Need to knows:
Stroller or sling? Recommended stroller
Baby friendly restrooms? No
Parking validation? No need — big parking lot
It’s Fall, y’all! The weather is finally starting to dip below 85 degrees, which means it’s walking weather! Well, nearly. If you’re a morning person then that time is now, but for the rest of us it’s potentially days away. Woohoo!
Austin has a number of lovely outdoor walks — the greenbelt alone stretches across 7.5 miles of our beautiful city — but the trick is finding a stroller friendly stroll. Luckily, the Ann & Roy Butler Hike-and-bike trail is an excellent, mostly paved walkway stretching around Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park, and Congress Avenue Bridge, with stunning views of the Austin skyline.
Park at the Auditorium Shores parking lot (map below), although you may have to loop a couple of times before a spot opens up. This parking lot is chaotic, so you’ll notice some people parallel parking anywhere they can justify passing as a space. The spots are all two hour parking, however, so if you’re patient a spot will likely open within minutes.
There’s a restroom just off this parking lot, although I don’t believe there’s a baby changing table. Bring a mat in case of emergencies. These restrooms aren’t fancy — typical park restrooms with aluminum toilet seats — but they get the job done.
The trail itself is just off the parking lot, and you’ll see a sign that tells you you’re on the path. While walking there aren’t a ton of signs or maps to tell you you’re on the right path, so it’s definitely possible (likely) that you’ll veer off and end up on a bumpier unpaved path occasionally. If you’re jogging then have at it, but if you’re walking then try and stay on the Colorado River. The trail covers the full 10 mile river, but I’ve always done about 2-3 miles in total.
There’s a really nice mix of lush greenery and cityscape, and it’s wide enough to where it never feels too busy or hectic. Even the fussiest babies could relax in this setting, even if they don’t manage to sleep. It’s also very well maintained, so your bougie heart will sing.
Check out the map for more info and park in the location below: