When thinking about the city of Austin, many people conjure up images of all of the businesses and cultural attractions that the city has to offer. While these are certainly a few of the reasons why so many choose to call Austin home, the natural landscape paired with the numerous parks and other recreational opportunities available throughout the city are also major draws to the city. In fact, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department oversees 206 parks, 26 greenbelts and 12 preserves, which comprise more than 177,576 acres of land. Here’s a look at just a few of the parks that Austin has to offer to its residents as well as its visitors.
Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park
Spanning over 215 acres of land, the Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan park features a 2,500 square foot ranch house with a swimming pool and two patios. The house, which an accommodate 50 people indoors and up to 150 people if the patios are utilized, is available for day use rental. Activities available on the property include nature study, boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation and hiking. One of the most popular hiking trail is the Waterfall Trail, which is a 1.25 mile round trip trail that passes by several small waterfalls.
Gonley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center
Open to people who are 50-years-old or older, the Gonley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center provides numerous activity opportunities to seniors without charging an annual fee. Some of the activities offered at the center include sports activities, health awareness programs, volunteering services, holiday celebrations and tours. Hot meals are also available for free to those who are 60-years-old or older Monday through Friday, though a $ 1 donation is suggested.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park
The Emma Long Metropolitan Park, which features a campground, offers numerous recreational opportunities throughout its 1150 acres of space. Located on the shores of Lake Austin, the Emma Long Metropolitan Park features all of the following:
* 2 boat ramps * 2 sand volleyball courts * 3 sets of volleyball standards * A beach, which includes a designated swimming area * Men’s and women’s rest rooms, which feature a dressing area and hot showers * 20 camping sites with water and electricity hookups * 46 tent camping sites, with water available at every third site
Mabel Davis Park
Covering 50 acres of land, 30 of which is open green space, the Mabel Davis Park features numerous amenities. These include:
* Full park length basketball court * A playscape * Olympic-size swimming pool * Covered picnic areas * Skate park, featuring streetscape elements and a skate bowl
Mary Moore Searight
The Mary Moore Searight park features 344 acres of land, which includes an 18-acre disc golf course and picnic shelters available for reservation. Other amenities found within the park include:
* Tennis courts * A two mile hike and bike trail * Sand volleyball courts * Multi-purpose field * Softball field * Three mile horse trail with corral and horse trailer parking * Fishing area on Slaughter Creek * Model airplane field with a mini-runway
This is only a small sampling of what Austin has to offer to those who are interested in enjoying recreational opportunities. To learn more, visit the Austin Parks and Recreation Department Website.