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Trailhead Park

Trail (3.13)17
(2.15) (2.65)
2.50 Miles 400 Feet
N/A No
Yes Yes
Free
Austin Travis
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Getting there: From central Austin, take FM 2222 west to FM 620. Turn right on 620 and head north to Boulder Drive in the Canyon Creek subdivision. Turn right onto Boulder Drive and look for Trailhead Park on the left side of the road.

The Hike: Trailhead Park's trail resides at the back of the park's playscape, pavilion, basketball court and volleyball court. There's no sign indicating its presense, so one might very well miss it if only idly searching for a place to hike. Near the waypoint "Trailhead" the path forks almost immediately. To the right, a short spur leads to an alternate trailhead along a different street. Continue to the left for the main trail.

The first portion of the trail is paved, but some rougher stuff lay ahead.
The start of the trail consists of a paved walkway that resides near the edge of a ridge over the creek below to the left. Here the path is flat and occassionally passes by the back fences of some of the homes in the area.

The trail changes abruptly at the waypoint "Pavement Ends". A few benches mark the spot where the trail surface transforms from smooth concrete to a rocky slope down to the creek. This is where the fun begins.

Immediately following the paved trail the path leads down a rocky slope to the creek bed.
Once the trail descends to the creek it turns south and follows the creek downstream, sometimes just a few feet away. While rocky, the path is relatively flat here and wide enough to drive a jeep through, if one was so inclined. Why so straight and wide? You might notice manhole covers here and there along the route. The city appears to be using the creek bed as a sewer line conduit.

Although not adjacent to backyard fences, one is constantly reminded of the surrounding environment from the yelling kids, pool splashing, barking dogs and power tools. It's not like walking through a sonic assault in the center of a city, but the typical tranquility that can be found here is punctuated now and then by abrupt reminders. It's time to keep going.

Sometimes rocky, sometimes not, the trail along the creek is typically flat. The wide trail also provides relatively little shade from a high Sun.
The waypoint "Deer Feeder" marks a clearing on the opposite side of the creek. In previous hikes, we had seen a deer feeder in place here and just happened upon a few deer browsing the area for some feed corn. Although no deer were present on this particular trip, there was a surprise in store. Startled by my presense a huge bird took to flight, its massive wings thumping in the air. It was like watching a 747 take off instead of a jet fighter. It gained altitude and skimmed above the ridge on the opposite side of the creek and over a rooftop. As it did so, a family at play in their pool, out of sight, but audible, gasped and called attention to the bird, which appeared to be a Blue Heron.

Much of the trail along the creek bed is surprisingly straight.
The trail crosses the creek several times, but none of the crossings are difficult and other hikers have placed bits of wood and rocks to make the traversals easier. I sat at one crossing for some time to watch the unlikely dance of mating Damselflies. With the end of one's abdomen attached to the thorax of the other, it seemed an amazing feat that they were able to move around at all. Imagine carrying around someone on your back who's wearing stilts, and you get the idea.

Getting to the end of Trailhead requires a few creek crossings. However, none of them proved to be difficult.
The farther one goes back on the trail the more tranquil it gets, at least for now. Not far from the waypoint "Turnaround" a wonderful spot passes right next to the creek and includes a couple of small rapids that fill the air with soothing sounds of running water.

About halfway down the hill from the construction site looking southeast. The end of the trail lies below. On the ridge opposite the creek new homes are sprouting up to join those already built.
The waypoint "Turnaround" marks the spot at which the trail runs into the northern boundary of one of the Balcones Canyonland Preserve parcels. The preserve is off-limits and is intended for the preservation of habitat for endangered species.

A wide trail to the right led to the top of the hill and provided a hint to the changes in store for this relatively tranquil area. A cul-de-sac was being constructed with lots arranged around its perimeter. To the east, on the ridge opposite the creek a number of houses had already sprung up, with more being built up to the edge of the preserve. Relatively inaccessable, this area will soon be in someone's backyard as well, so get there while you can.


Photos

GeoCache! Max and I taking a look at the Coyote Ugly at Trailhead Park (GC1E6CF) GeoCache. (Photo by maddix) Majestic Oak. Trailhead Park with Lucia and Max. (Photo by maddix) Bushwhacking. Bushwhacking at Trailhead Park by stockpond. Photo includes bones found while bushwhacking as well as the Coyote Ugly at Trailhead Park (GC1E6CF) GeoCache. (Photo by maddix)

Log Entries

User: texaskdog - 5/26/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Very rainy!  We hiked the main trail and it was flooded but there was an alternate trail where you don't have to cross the creek.  As I said before when you get to the end hike a ways up the road and you'll see an alternate trail on the right which is even nicer.  With all the water there was a big waterfall on itl  When you're coming in and you go down the hill and get to the fork if you go straight across you'll be on the alternate trail.

Bushwhacking
User: maddix - 6/9/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Took the kids & Max to the Majestic Oak then we did the loop before heading back. Stopped at the Coyote Ugly GeoCache (GC1E6CF) along the way so the kids could check it out. We played in the stream by the Majestic Oak for a bit as well. Then on the way back we decided to come out from the canyon with the stock pond. That's where the bushwhacking came in to play lol.
Backyard
User: maddix - 6/8/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour
Pretty awesome trail to have in your own backyard. I've been hitting this recently with our new dog Max and he's loving it.
Backyard
User: maddix - 5/26/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes
It has been a while since I've hiked back in Trailhead. There is an access point between Corbe and Dona Villa behind the dog station we use as our starting point. My daughter and I took our new pup Max out for his first hiking adventure. What a nice trail, and to have it so convenient! We did a long hike, going past Trailhead Park, then back to the park and along Boulder back home.
User: ValEpiscopo - 5/8/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours
Hiked back in to one of the largest live oak trees in Austin. I nice hike.
The whole loop
User: Riff Raff - 4/17/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Took the higher elevation trail going out, looping back on the lower elevation trail.  On the lower trail I did see a bridge that had been completely washed out (it's hung up on trees a little ways down).  Of course with the current drought, that really didn't matter at all since it would have just been going over a bone dry creek bed.  If it's rained recently, I recommend staying on the higher elevation trail anyway.

Nice little hike
User: boomshakra - 9/19/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A

This was a very nice Sunday afternoon hike for me & the family.  However, the (first?)bridge was taken out by recent rains, so we had to turn back & didn't get all the way to the end.  We took the 'low road' obviously, but will try the new trail next time.

Way better than I expected
User: texaskdog - 3/28/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: 45 minutes

Takes a while to get to going around on 620 but well worth it.  A previous poster mentioned an alternate trail and the best way to get there is to go all the way to the end and begin walking up the hill and you'll see it on the right.   Stays very close to the other trail but is up on the ridge and even more scenic.  On the main trail they have built bridges over the water crossings.

Slippery slopes
User: Austin Explorer - 2/13/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

I did a short hike on the trail today to do some maintenance on a geocache that we have hidden off the trail.  Not too many people, but more than I would have expected given the wetness from the fog and yesterday's rains.  Some of the steeper parts of the trail were slick and made for tricky footing, but weren't too bad.  The steepest section actually has a pretty handy railing now.

New parallel trail added recently
User: Riff Raff - 1/16/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours

Been awhile since I'd been out here, but since then a new trail has been cut that goes parallel to the previously documented trail. When you go down the hill from the paved portion, you'll encounter a T-junction at the bottom of the hill (by the second sewer cover you'd see). If you take a right, you'll be on a new trail that goes the same direction but farther up the hill. This was particularly nice sinced it'd been raining recently, which turned the lower trail into a creek.


Only showing last 10 log entries. View All Log Entries

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