Often called Williamson County’s answer to Austin’s famous Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail, residents of Austin’s northern neighbor will argue that Brushy Creek Regional Trail is much more than that. The pleasantly meandering, well-kept path traces along a burbling creek and through meadows and mini-parks as it links the numerous way stations of its beautiful park.
The trail offers hikers gorgeous glimpses of nature — lovely wildflowers, a lake, and wildlife such as rabbits, squirrel, deer, gray fox, red-tail hawks, eastern screech owls, double-crested cormorants and osprey, great blue heron and snowy egrets.
A Bounty of Natural Beauty
The trail winds through the beautiful 90-acre Brushy Creek Lake Park in the city of Cedar Park north of Austin. The park is centered on Brushy Creek and Brushy Creek Lake, a man-made lake built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 for flood control and irrigation. Set aside as parkland in 1987, the park and trail were opened to the public in 2003.
Just off the trail, observant walkers will notice a small cemetery where a family named Champion laid their dead to rest between 1862 and 1909 — a little piece of history along with the natural setting.
Perfect for a Leisurely Stroll
The 6.75-mile trail is mostly crushed granite, though there are a few stretches that are paved. With the exception of the switchback to get to the top of Brushy Creek Lake Dam near the end of the trail, the path is pretty close to flat and level. It runs along South Brushy Creek from start to finish and mostly parallels Brushy Creek Road.
Families with children find the trail offers a nice walk or leisurely bike ride. Even when you take it easy and skip the workout, you’ll enjoy splendid scenery and get a nice tour of the park.
Where Friends and Families Gather
The popular trail and park are always buzzing with activity, as Cedar Park and other Williamson County residents regularly enjoy this naturally magnificent jewel.
Workout groups, for example, often make arrangements to meet up and run, bike or walk the trail. You’ll often see more informal groups of folks gathering to walk their dogs along the path. The large and attractive pavilions can be rented for parties or other gatherings.
The park opens one half hour before sunrise and closes at 10 p.m. each day.