Perpetually pleasant weather and a plethora of organized races make Austin an ideal city for serious and casual runners alike. Several long, well-maintained trails pass through scenic parts of Austin and its surroundings, making the training experience diverse and enjoyable. Here are five running routes where you can work toward your fitness goals or train for your next marathon.
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is home to 13 miles of forested running route. Rolling hills give you the chance to run some moderate inclines. And multiple entry points and hidden offshoots make it possible to change up your route every time you run along this greenbelt. On warm days, some runners like to cool off in one of the swimming holes that can be found along the trail when Austin isn’t mired in drought. The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail is just a few minutes south of downtown, and less than 10 minutes’ drive from AMLI South Shore.
Lady Bird Lake is just southeast of downtown Austin. The centrally located green space is home to running routes spanning three, seven, and ten miles in length. The trails around Auditorium Shores are great for beginners, and the 10-mile loop is popular among runners training for marathons and half-marathons. The trails at Lady Bird Lake are nice and close to the downtown Austin apartments at AMLI Downtown and AMLI on 2nd.
Lake Austin Blvd. and Scenic Drive
Rolling hills and stunning views regularly draw runners to this 3.8-mile running route. Start where Lake Austin Blvd. meets Veterans Drive, a five-minute drive from AMLI’s downtown Austin apartments. Run along Lake Austin Blvd. until it turns into Scenic Drive, and then continue until Scenic Drive meets Pecos St.. If you want a longer run, take Pecos St. to W. 35th to Mt. Bonnell Road. Continue on Mt. Bonnell Road until it meets Route 2222.
McKinney Falls State Park is considerably further south of downtown Austin than Lady Bird Lake, but can still be reached from most downtown Austin apartments within 15 minutes. If it’s rained recently, you’ll see the falls that serve as the park’s namesake while you’re running. Even if there’s no rushing water to marvel at, McKinney Falls State Park is a hidden gem and strikingly beautiful place to run. The trails here are great for runners looking for varied terrain.
Running along the northern bank of the Colorado River, Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail is a scenic, three-mile route. There may be nowhere closer to the heart of Austin where you can feel as if you’re running in nature. The trail is just two blocks south of AMLI on 2nd, meaning residents can run to the trailhead in three or four minutes.
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