Last Sunday, I met up with my sister and her boyfriend’s family in Austin and we decided to go biking on a trail around the Barton Springs area. I thought it would just be a nice joy ride around, but no, it ended up being much more than that. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is a 10-mile-long scenic trail that is wrapped around the Lady Bird Lake and is Austin’s most recognized recreational area. The long trail features a beautiful view of both the lake and Austin’s skyscrapers to enjoy while hiking or riding your bike. It’s also so long that it extends to South, East and Downtown Austin. Anyhow, let me describe the trail and give you my thoughts about it.
The trail wasn’t too crowded to not be able to pass people on a bike but you could tell it was a popular trail that people usually take. You get to see many cute dogs along the way as it’s a popular dog walking area as well. Thankfully, the trail was pretty wide but had some tight turns in some areas. The trail was a dirt road with some concrete areas, which features turns around lush areas and also going through park areas that have water fountains for both you and your dog. Also, there is one part of the trail where you ride across Longhorn Dam, which was scary if you’re scared of heights but it was super exhilarating.
Near the Downtown Austin area, you ride past Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles sculpture which is a free outdoor installation. It’s a common stopping place for people to take pictures because of its 3D effect.
Another unique thing about the trail is the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, which is exclusively for cyclists or hikers to cross Lady Bird Lake. We actually took it as a shortcut as I was too out of shape to do the full trail– I didn’t plan for the occasion, so of course I was wearing sandals and was gifted with blisters by the end of the ride. When riding the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, you ride up a circular ramp up onto the bridge and cross the lake with its unique structure of a “double curve.”
Regardless of my blisters, I really enjoyed the ride and I will be taking the trail again. I am going to make sure to bring my family and friends with me for them to enjoy as well. Many people rent bikes in order to ride this trail, which I can see why. Crossing the lake on board walks and seeing an amazing view of the lake was very pleasing the whole ride. I think the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is very unique compared to other trails I’ve ridden along with the trail’s various different sceneries that keep you captivated the whole time.
Overall, I think this a must for people who are wanting to see Austin’s wonderful views. You don’t even need to do the whole trail, however, I really recommend it as you will be missing out on some of the unique areas that I described. Bring your friends and family on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail the next time the weather is nice and explore Austin’s sights!