When the tension creeps through your shoulders and no amount of coffee can rejuvenate your spirit, it’s time to head out into nature. If you’re in need of some effortless relaxation in the Austin area, venture out to these secret spots. The air is clear; the water is crisp. All you need is an afternoon amongst the trees and you’ll feel completely renewed.
1. Bull Creek
The waterfalls and scenic overlooks at Bull Creek Park will make you feel like you went on vacation far, far away. In reality, it's only about ten miles north of downtown.
2. Blunn Creek Trail
Everyone knows about the Barton Creek Greenbelt, but the Blunn CreekGreenbelt stays off the beaten path. The creek runs between Big Stacy and Little Stacy Park. Head over to the Travis Heights area and escape from it all at Blunn Creek.
3. Secret Beach
You won't find any tourists hanging out at Austin's secret beach. Tucked away at Roy G. Guerrero Park, this scenic nook is a great place to unwind from the day.
4. Gus Fruh Pool
You'll always find people flocking to the Barton Creek Greenbelt for Twin and Sculpture Falls, but Gus Fruh Pool stays a bit more hidden. The access trail begins on Barton Hills Drive and eventually reaches the main Barton Creek Greenbelt trail. You'll love wading in the flowing water.
5. Turkey Creek Trail
This trail runs for nearly three miles and rarely sees heavy foot traffic. This stunning hike is near the Emma Long Metropolitan Park.
6. Austin Nature and Science Center Preserve
Families rush to The Austin Nature and Science Center for summer camp activities and after school programs. If you're looking for a more secluded hike through nature, take a tour through their nature preserve. For an entirely solitary journey, visit the area before school hours. You'll have the trails all to yourself.
7. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
You may pass a few friendly faces as you hike through the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, but you'll mostly be surrounded by abundant nature. Located in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Wild Basin is home to rare birds and wildlife.
8. Mozart's Coffee Roasters
Grab a capuccino and dive into a good book. The patio at Mozart's Coffee Roasters overlooks Lake Austin, and you can't beat the view.
9. Deep Eddy Pool
Across the street from Barton Springs Pool sits a lesser-known (and warmer) natural swimming area. Dive in! There's nothing more relaxing than the natural spring water.
10. Northern Walnut Creek Trail
Located in the Walnut Creek Greenbelt, this quiet trail is ideal for isolated introspection.