One of the coolest things about Austin is the sheer number of trail miles nestled into the city limits. Near Laguna Gloria and Mount Bonnell is a little park where I just so happened to take prom pictures in high school called Mayfield Park. But the coolest part about Mayfield Park in my opinion is not the peacocks who love to wander around the grounds. It’s actually the incredible, jungle-like quality unique to the somewhat swampy landscape backing up to one of Lake Austin’s inlets.

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The trails here are marked at trail heads, but there’s only one trail map on the far end of the parking lot on the grounds. I recommend snapping a picture – I may or may not have forgotten to do that. I may or may not have sweat through all of my clothes while wandering simply based on sense of direction.

It’s definitely a natural route rather than a paved one, with some overgrowth crowding out the less-frequented trails. I recommend wearing some leggings and a longer sleeved shirt to avoid getting to itchy. Taylor Creek runs through the southern half of the park, and the water flow is pretty consistent. There are also some really cool properties across the lake from the edges of the park – bonus scavenger points if you find two log cabins, two ultra-modern glass houses, and three sailboats docked.

Admission is free and the park is open every day – just remember the natural paths if you plan on making a rainy-day journey.

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