Urban Hiking- The Unexpected Waterfall-Balcones District Park, Austin, Travis County, Texas

Balcones District Park is somewhat small and is better known for it’s public pool then it’s hiking. It is the southern terminus of the trails coming out of Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. Quincy and I have done the paved trail from here to Walnut Creek Park but it is somewhat boring except for an abundance of wildflowers. It’s on the rim of the canyon high above Walnut Creek, which you can occasionally glimpse into during the winter only. Otherwise the underbrush is too thick to enjoy the creek. But Back to Balcones Park. It has a one mile loop trail, half natural surface and half paved where it intersects and follows the same path as a bikeway. It also has a great section of trail through a nice stand of Texas bluebonnets in the spring. But down in the woods, down in the canyon, hidden behind a hill from the swimming pool is one of the best waterfalls in Austin, Texas. Problem is, it is intermittent, so to see it flow takes some planning and weather watching.

Our first trip to Balcones District Park was in the summer. There was a dry creek bed but I thought nothing of it. Just another of the hundreds I have seen since coming to Texas.

with patience and planning this little rock wall comes to life every spring during the rainy season

The first time I saw the waterfall it was by accident. I took Quincy here for a walk and surprise! a waterfall. Well the trickle of one anyway.

Surprise it’s a waterfall.

This day the creek and waterfall weren’t flowing all that much. So every time it rained for the next few weeks we dutifully went to check on the waterfall. After a particularly wet week we went and found a full flowing waterfall and it was fantastic!

She’s thundering now!

The waterfall is also located in a beautiful Canyon. It’s hard to believe you are deep into the city.

Balcones District Park Canyon

There is a problem though. When the creek is flowing enough to start the waterfall it also blocks the trail. There is a social trail around the water but be prepared to come out a little bit dirty .

to the left up through the rocks there is a way past this place
The trail down into the canyon from above the water fall

Have I seen taller waterfalls? Of course. But because of the sheer beauty of the area this ranks up there with the best!

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