Today I want to talk about some of my favorite parks around the Southwest Austin area for my dogs; my own furkids.
Originally I am from Orlando, Florida which is a very dog-friendly city. Dog lovers there pride themselves on their dog parks and have built a number of award winning parks. My favorite, and the one my dog and I went to weekly, was Fleet Peeples Park. It is 23-acres of fenced land with picnic tables, benches, restrooms, dog drinking fountains, dog rinse areas, a lake to swim in, a wooded area, and a huge field to run in.
This park was comfortable for both canines and their human companions…and I loved it!
Goodbye Orlando; or, Hello Austin!
But, then, we moved to Austin. My initial fear was that it would not be as dog-friendly, nor pet-friendly as I had been told and read about.
And, boy, was it clear from the beginning that this city was super-pet-friendly!
Austin has many resources from parks, to treats, to care and services for your furkid. Some of which I’ve fallen in love with. And, I hope you will as well!
Onion Creek District Park
Here is the truth about my standards for my furkids…
My standards are high for care, fun and activities for my dogs and pets.
When I was searching for a new place to bring my dogs when I moved to Austin, this could’ve been a problem. Onion Creek District Park quickly became one of my favorites. It has become one of my favorites primarily because of the creek and because it does not get a lot of traffic, making it feel very private.
Onion Creek District Park is located at 7001 Onion Creek Drive, in Southeast Austin. To get to this park, take West William Cannon Drive to South Pleasant Valley Road. Then take the first right turn onto Onion Creek Drive. Follow Onion Creek Drive until you reach the end. There isn’t a designated parking lot, but it is easy enough to park along the side of the road. There is little to no traffic here. It is a quiet park with few visitors; one of those very well kept secrets in Austin.
The park is approximately 180 acres with a small playground, hiking trails, creek, and room for dogs to run. There are a number of doggy clean up stations. The majority of Onion Creek District Park is leash-free. The playground area does require dogs to be on leash. You will need to bring water for you and your dogs with you, as there are no restrooms and no running water.
With the playground in front of you turn toward the left and walk down the dirt path through the open field. At the end of this path will be Onion Creek, a nice spot for dogs to play in the water. Prior to reaching the end of the path on the right is a metal gate. To enter the main trail Walk around the gate.
The main trail also crosses the creek. The trails are shaded, and can get thick with natural vegetation so keep your eyes open for critters.
Dick Nichols District Park
Dick Nichols District Park is another fantastic park that my furkids know and love.
It is located at 8011 Beckett Road, in Southwest Austin. There is a sign at the entrance as a big ‘hello!’, and a large parking lot.
Dick Nichols District Park is an on-leash park. It is 152 acres with a lot going on.
It has a 1-mile concrete trail and an easy 2-mile gravel hiking trail across the street from the parking lot. It also has picnic tables, barbeque pits, basketball court, sports fields, playground, swimming pool, tennis courts and volleyball courts.
With so much activity it is a favorite place of mine to take puppies to be socialized. All dogs love the shaded hike through nature.
Southwest Austin has some great parks to visit
Not all dog parks are the same, nor cities with a dog-friendly nature. Thank goodness I lucked out with Austin a decade ago!
Be sure to visit both of these parks this summer, and throughout the year. Your dog will not only love them, but we are sure you will as well!