Balcones Park and the adjoining greenbelts are a true treasure. It is a great place to go for a walk or ride after work to unwind, take the kids exploring, exercise, and enjoy nature. The trails in the park help give us access for our enjoyment, but please remember that nature can be fragile. A lot of work has been done by volunteers to improve and maintain trails, and restore erosion. Also be aware of other trail users and be a good neighbor. Here are some suggestions for enjoying the park while respecting others efforts and enjoyment.
- Pack out all trash and waste, including pet waste. See the Pollution Prevention Page for more info.
- Don’t cut switchbacks or cut new trails. Soils in Balcones Park are thin and easily eroded. New trails can increase erosion. Balcones Park also has several geological faults. Some of the rock in the fault zone is fractured and landslides have occurred recently. Climbing on the fractured rock is dangerous and can accelerate erosion.
- Please don’t ride the unpaved trails after rain until they have had time to dry out. Tire tracks can rut trails and cause erosion. If you do encounter muddy sections don’t ride around the mud as this just makes a larger disturbance. If you start riding and encounter wet trails, the best practice is to dismount and walk your bike to a paved trail.
- Don’t remove or disturb the rocks that have been stacked or placed along the trail. In some areas, rock has been stacked in areas to contain rock and gravel removed from the trail. In other areas rock has been placed to armor the edge of paved trails to protect it from erosion. Removing the rock can accelerate erosion and result in more soil and gravel on the paved trail and also contribute to standing water on the trail.
- Share the trail –City park rules require -bicyclists to yield to a runner or a walker, and a runner to yield to a walker. -bicycles may not be more than two abreast if this impedes other traffic on the trail. -A person using a trail must leave ample room on the trail for other people to pass safely. -bicycles must be in good condition and equipped with properly functioning brakes, and operated the bicycle in a safe manner at a prudent speed. -Unless otherwise posted, all portions of the hike and bike trails are designated as bicycle speed zones and shall be identified by signage. A bicyclist may not travel faster than 10 miles per hour in an area designated as a bicycle speed zone.
- City of Austin Trail Tips – https://www.austintexas.gov/page/trail-tips