed the day before...Texas weather :) Anyway, a definite nice spot here so close in.