Commons Ford Park

Trail
2.40 Miles
N/A
Free
3point5stars (3.67)3
3stars (3.00)
3point5stars (3.67)
N/A
Yes
Yes
No
Austin
Travis
More Info

Commons Ford includes beautiful Lake Austin shoreline.
Commons Ford includes beautiful Lake Austin shoreline.

Getting there: From MoPac in Austin, head west on FM 2244. Continue west on FM 2244 through the intersection with Capital of Texas Highway. Approximately 3.5 miles after that intersection turn right on Cuernavaca Drive and then turn left on Commons Ford Road. Continue down this road for and look for the entrance to the park on the left.

The land around Commons Ford used to be ranch land, as evidence by this old dwelling.
The land around Commons Ford used to be ranch land, as evidence by this old dwelling.
The Hikes: Commons Ford Metropolitan Park is one of the lesser known parks in the Austin area, and one of the best. In its 215 acres it boasts wonderful views of Lake Austin, groves of Pecan trees, some historic structures, waterfalls, lots of foliage and hillsides. Since few people seem to know about the park and because the common park amenities such as pools, football fields and playscapes are not present the setting is quieter and more serene.

The trails at Commons Ford vary from grassland here to Cedar covered hills farther inland.
The trails at Commons Ford vary from grassland here to Cedar covered hills farther inland.
None of the trails at Commons Ford seem to be officially supported. At least they are not mapped and do not include any official signage. However, the city does acknowledge the unimproved trails. The park offers a good variety of trails from the very easy Pecan Grove Trail to the mildly moderate Waterfall Trail. There are likely to be a few more paths we'll return to document at this wonderful park.

There are several picnic benches near the shore of Lake Austin. We sat for some time watching some birds forage for food in the trees nearby. Additional picnic benches and a gazebo are on the western edge of the park near the barn used to store equipment for the park.

Please note that this park includes some strange hours. The park is open Tuesday - Sunday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM with reports that the gates are locked at 6:00 PM. You don't want to be stuck out there with no way to drive home. The park is not open on Monday.

Photos
Zoey and I at the Waterfalls
Great place for sniffing and nothing at all. (Photo by estudio64)
Log Entries
Commons Ford is beautiful and gently used
By estudio64 on 4/7/2012
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Well, this looks like the first log since 2009 - and they still haven't marked any trails! Not that I consider that a bad thing - it made the park seem well-preserved. There is a sign that points to a "Picnic Area", and that's where EVERYONE is - in a big, open space with access to the water. By this measure, I was certain that we wouldn't have had any solitude at all, but I guess unmarked trails are a little too wily for most. We headed across the street opposite the picnic area and discovered some relaxing waterfalls and fun game trails that did a good job of scraping us up and getting us dirty. Wonderful setting to just play and relax.
Great morning at this park
By Lindey on 5/2/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 4.50 Miles Duration: 3 minutes

Hiked to the waterfalls and then strolled to the lake for a little picnic.

Fun, but mark the trails!
By josh351 on 7/10/2008
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour

Went out to Commons Ford park today for a hike. It was reputed to have a 4/5 hardness and some waterfalls. Well the waterfalls weren't there but then I didn't really expect to find them flowing in July so that was no big deal. I also heard that the trails aren't well marked and this is true. I wandered around the old ranch and down by the lake then up the hill until it becam private property. I walked into the wooded area following what appeared to be a trail of sorts but this quickly came to a halt. I saw a snake but it was no rattler or water moccasin, I just waked around it. Down the hill toward the road I met the waterfall trail. At least I assume that's what it was it stopped by some places that obviously have waterfalls at some point in the year. The trail kinda stopped at what would have been a good sized waterfall a couple months ago. I didn't know that the trail ended so I walked around trying to find the trail, eventually ending up some two miles outside the park on private property. I'd say to make sure to stay on marked trails but there weren't any. Oh well, I had fun. I wouldn't give the trail a 4/5 toughness though, I hiked it in under an hour with a forty pound pack, in ninety five degree weather and I only used a third of my three liter camelback. Try hiking McKittrick Canyon  and see if this was even close. Once again, I still had fun, just not as difficult as I desired.

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