Austin Easy Hikes | Austin Public Parks | Free | Parks | Playgrounds

Balcones District Park

May 19, 2021

Balcones District Park has a perfect hike for kids of all ages. I love bringing my toddler to this park. We like to start at the playground and then make our way to the open field just before the hike. If we feel like more adventuring, we continue along the trail (it loops back to the park).

The Playground

The new playground is finished and we loved getting to finally play on it! They did a fantastic job of appealing to kids of all ages. There’s so much more to explore here now!

The small playscape for smaller kids to explore
There are ladybug and grasshopper ride on toys
Musical instruments
Imaginative Play
Picnic tables shaded by trees and a covered pavilion
The bigger playscape with the biggest slide ever!

The Field

The start of the trail

Just beyond the playground is the start of the trail. It takes you down into a dry creek bed and then back up a rocky hill to a big open field. We have spent countless hours just playing here in the field and not even continuing the hike, but you can find the rest of the trail just beyond the field.

The rocky hill you climb to get to the field
The field

The Trail

The rest of the trail

The trail continues just past the field. You make your way through a forest and it feels like you are going downhill at a slight slant.

The forest along the trail

Once you end up at the bottom of the hill, the trail is paved. We always turn right to loop back to the park and our car.

The paved path at the bottom of the trail

If there has been abundant rain recently, you will find the creek running alongside the trail. When we went, there were only large puddles left. It was enough to catch tadpoles and minnows and tiny frogs with our nets, though!

This is what it looks like after some heavy rains!
Finding sticks along the trail
This would be under water if it had rained recently
This is what it looks like after heavy rains
Graffiti along the trail
The trail loops back to Balcones District Park

In conclusion, this is an easy, simple hike that is even partially paved. It’s particularly lovely after there has been some rains. However, even if it’s mostly dry, it’s still a fun hike. The park also has tennis courts, basketball courts, and a pool. It’s also just down the street from another one of our favorite parks, Schroeter Park!

Austin Active Kids Opinion

This is one of our favorite hikes for younger kids and toddlers.


Don’t forget to wear your water shoes to this one just in case the water is flowing! Bring little nets for catching tadpoles/minnows. Bring towels if you swim in the waterfall or wade through the creek.

Balcones District Park Outing Time

Between playing on the playground, frolicking in the field, hiking the trail, and searching for tadpoles and frogs, we spent about 2 hours here. On days when the water is flowing, you can swim near the waterfall and spend even more time here splashing around!

Balcones District Park Location

12017 Amherst Dr, Austin


7 a.m. – 10 p.m.