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Red Bud Isle

Trail (2.43)13
(0.88) (1.12)
0.52 Mile 65 Feet
N/A No
Yes Yes
Austin Travis
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Getting there: From MoPac in Austin, take the Lake Austin Blvd. exit and head west. Drive past UT Married Student Housing and the Lions Municipal Golf Course. Turn left onto Redbud Trail and then turn left into the parking lot once on the island.

The well maintained trail circles around Red Bud Isle.
The Hike: Red Bud Isle sits just south of Tom Miller Dam, where Lake Austin ends and Town Lake begins. The small island features a short hiking trail that circles the island and several spot along the way that extend right out to the water. These small coves are ideal for fishing or taking the dog down for a dip in the water.

The trail begins at the small parking lot on the north side of the island, just off of Red Bud Trail, which clips the northern tip. We hiked the trail in a counter clockwise direction, so we started down the west side of the island. The west side is the best, I think, because it looks up to a sheer rock wall on the opposite side of the water.

The trail continues to south, all the way to southern point of the island. Here you can see the two halves of Town Lake join again as they flow towards downtown. The view here is all the more spectacular when you consider how close you are to downtown. Looking south, there are but a few houses in view.

The southern-most tip of Red Bud Isle trail. Downstream is the center of Austin, around the bend.
Although I prefer the western side of the island, the east manages to maintain the illusion of being away from it all. The University of Texas' married student housing lies on the opposite side of the water, but a buffer of trees and shrubs all but hides them from view.

Red Bud Isle is an easy hike that anyone can enjoy. Be aware that the island is a very popular place for dog owners to being their pets for a bit of exercise and many are off leash. One dog apparently has an issue with people wearing hats and barked at me in a menacing way, though nothing else came of it.

Red Bud Isle may be joined with the Town Lake hike and bike trail in the future. A new organization, the Town Lake Trail Foundation, was formed to promote and raise funds for the maintenance and improvement of Town Lake's trails. One plan is to work with the University of Texas to extend the Town Lake trail from its westernmost point at Deep Eddy all the way to Red Bud Isle. At the time of this writeup, discussions were continuing.

In the meantime, the Friends of Red Bud Isle has been formed to work with the parks department to improve conditions on the island for both canine and human alike.


Steps on the mainland viewed from the island. Steps on the mainland viewed from the island. (Photo by Eveline)

Log Entries

We did as part of a volksmarch.
By Eveline on 11/16/2013
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A

Obviously not all of the 6.2 miles was on the island.

By [email protected] on 3/21/2013
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.52 Mile Duration: N/A
It was not a difficult hike. But, it was a great place for dogs to run around. I rated the solitude higher than others because I went in the middle of the day and there were only a few people there.
Caching along the trail
By Austin Explorer on 4/15/2011
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A

Hiked the length of the trail today looking for geocaches.  Found one and failed on two others.  One because it was gone and one because lots of dog owners nearby made stealth impossible.

hard to watch where you step when it's everywhere
By barefoot mcgraw on 5/29/2008
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A

dog poop is indeed plentiful in this park. i have spent some time during "it's my park day" and other events carrying stones, cutting down invasive species, etc, and pretty much every time i've been here i've had to wash my shoes afterwards.

if i had a dog to walk here maybe i'd feel differently. then again, if i had a dog to walk here i hope i'd clean up after it.

By Haleyms on 1/29/2006
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A
By brian724 on 5/14/2005
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.52 Mile Duration: N/A
Doggie Poopfest!
By gen5tex on 2/1/2004
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A
I like the idea that there is someplace for people to take their dogs off leash but this is ridiculous. There was dog crap everywhere, too much for so close to the water.
Dog Heaven
By Austin Explorer on 11/29/2003
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.56 Mile Duration: N/A
A nice walk around the permimeter of the island in the middle of Town Lake. The hike truly becomes worthwhile for dog owners since we seemed to be the only people around without a dog.
Doggy park on an island, nice view at the tip
By figment on 10/13/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A
This is a wide crushed granite loop trail like Town Lake around Red Bud Island. The view at the tip of the island is beautiful. Also keep an eye out for remnants of the first dam on the Colorado, which burst 100 years ago and unleashed a flood.
Great for dogs and their owners
By gravelpot on 7/21/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A
This is one of the few places in Austin where dogs can play off-leash legally, and as such, dogs definitely rule the island. As a hiker and a dog owner, I'm willing to say that this is a great park for dogs and a bad one for hiking.

Only showing last 10 log entries. View All Log Entries

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