Your Insider Advice on Austin’s Top Running Trails
Take your next run on one of Austin’s top running trails
Every Saturday morning, Austin runners take off on their run. Distances range from short to ultra. They run solo, with friends, or with their group or club. Runs are completed in just about every condition imaginable. Trail Roots does the same, except they can be found on Austin’s trails. Erik Stanley created Trail Roots in 2014. The former collegiate standout and professional runner wanted to provide support and training for Austin’s growing trail running community. Throughout the years, Trail Roots has covered just about every Austin trail. So when we wanted to know Austin’s top running trails we went to the experts. Trail Roots lays out Austin’s top running trails and what makes them so good for trail running.
Pro tip – trail running provides the perfect opportunity to log training miles and beat the summer heat!
Austin top running trails as voted on by Trail Roots
1) Barton Creek Greenbelt
The Greenbelt offers the most miles out of all of our local trails. This is surprising because it’s the most central of all the trails. Runners can access the trail in downtown Austin. What our runners also liked about this trail is its accessibility and diverse terrain. You can run the main trail, which is fairly flat, for 7 miles. You could run the west (or backside) of the Greenbelt trails to get in more climbing and add an additional 20 miles! With more than eight well-known access points and trailheads, you can stage water or focus your running on specific trail portions with no problem.
2) Lakeway / Canyonlands
This West Austin trail is a favorite for its diverse terrain and the number of trails offered. It offers a terrain similar to many of Trail Roots’ Hill Country trail races. While it’s a decent 30+ minute drive from downtown Austin, it is definitely worth it. Also, this trail has some great scenic overlooks and lots of hill climbing. While new neighborhood construction is, unfortunately, slowing eating away at the current trail system, there are still 15-20 miles of trails (when connecting Lakeway, Canyonlands, and Bee Cave Preserve trails). While not at the trailhead, there are about two restroom stalls roughly a half-mile onto the trail.
3) Forest Ridge Preserve
Forest Ridge Preserve is an Austin favorite because of its central location. It also connects to multiple trail systems like St. Edwards Trail and Bull Creek Trail. This offers runners more than 15 miles of trail. Bull Creek also flows most of the year offering a nice place to dip in, cool off, and take a break from trail running. With plenty of elevation and climbing on these trails, you will get your heart rate up in no time.
Looking for a trail closer to you? Trail Roots has you covered with this helpful map! The one downside of Austin’s top running trails (and just about all of Austin’s trails) is that there aren’t any maps or many markings on the trail to help you find your way. This is a great reason to run with Trail Roots. They can help you navigate and learn these trails! Their goal is to get you comfortable on the trail so you can hop on any Austin trail and feel comfortable. Learn more about Trail Roots and contact their coaches today.