Austin trip bike and trail question- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Austin trip bike and trail question

    I'll be in Austin Wednesday and Thursday visiting family. Planning on renting a bike and riding some trails. I've been doing some research and I think I'll give barlton trail and walnut trail a go. The information I've gotten online is that they are both intermediate trails with some technical sections. My question is would a full suspension XC bike cut it or should I rent something more trail/all mountain. I'm and intermediate rider used to riding rock gardens but don't want to kill my self on vacation either anything I should keep and eye out for on these trails. Also any opinions on other trails I should consider.

  2. #2
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    I'm going to Austin in June and have been doing some research on biking there. There is a website called Bike Mojo with a pretty active group in Austin on their forum. Might be worth putting a query on there.

  3. #3
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    Are you riding evenings or during the day?

    1. You most likely won't find your way in walnut without thorough directions and a great ability to follow GPS maps of others' rides. (Or a guide)

    The greenbelt is chunky. Even the main trail is chunking in parts with buff fast stretches in between. 12-18 inch ledges are the norm. You are fine with an XC full suspension, but why not use the trip as an excuse to rent a 6fattie from Bicycle sport shop? That will keep you save and maximize fun.

    2. Walnut is not intermediate, its beginner and super fast and twisty. Its super fun and is made up of multiple loops that you will need to connect together. Look at a loop that people have on strava. Every loop connected gets you about an 11 mile ride. There are a few technical spots that a newB would walk. Zero rock gardens.

    There are other must see trails as well, but depends on where you are staying.

    Those two trails offer great variety. I'd recommend Lakeway if you are staying north. Lots of climbing


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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys for the info. I'm fine with steep 1-2 foot drops kinda what I ride here in Southern California. I've never ridden a fat tire but I might concider that as well sounds like a blast on a rocky trail. Not sure where I'm staying as far as east south but it's just north of little Walnut Creek district park. I wouldn't be against a climb fest either it'll help burn off some of the barbecue I'll concider lakeway thanks again
    Riding during the day

  5. #5
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    The Austin Ridge Riders website has information about trails in the Austin area. Also the Mellow Johnny's bike shop is a good source of trail information.
    Rick Ankrum
    www.texbiker.net
    Texas Bicycling News, Events and Experiences

  6. #6
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    Thanks texbiker I used their site to do some research already, lots of good information

    Is it easy to get lost riding barlton trail. I'd explore some of the hidden off trails but don't want to end up on the news as a missing person lol

  7. #7
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    Its extremely hard to find the interesting MTB trails in Barton creek GB without significant directions and or navigation skills. Many never make their way off the main trails. There is no signage once you leave the main trail and the violet crown trail. Also, Many people say they are good with the terrain type until they actually get in there and get WAY over their head. Don't get me wrong, I learned to MTB in barton and it was the only trail I road for my first 6 months of MTBing. With that being said, You can always find your way home.

    The barton main trail is 7.5 miles long and is forced to cross a creek 4 times between the zilker entrance and the Twin falls entrance. 1-4 of these crossings may be flowing. The 4th crossing which is at HWY 360
    and barton creek is deep right now but could be dry by June. The main trail is a combination of Buff doubletrack, legit rock gardens and a few rock ledges. It s riddled with walkers and dogs depending on the time of day.

    If you consider yourself a true intermediate rider explore left and right off of the HOL. There is some EXPOSURE, so use a beacon or take a friend and be careful.

    Here is a Pro riding many classic areas of the greenbelt.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91W8TspQL0Q

    Here is Cooper on "Pumphouse"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXFbCD2pDNQ

    For a technical trail with lots of staircase climbing and ledge drops up to 3 feet.
    Ride city park/ emma long. You cant really get lost. This is a shared course with Motorcycles, so yield to the braaap.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZphUr7mVa8

    I would still send you to Lakeway or Pace bend , both are fun and beautiful.

    Lakeway is much easier to navigate than the Greenbelt. Pace bend is not bad either, just follow the yellow dots once you find the wookie way. There is a small skills park out there too. Take a dip in the lake and cool off afterward.
    I would rent from Bicycle sport shop, hands down. Selection and experience are top notch. Rentals come out of the downtown south lamar store.

  8. #8
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    I just finished my barlton greenbelt ride and it was a blast. I clocked about 20 miles and got lost a couple times. It was a rocky but not steep, a few fun 1-2 foot drops and some exposure. It's definitely an intermediate trail but at least what I saw (I'm sure not the good stuff) not too bad. The few punchy technical climbs were fun and challenging. Next time I'm in town I'd love to hook up with a group ride so I can ride some of the hidden gems. Thanks for all the help.

    Btw. Rented a trek fuel ex 8 29 er from bicycle sport shop. Bike was really nice the 29er wheels were fun rolled out everything and felt fast. I think a 29er is in my future.

  9. #9
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    People coming to Austin can PM me. I am always happy to lead them on the BCGB. I have a pretty fluid work situation so with enough advance notice I can typically break away and ride.

    And my site has all of the data you need. Except that the BCGB page will not have all of the detail/maps. For sensitivity reasons you will not see those listed.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  10. #10
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    Barlton Creek! HA

    Gnarlton Creek more like it!
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  11. #11
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    I agree with some other posters in here with these general comments:

    Walnut: Beginner trails. You will likely always be slightly lost here, but the park is small enough you always end up back at the car eventually.

    Barton Creek: This is a general name for lots of different trails. It can get really hairy. High likelyhood of getting lost but you are never far from a road.

    Emma Long/City Park: Rocky/technical. Mostly just 1 loop. Low chance of getting lost

    Brushy Creek/Deception: Rocky/technical. My favorite central Austin Trail. Mostly flat with tech climbs. ~10 miles covers the whole place.

  12. #12
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    No additional info I can add on Austin trails that hasn't already been said.

    However, if you're coming down here to ride and don't mind a quick drive to San Marcos. Purgatory Creek is fun. If you like technical take the Dante trail. It's 4.6 miles from th to th. With wood posts marking the different paths. I usually start at the Hunter Rd th. If you're wore out by the end, you can take the road back.

  13. #13
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    Can you tell me how to find this San Marcos trail? Please e very specific and I don't Strava.

    Thank you in advance.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangeskill View Post
    I agree with some other posters in here with these general comments:

    Walnut: Beginner trails. You will likely always be slightly lost here, but the park is small enough you always end up back at the car eventually.

    Barton Creek: This is a general name for lots of different trails. It can get really hairy. High likelyhood of getting lost but you are never far from a road.

    Emma Long/City Park: Rocky/technical. Mostly just 1 loop. Low chance of getting lost

    Brushy Creek/Deception: Rocky/technical. My favorite central Austin Trail. Mostly flat with tech climbs. ~10 miles covers the whole place.
    re Walnut: There can be some short off the beaten path trails that are a bit more challenging. The park isn't big enough to do a day of riding and isn't even slightly scenic (unless you're into power lines and dog excrement), so I wouldn't go out of my way to make a special trip there. Also beware that the park is very busy with walkers and off leash dogs who share multi-use bi-directional trails with mountain bikers. There have been some spectacular crashes involving riders over riding their visibility as well as dogs who can't be controlled by their owners.

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