Running & Cycling Routes

Neighborhood running and cycling routes

BrykerWoods/Pemberton Loop – 3.03 miles

The routes below are attempt to find long interrupted and interconnected stretches within the central/west Austin area. The idea is to show several “base” running routes through the neighborhoods. The routes (loops) may be cut to make for shorter route options or pieced together for even longer routes; both the Shoal Creek and Johnson Creek Greenbelts connect with the Town Lake Trail and Barton Creek Greenbelt systems. In general, the routes west of MoPac have more hills some of which are quite significant. Exercise caution when crossing under MoPac on Northwood Road. The primary safety challenges for all these routes are the major road crossings and intersections. However with some planning and creativity, the crossings can be minimized – especially along the greenbelts. Please note that many central Austin streets and some roads lack sidewalks. Where this is the case, special caution is advised. Traffic is not usually too bad except for morning and afternoon rush hours. The routes make use of Google maps and are archived at the http://www.mapmyrun.com. Concerned about Austin’s air quality? The EPA’s “AIRNow” website provides real time air quality reports and quantifies “Ozone Action Day” pollution levels.

Tarrytown Loop – 5.19 miles (clockwise description)

  • The main challenges running in this area are crossing Windsor, Exposition and Pecos; longer option includes crossing of Enfield and possibly Lake Austin Blvd.
  • Rolling hills west of MoPac along with some occasional sharp rises along Scenic and Pecos. Some nice short steep hills may be found on streets north of Windsor west of Pecos
  • Distance can be added by going either around Lions Municipal Golf Course or by heading south on Exposition and picking up the Town Lake Trail on Lake Austin Blvd.

BrykerWoods/Pemberton Loop – 3.03 miles (clockwise description)

  • Trail option exists from 29th to 24th Street by making use of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt
  • Main challenges are the crossings of 29th Street, Northwood, Jefferson and Harris
  • A few minor rolling hills on Wooldridge
  • Distance and hills can be added by making use of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt (see Shoal Creek Greenbelt Loop description)

Shoal Creek Greenbelt Loop – 4.93 miles (clockwise description)

  • Trail option exists from 31st Street to Pease Park along Shoal Creek creek on the west side of Lamar
  • Main challenges are the crossings of 35th Street and Windsor (sidewalk option requires crossings of 29th and 24th Streets)
  • Some minor rises along the greenbelt and only real significant hill on Kingsbury Street back side of Pease Park or Windsor if shorter option taken
  • Shorter option may be found by taking Windsor (uphill) – although busy, a sidewalk exists on the eastbound (north) side of street

Hancock Loop – 4.55 miles (counterclockwise description)

  • Main challenges are the crossings of 35th and 45thStreets
  • Safety note – parts of Shoal Creek Blvd and Bull Creek lack sidewalks
  • Bike lanes are on Shoal Creek  Blvd
  • Rolling hills on Shoal Creek Blvd and Hancock
  • Distance and hills can be added by continuing west on Hancock (see Balcones Loop description)

Balcones Loop – 6.26 miles (counterclockwise description)

  • Main challenges are the crossings of the 35th, 45th, and Exposition
  • Safety note – that this route travels Shoal Creek Blvd, Balcones and 35th Street some of which lack sidewalks
  • Rolling hills on Shoal Creek Blvd, Hancock, Balcones, Exposition and Pecos
  • Shorter option can include Bull Creek on the outbound route
  • Longer option with more hills available west of Balcones (see Mount Bonnell Loop description)

Mount Bonnell Loop – 7.3 miles (clockwise description)

  • Main challenges are the crossings of Exposition, Pecos, 35th and 45th Street
  • Traffic can be a problem on Balcones which also lacks sidewalks in some places
  • Bike lanes are on Hancock and Bull Creek
  • Significant hills on Pecos, Mt Bonnell (the big one), Mt Barker, Balcones and Hancock
  • Longer option can include Shoal Creek Blvd on the return route (see Shoal Creek Greenbelt Loop description)

Johnson Creek, Town Lake &  Shoal Creek Trail Loop – 8.35 miles (counterclockwise description)

  • Main challenges are the crossings of Windsor and Enfield (sidewalk option includes the crossings of 5th, 6th, 24th and 29th Streets)
  • Note – sections of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail downtown may be washed out (closed) if the creek has experienced extensive flooding
  • No significant hills other than a few minor hills on the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and a climb up 34th Street to BrykerWoods Elementary
  • Both the Shoal Creek and Johnson Creek Greenbelts connect with the Town Lake Trail and Barton Creek Greenbelt systems!
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