Hilltop Views

Best places to stay active in Austin

Lady+Bird+Lake+is+one+of+Austin%27s+favorite+places+to+stay+active.
Lady Bird Lake is one of Austin's favorite places to stay active.

Lady Bird Lake is one of Austin's favorite places to stay active.

Juan Diaz

Juan Diaz

Lady Bird Lake is one of Austin's favorite places to stay active.

Elizabeth Ucles, Life & Arts Editor

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With a new school year well on its way, finding ways to stay active is essential for setting the tone for a happy and healthy year. Lucky for us as students in Austin, Texas, there are plenty of opportunities to keep moving. Unfortunately, many of these ways involve an overpriced gym class membership that many college students simply don’t have the money for. But these five outdoor adventure spots can give you the activity you need as you enjoy what mother nature has to offer.

Blunn Creek

There are no excuses for not checking this trail out because it’s attached to St. Edward’s campus. Enter down close to Teresa Hall and through where the Holy Cross brothers stay and you’ll be on your way through a small, but fairly vast, trail with greenery all around. The fall weather will be here in no time, and this trail is perfect for autumn hikes. When you get the higher point of the trail, you get the perfect view of campus with Main Building glistening ahead. Try to make it near sunset to really get a very Instagram-worthy view.

Lady Bird Lake

Just down Congress Avenue, you’ll come across another outdoor gem. The Lady Bird Lake trail is the hub for running in Austin. If you enjoy privacy when running, this may not be your spot as there are dozens of runners, walkers, bikers, families and pups. If this is more your scene, you’ll be close to Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, downtown and Lamar Boulevard. There are several spots nearby for a post-workout smoothie. Run closer to the evening and you may be able to watch the famous Austin bats.

Mount Bonnell

The walk up the stairs to see this view is a workout itself. You’ve probably seen pictures all over your feed of the Colorado River at Mount Bonnell. Not only is Mount Bonnell a great overlook, its view adds to an even more picturesque workout. You’ll have a drive out a bit for this one, but the sweat and views are surely worth it.

Pennybacker Bridge

If you thought this spot on the 360 Bridge was just for snapping photos, you’re missing out. With amazing views of the Colorado River, the Pennybacker bridge is home to a trail that’s great for clearing your head. The steep incline gets your heart rate up and makes your legs burn. And once you get to the top, gorgeous views guide the way along a winding yet peaceful path. This spot is also a bit of a drive, but it’s ideal for those who enjoy a more private workout.

Greenbelt

The Greenbelt is a triple threat: it’s built for walking, swimming and it’s free to use. The Greenbelt is perfect for that really intense and sweaty workout because you can cool off by dipping into the natural pool. The trails that indicate different levels of intensity which makes it great spot anyone to start or continue a workout regimen. The Greenbelt is also just an overall great spot to hang out with friends during our inevitable scorchers here in Austin.  

About the Writer
Elizabeth Ucles, Life and Arts Section Editor

I am Elizabeth Ucles Writing and Rhetoric (Journalism concentration) major, Spanish minor and Life & Arts co-Editor of Hilltop Views.  This is my senior year at St. Edward’s University. I’ve been writing for Hilltop Views since the second semester of my freshman year, and I’ve been the Life & Arts editor since my junior year. My favorite beats include arts and entertainment (duh), news and politics. When I’m not writing, my hobbies primarily include enjoying the outdoors, exploring the city or drinking too much coffee. After graduation this May, my goal is to work at an NPR affiliate radio station or at a magazine or newspaper.

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Best places to stay active in Austin