Northwest Balcones Neighborhood Park (10225 Talleyran Drive) offers a paved loop that circles the more developed section of the park as well as a small unofficial path that meanders into the pretty wooded area, totaling about 0.5 miles per loop. There are several nice picnic shelters, parking lot, and playground at this park and the path is relatively flat. Some lovely canyon views can also be enjoyed here.
Quail Creek Neighborhood Park (1101 Mearns Meadow Drive) has a 0.5 mile gravel track with several exercise stations along the path. Street parking is available and the trail is partially shaded and has a few tiny hilly sections. There were several other runners and families out at the park on this sunny, chilly day I visited.
North Star Greenbelt (11701 Tallow Field Way) is an interesting running locale, basically a long skinny tract of land under power lines with a curvy paved path that measures about 1.7 miles with each out and back. Though most of the “view” is of the back of people’s fences, it’s actually quite a pleasant space to run. I saw an abundance of bird life on this cold day and had the place to myself. The park does have some rolling hills, just enough to make it interesting. Other than a few benches there are no other facilities here. Street parking is readily available.
I also attempted to visit North Cat Mountain Greenbelt on this day but it is an undeveloped, un-runnable spot.
North Acres Neighborhood Park (1112 Hermitage Drive) is a smaller park that has a footbridge and a sidewalk along a wooded area with a bit of an incline. That path is about 0.6 miles out and back and street parking is readily available. There are no other facilities.
North Oaks Neighborhood Park is about six minutes away, at 900 Plaza Drive (not 820 Plaza Drive as the Parks Directory says). The unpaved path is a short loop with a little straightaway, totaling about 0.2 miles. I ran six laps on this flat trail today. The small playground and picnic area would make this a fun spot to take kids. It’s been deserted every time I’ve been here and you can easily park on the street nearby.
Patterson Neighborhood Park (4200 Brookview Road) has many amenities including a skateboarding area, volleyball court, tennis center, pool and children’s wading pool, and many picnic areas. There is a small parking lot and ample street parking. The partially paved trail here totals about 0.8 miles per lap. Some areas are treed and other areas are more open. A neat mosaic mural can be seen on the pool house.
Montopolis Neighborhood Park (1200 Montopolis Drive) has a flat 0.4 mile unpaved loop trail. There is on-site parking next to the rec center here; this park also has a pool, playground and sports courts. It was deserted on the day I visited but the adjoining backyards sure had a lot of territorial barking dogs.
Nicholas Dawson Neighborhood Park (704 West James Street) has a short unpaved trail that is basically a path through the block. It’s about 0.25 miles out and back. There is just one parking spot at this address. It’s a nice little wooded jaunt with a small swing set and Austin’s most ornate trash can.
Onion Creek Greenbelt (7004 Onion Creek Drive) is a quiet and secluded park with a great unpaved trail. This trail is flat and can be a little hard to find; the trailhead is near the playground.
There’s lots of open space in this 211 acre park but once you get onto the trail it’s quite wooded. Look out for spiders. I was here on a wet day when the trail was a bit muddy but it was still a peaceful run. I only came upon one other person out walking their dogs.
I also attempted to visit Marble Creek Greenbelt on this day but it an undeveloped, unrunnable tract.
I had the opportunity to hike in Travis Audubon Society Baker Sanctuary today with the Austin Sierra Club. This is a really scenic area with multiple trails to explore along both sides of the road and some challenging elevation change. It’s a wildlife preserve that is usually only accessible to Audubon Society members.
Baker Cabin, where a Texas Ranger’s family lived until the early 1980s
There is a historic cabin and cemetery along with a small events pavilion and restrooms. I encourage you to check out upcoming Austin Sierra Club events at this link. Their events always have informative guides and friendly people.
Mabel Davis District Park (3427 Parker Lane) has a skate park and some other sports features. A short unpaved trail along the back of the park yields about 0.6 miles with an out and back and has a view of a pretty ridge area.
Mary Frances Baylor Clarksville Pocket Park (1811 West 11th Street) is a small park with a splash pad and playground. It’s not ideal for running; the sidewalk that runs along one side only amounts to about 0.2 miles/loop but it is on a challenging hill.
Mountain View Neighborhood Park (9000 Middlebie Drive, not Road as the Parks Directory says) is a very pretty spot but also not ideal for running. There are no real loops to run; the sidewalk through it is very meandering and totals about 0.7 miles as you wander about. It is a great place to see the sunrise though. This park is hilly and has a playground, lots of good climbing trees, and pretty picnic areas.
Lott Pocket Park (1180 Curve Street) is a small park that is a pretty little spot to run, surprisingly quiet despite its proximity to I-35. Each lap around the sidewalk that surrounds it and its block equals 0.21 miles. There is a splash pad, gazebo, water fountains, street parking, and ample benches and grills. The park is on a bit of slope making for a little incline challenge.
Lott Pocket Park
Meadows at Trinity Crossing Neighborhood (5900 Sendero Hills Parkway) is a lovely spot that consists of a playground with picnic facilities around it flanked by long straight stretches of sidewalk. The sidewalk area is very manicured and overlooks a more wild area of meadow that is just teeming with life; the sound of insects, frogs, and birds is quite enjoyable to listen to in this quiet neighborhood. Near the entrance to this neighborhood there is a development of many modern homes, the architecture of which provides a neat view. The pathway is pretty sun-exposed but is flat.
Meadows at Trinity Crossing Neighborhood
Norman School Park is located at 4101 Tannehill Street, not 3901 Tannehill Lane like the Parks Directory lists. There’s a small playground and not much real running potential here; you can get 0.62 miles per out-and-back on the sidewalk that borders the park and school, but it’s not really worth the drive in my opinion.
Norman School Park
Across the street from Norman School however, there is a flat gravel track on land owned and maintained by Greater Works Baptist Church. The 1/4 mile loop is not a public park but is a pleasant, partially shaded place to run if you’re in the neighborhood, despite a little industrial noise on one side.
Greater Works Baptist Church track