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 5 Of The Best Austin Bike Trails

Photo by Ave Calvar

There is nothing better than a family bike ride to bring everyone together and get some exercise at the same time. Some cities are more inviting than others because of their designated cycle routes and bike-friendly approach. Austins has grown into one of those cities. So, what is it about Austin that makes it so perfect? Also, what are some of the best cycling routes in the city?

Why Is Austin So Good For Cycling?

Austin regularly makes it into the top 10 lists for bike-friendly cities in America. This comes down to three important factors. First, there is the fact that there are so many miles of bike lanes in and around the city. 100 miles have been added since 2018, bringing the total to 215 miles. This means there is no shortage of places to explore on two wheels. There is always something exciting for tourists on biking holidays and somewhere new for residents. Second, there is a range of landscapes. You can ride through urban areas and enjoy the city landscape. However, it doesn’t take long until you are out in the countryside. This means some gentle rural trails for family outings on the weekend and more serious rides for mountain bikers. Third, and just as importantly, the city has an AAA network, which means All Ages and Abilities. There should be something here for everyone, no matter their experience or limitations, because of the range of trail lengths, elevations, and locations. With all this and the great bike shops around Austin, you can’t go wrong.

Choosing The Best Austin Bike Trail

There are lots of different options when it comes to the perfect Austin bike trail for your family. The best place to start is by looking at the distance and elevation. This will give you a good idea of how far you have to go and how hard you have to climb at times. Some urban-based routes aren’t so difficult, and you can enjoy them with other novice riders. Others are extreme, with over 100 miles and over 2000ft in the change of elevation. This is for those who want to make the most of the great outdoors and have a real adventure. The following five routes showcase the diversity on offer.

1) Walnut Creek + Decker Lake Loop

Distance: 26 mi
Elevation: +/- 782 ft

This first option is a road route that takes you out of Austin and into some beautiful locations. The distance is fair – just enough to feel like you’ve been for a long ride but not exhausting. The same goes for the elevation. After heading out into the rural eastern side of Austin and toward Daffan, you can enjoy a full circuit of the water at Decker Lake. You also get to pass the Austin Hindu Temple.

2) Brushy Creek

Distance: 9.5 mi
Elevation: +/- 342 ft

There are plenty of mountain biking routes in the surrounding areas of Austin, such as Cedar Park. This one is a great starting point, especially if you want to get the kids into the sport. There are plenty of much longer routes with higher elevations. But this one lets kids explore the natural landscape, via the underpass, and improve their skills.

3) Lexington Figure 8

Distance: 51.3 mi
Elevation: +/- 1576 ft

Gravel routes aren’t for everyone, but they can offer a different challenge and some interesting scenery. You do have to take a short drive out of Austin into Lexington first, but it is worth it for the ride. The beauty of this one is that you can park up in the middle of Lexington and soon find yourself out in the country. The simple figure of 8 shape also means there are different ways to follow the route. You can literally do a figure of 8 all the way around or just enjoy the first circuit.

4)Town Lake Trail Full

Distance: 10.1 mi
Elevation: +/- 337 ft

This one is great if you want to have a nice scenic ride with friends and family, but don’t want to head all the way out to Cedar Park. This one is right in the heart of Austin and is a great way for those new to the city to see some of the sights. The circuit runs right around the perimeter of Town Lake, which means you can start and end from any point you like. At one end, you get to enjoy the more rural side of the Colorado River near the hiking trails. From there, you can head west past the auditorium and botanical garden, up to the high school, and back around the other side.

5) Capital and Scenic Trails

Distance: 14.1 mi
Elevation: +/- 419 ft

Finally, we have another route that’s relatively short with a low elevation change. The southern stretch of this route is the same as the Town Lake route, but then it changes into a bigger sightseeing tour. The route continues north through Downtown Austin, up to the Texas Capitol and university. It then circles around into Rosewood and the Boggy Creek Greenbelt to the east. It then meets back up with the Colorado River Park to the south.

Getting Your Bike Ready For Summer

Before you can enjoy any of these spectacular rides throughout Austin, you need to get your bike in prime condition. There is a good chance that it developed some minor faults during its time in storage, thanks to rust, dirt, or rough treatment. You need to be completely sure that your bike is safe and up to the challenge of all these miles. This means more than just a good clean. You should get the bike serviced at a local Austin bike shop, like Sun & Ski bike shop in Austin, where professionals can check all the components. They will handle the repairs and replacements to get your bike in great condition once more. Then, after a short test ride, you are ready to take on any of these brilliant trails.

Make The Most Of Austin’s Bike Trails

Austin really is the place to come this summer for some exciting summer riding. The range of trails and the scenery around them are impressive. At the same time, the area is brilliantly accessible, and there really is something for everyone. So, get your bike serviced at one of the bike shops and start planning your first route!