Getting there: From I-35 in South Austin, take the William Cannon Drive exit
and head east. Turn left onto Nuckols Crossing Road and then right onto Escuelita Drive. Go
around the back of Widen Elementary school and look for the parking area on the right.
The Hike: Dove Springs District Park's trails can be divided into two completely
separate experiences. Although connected, they are quite different. The first trail is a hike
and bike path of crushed granite that loops around the ball fields in the park. It's completely
open and occassionally hugs the edge of the dense tree cover the southern half of the park.
On the topo map of the hike the easy trail resides in the treeless white space of the park.
One of the most interesting spots along the trail is marked by the southernmost waypoint called
"Creek". Here the water in the creek was a bit stagnant, but coming out of the caliche wall on
the opposite bank was a cold, crystal clear stream of water. The contrast between the stagnant
water and the spring outflow was remarkable.
This could be a beautiful park if they put a little time into cleaning it up and adding maybe one more trail going along the creek. I think a lot of the debris I saw was from the flood as it looked like someone decorated with plastic bags. It was okay but nothing great.
If you go on this hike I suggest bringing a bag with you and picking up some trash because it is nasty!! I had my dog with me off leash and I had to corral him in before he could get to the water. It was covered by a layer of scum.
The trail that isn't in the woods is nice enough. It weaves through playgrounds and fields. It wasn't too busy and the people there were entertaining!
The place could be very nice but there is a heck of a lot of debris along the creek and people everywhere. This trail needs an update or a group to come through and do garbage clean up... the land needs to be reclaimed. I was a bit dispointed.