My workout goals for 2017 have shifted and I plan on hiking trails more than running trails. One relatively new trail in Austin is the Violet Crown Trail, which is part of the Barton Creek trail system, and its location is near lots of shopping in Sunset Valley. In fact, the easiest place to park to access the trailhead is the Spec’s parking lot.
I wanted to hike about 4 miles roundtrip and read that it took about 1 mile of hiking to reach Barton Creek. I ran Barton Creek once before starting at a northern access point and loved the trail system.
After parking in the Spec’s lot, we walked the short distance to the trailhead and quickly were on a nice single track trail. Like all trails I’ve seen in Austin, it was relatively flat but had plenty of rocks and roots creating obstacles. Due to recent rains, sections were very slick and we were very cautious going downhill; I think it would have been easier to run down the slick surface than hike but the objective was a hike – not a run.
We heard the city traffic until about a mile in when the trail reached the creek. The trail beside the creek reached some points where the slick rock surface made us a little nervous; at about 1.25 miles, the trail became a very narrow, slick rock path (with a chain on the wall of rock) and my husband decided it was time for us to turnaround — probably a good idea since a minor misstep there would have meant a brutal fall. I want to go back and explore further but will go during a drier time of year.
The hike back was easier, especially the uphill sections. I obviously miss the truly hilly trails of CA! It was a shorter hike than we planned but a great way to start a day of shopping errands.