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Southern Walnut Creek Trail: A New, Scenic, Car-free, Family-friendly Bike Path
by Tzatzil LeMair on June 28th, 2017

Last weekend I took my family to ride the Southern Walnut Creek trail for the first time. This is a 7 mile stretch from Govalle Park to the Austin Tennis Center on Johnny Morris. We decided to ride north to south in the direction we will be heading on July 1st at our Tough Cookie Cycling 101 Clinic and Ride.

We picked the hottest time of the day with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees which was not a smart move. My riding partners that day were my husband and four boys ranging in ages from 9 to 18. The ride starts with a long mile and a half downhill that was just pure fun. My youngest son, Diego, was squealing with joy “We need to do this ride every weekend! Weeeeeeeee!” I, however, was more concerned with the fact that we would have to ride back up that hill at the end of the ride, and wondered if he would be able to make it...
tzatzil lemair, southern walnut creek trail
After the initial downhill, the path flattens and winds around following the natural path of Walnut Creek. About two miles into the ride we reached the YMCA trail access point which might be a more central starting point for some folks. As we continued our ride we were impressed by the wooded scenery to the point that it didn't seem we were in Austin anymore.

The rest of the 10 foot-wide concrete path was mostly flat with some rolling hills and only one road crossing. The boys particularly enjoyed all the little bridges and under passes that allow this ride to be virtually car-free by going over or under the roads.

​We eventually arrived at Govalle Park which featured a nice creek-side picnic area and playground. Here we took a little break on a picnic table and when the boys started horsing around and squirting water on each other I knew it was time to start our ride back up the trail.
southern walnut creek trail
On the way back, Diego started slowing down but was still in good spirits. This was Diego’s first solo ride, since he usually rides tandem with my husband. Although Diego rides his bike around the neighborhood regularly, he had never gone this far. The last two miles were long and hot and Diego started to struggle (see photo below). I was trying to find ways to encourage him to keep going and prevent him from having a negative experience on his first solo ride. I tried distracting him and we started talking about space. Diego wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars, so I told him how important learning to “endure” and pushing himself beyond his “comfort zone” was going to be in his career. This seemed to click, and continued to push and managed to complete the last uphill mile and a half.

During our entire ride, we only encountered two other cyclists on the path, I'm sure in part because it was the hottest time of day! The boys really enjoyed this trail and are looking forward to riding it again this summer. It was a nice, peaceful alternative to often crowded Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, or as I still like to call it Town Lake. I highly recommend you ride the Southern Walnut Creek Trail if you are looking for a traffic free, paved bike path, where you can focus on cycling and nature and not on watching out for cars. I’m looking forward to our Cycling 101 Clinic next weekend and to sharing this great new bike path with new cyclists!

Southern Walnut Creek Trail Map

Posted in Reviews    Tagged with southern walnut creek trail, family bike rides, cycling, family


Rosalinda - June 28th, 2017 at 6:55 PM
The trail looks great looking forward to ride my bike without worrying about traffic. RAP
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