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Mount Bonnell is a highly manicured path & park that overlooks the Austin skyline. With plenty of area for picnicking (there are picnic benches) and snapping pictures, this is one of the most trafficked spots for tourists (and neighborhood folks) to catch some sweeping views of the city. Throw on your walking shoes, and get ready to climb 50-100 stairs, and make sure to check out both the area to the left and the right when you get to the top. Admittance is free. Oh, and one more tip: En route, make time to see the Mayfield Park Peacocks!
“Mount Bonnell was part of a 54-acre tract of land owned by F.M. Covert, Sr. a pioneer Austin businessman. Negotiations to give the summit of Mount Bonnell, to be known as Covert Park, to the people of Travis County began in 1934 but was concluded by the remaining members of the Covert family in honor of their father on June 2, 1939. Covert Park at Mount Bonnell provides a fabulous view of the Colorado River Valley and the city of Austin skyline.”
“Rising 775 feet above sea level, this limestone height was named for George W. Bonnell, who came to Texas with others to fight for Texas independence, 1836. Was commissioner of Indian affairs in Republic of Texas under president Sam Houston. Moved in 1839 to Austin, there published the “Texas Sentinel”, 1840. Member Texan-Santa Fe Expedition, 1841. Was captured but released in time to join Mier Expedition, 1842. Was killed in camp on Rio Grande, Dec. 26 1842. Frontiersman W.A.A. “Bigfood” Wallace killed an Indian he met face to face while crossing a narrow ledge 50 feet above river, 1839. He also took refuge in a Mount Bonnell cave to recover from “flux”, but was missing so long that his sweetheart eloped. In the mid-1800’s Mormons built a mill on the Colorado River at foot of Mount Bonnell. Mill was destroyed by flood and the Mormons moved on West. Mount Bonnell was site of picnics and outing in 1850’s and 1860’s, as it is today. Legend has it that an excursion to the place in the 1850’s inspired the popular song “Wait for the Wagon and We’ll all Take a Ride”. As a stunt in 1898, Miss Hazel Keyes slid down a cable stretched from the top of Mt. Bonnell to South Bank of then Lake McDonald below.”