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.
In all areas, the trails are well maintained.
The Lake hike at Mayfield starts on the edge of the parking
area opposite from the ridge hike parking lot and the Mayfield house. The trail starts
off heading in a southerly direction towards the lake inlet that marks the southern
border of the preserve. The Mayfield preserve for this section is called the Lake Trail,
which you can see on the map sign at the entrance to the preserve.
The steps leading down to the lake deck are probably the steepest in the park.
When the trail comes to a T section with some of the lake visible through the trees, marked
by the waypoint "Lake View", we took a right and headed west. This section of trail ends at
the property line for the Laguna Gloria museum. Unfortunately a fence prevents proceeding
further. If the grounds of Laguna Gloria were open it would provide an opportunity to hike
all the way to the shores of Lake Austin.
The deck along the shore of the lake inlet is a good place to rest and reflect.
A better lake view is still to come on this hike. We turned back at the Laguna Gloria fence
and doubled back to the T section and continued east. A short distance away is a short
side trail that leads down to the lake shore. The steps that lead down to the shore are
quite steep, so be careful. At the waypoint "Deck" you'll find a pleasant wooden deck that
runs a short distance along the inlet shore. There is ample tree coverage here so the spot
is ideal for a bit of a rest to soak up the atmosphere.
Mayfield Park includes several interesting bridges and creek crossings.
The trail continues to the east until encounters a creek that runs through the preserve
and then turns to the north. Here you'll encounter an interesting creek valley with rock
ridges on either side. Mayfield refers to this section as the Creek Trail. To the left
the Mayfield house sits atop the rock bluff. From the trail below one can make out the
stone wall that surrounds the house and its gardens. A little further up the trail to
the left a series of steps leads to the top of the ridge. A gate leads into the Mayfield
house grounds. Stop for moment to enjoy the ponds and peacocks before proceeding to the
other side of the grounds that borders the parking area.
The hikes in Mayfield Park are short, taking up about one half to three quarters of a mile.
The scenery is beautiful and the hiking terrain interesting which prompts us to recommend
this park to those who want a quick hike close into town. A single loop through the
park can take as little as 30 minutes.