My 6-year-old son, the dog, and I had a short and easy hike at Gaines Creek Park this morning. The park is located at 4801 Republic of Texas Blvd in Southwest Austin. There is not a parking lot but street parking is readily available.
This 37-acre park is nestled just north of Southwest Parkway. It has a water fountain, a picnic table, and benches but no public restrooms. The park’s trails consist of a central path with one U-shaped trail on the left and one on the right. There is a good trail map near the park entrance.
Note that Gaines Creek is a wet-weather creek, meaning that unless there have been relatively heavy recent rains, you will see a dry creek bed rather than a flowing stream.
We arrived around 9:45 a.m. Saturday. The park was not crowded. It actually feels quite secluded, despite the noise from traffic on Southwest Parkway.
We began by crossing the dry creek bed and then taking the trail to our left. My son was excited when he found this rock with fossils.
He also liked the signs that “told you what stuff was.”
These big rocks with fossils were particularly interesting for my son.
The path length was just under 1/2 mile and it returned us to the central trail, which we crossed to access the path on the other side. This trail had much more shade cover and was quite short: only about 1/4 mile.
Visiting Gaines Creek Park was a low-key and relaxing way to spend some time outdoors together. This outing is perfect for families with small children or for those new to hiking.
Austin Active Kids Opinion: An easily-accessible and short hike for beginners or young children.
Outing Time: About 30 minutes.
Distance Covered: Less than 1 mile.
Reminders: The park does not have restroom facilities.