barton creek greenbelt

This morning we explored the Barton Creek Greenbelt, beginning at the Spyglass Drive entrance.


Our goal was to locate Campbell’s Hole (a section of Barton Creek deep enough for swimming). There was a map at the trail entrance; however, once you are down a trail with your kids, the map is not much help! I reviewed this map online last night, so I had a general idea of where to go.

We arrived at 10 a.m. There were a few people biking, jogging, or walking their dogs, but the trail was not very crowded.

At the beginning of the trail, you go down a rocky, steep path about 1/10 mile long. At the bottom of the hill, turn left. The path is a little rough but the shade is nice.


I was not prepared for all of the forks in the trail. I knew that we would find Campbell’s Hole along the creek bed, so we always took the right fork and stayed by the creek. I had a hard time keeping the kids on the trail: they wanted to explore the creek bed!


The boys were really delighted by these little frogs.


About a 1/2 mile down the trail, we found Campbell’s Hole! There were not any trail markers or other signs. There were a couple of “No Diving” signs and that inclined me to believe we were at the right spot. We were the only people there. What a treat!


After some fun splashing and swimming, the kids were ready to explore the shallower area of Campbell’s Hole.


My youngest son found these stacked rocks in the creek bed.


We saw a lot of tadpoles.


And more of the fantastic frogs.


On the return trip, I could hardly get the boys on the trail at all. I walked on the trail with our dog and watched the boys’ progress in the creek bed.


Before we even made it back to our car, the children were already asking if we could return to this enchanted place!

Austin Active Kids Opinion: A reasonably short hike with a splash-y reward!
Outing Time: Just under 1 1/2 hours
Outing Distance: About 1 mile round trip
Reminders: Campbell’s Hole is a natural body of water. Talk to your kids ahead of time about water safety and closely watch your children when you are there. The depth of Campbell’s Hole will go up and down based on recent rains. It is likely to be shallow if we have not had much rain or could be deeper than usual if it’s been rainy. Kids can play in the water in their regular clothes or wear bathing suits. You might encounter some trail users walking their dogs off-leash. Remind your children not to run up to dogs they don’t know. Pack water, snacks, and towels. No public restroom facilities.