Turkey Creek Trail is one of our favorite trails because of it’s awesome natural features, it’s fun adventure profile, and the fact that it’s one of the few trails in Austin where dogs are allowed off-leash.
Turkey Creek Trail is located at Emma Long Metropolitan Park and is accessible all year. The entrance to the park is super long (about 5 miles). Stay to the right when entering the park — the trailhead for Turkey Creek Trail will be on the right. The best entrance is from 2222 to City Park road. Entering from the other direction will require payment. There’s plenty of parking, however on busy days it might be necessary to park on the edge of the parking lot.
This trail is particularly interesting because of the variety of natural features you’ll see along the way. From bright berries to the famed fern wall, and tree-covered idillic paths to cactus peppered desert-like landscapes, the full loop of Turkey Creek Trail winds through multiple contrasting ecosystems that keep the hike super interesting any time of year.
This trail is best hiked in Chacos (sandals made specifically for hiking). Depending on the amount of recent rain, the path can get a bit wet and muddy as it zigzags across Turkey Creek, and the creek itself can either be bone dry or knee high, so it’s a good idea to come prepared with the correct footwear, and quick drying pants or shorts. Expect to get a little wet.
The actual trail is easy to navigate with diverse ecosystems to explore. Take a look at the map before you start out. The trail is lollipop shaped, and we’ve found the easiest way to approach the route is to make the loop clockwise. While you’re hiking, make sure to stop and admire the natural beauty of the fern wall, and the diversity of the habitats as you make your way from creek-level to the elevated area at the middle of the loop.
This is one of the best off-leash trails in the city, and it’s a great place to watch dogs having fun, or bring your own furry friend. If you don’t love dogs, you might want to steer clear.
We hope you grow to love Turkey Creek Trail as much as we do. Give us a shout and let us know about your experience!