Urban Hiking- The Inga Van Nynatten Memorial Trail and the Bull Creek Greenbelt, Austin, Travis County, Texas

Austin Texas is known for it’s live music scene, it’s food trucks, breakfast tacos and it’s hiking. Ask anyone where to hike and they will tell you BARTON CREEK! Well I don’t agree. Barton Creek is okay, but there is no challenge and Barton Creek dries up during the summer droughts. Less crowded, much better and always wetter is Bull Creek. I generally start this hike right off the Capital of Texas Highway on Old Spicewood Springs Road at the trailhead of the Inga Van Nynatten Memorial Trail. Inga Van Nynatten was a student at the University of Texas. She was an environmentalist and I think a National Park Ranger at one time. Inga also pushed the city to develop Bull Creek and recruited volunteers to make it happen. Inga died way too young of cancer.

Trailhead of the Inga Van Nynatten Trail

Bull Creek is an eleven mile long tributary of the Colorado River.

It’s not a far walk on the Inga Trail before you reach the first waterfall of the day.

1st waterfall on the Inga Van Nynatten Trail on an unnamed tributary of Bull Creek
this grotto is next to the waterfall
looking downstream from the waterfall

This trail is really an easy hike. It is known for it’s abundance of wildflowers and of course the waterfalls. After the first waterfall the trail turns down through a small canyon of the unnamed creek and there is an easy rock hop across the stream.

Quick rock hop across this small creek

The trail then runs along the banks of Bull Creek and by some interesting rock formations.

Amazing rock formation

The Inga Trail runs for about a mile past several waterfalls. Look for a fire hydrant in the creek; I don’t know why it’s there but it’s an important marker on this trail. It’s the creek crossing to hook you up with the Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt.

Bull Creek
Another waterfall on the Inga Van Nynatten Trail

Once you cross Bull Creek , which is a little more difficult then the creek earlier, you are on the Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt. This portion of the trail is about 2 miles or so in length. I like it because you are almost entirely in view of the creek.

Bull Creek Canyon area
Small waterfall on Bull Creek
old mill dam on Bull Creek

Besides the old mill dam there are other relics of human presence here. Bull Creek was once used as a pass through the hill country northwest of Austin. Old wagon tracks can be seen when the creek is down

Wagon trail in Bull Creek

On a cliff not far from the wagon tracks is an old car demolished and deposited long ago in some forgotten flood.

Old Car smashed against the rock

As you near the Bull Creek District Park the waterfalls get better.

Creek Crossing
the big falls on Bull Creek
The big falls of Bull Creek
Bull Creek below the big falls

The trail ends at the picnic area of Bull Creek District Park. The area here is really pretty with canyon walls and large boulders.

Bull Creek near the picnic area
The creek at the picnic area

So here you can take a loop trail up along the canyon wall and back to the big falls where you have to retrace your steps back to the Inga Trailhead. Just a beautiful hike from one end to the other.

The high canyon wall across from the picnic area.

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