8.8 km away
Barton Creek is widely regarded as some of the best mountain bike trails in the city of Austin.
Difficult Mountain Biking
- 15 km
- 190 m
- 190 m
A superb network of well-used, little-marked singletrack trails.
Mountain Biking Difficult
The 8.7-mile loop mapped here is simply a starter course for the South Austin Trail Network (SATN for short). From this loop, you can easily add in other trails and connect to other areas of this vast network, creating a much longer ride if desired. According to some estimates, there's over 130 miles of singletrack in the South Austin Trail Network alone! That said, many of the SATN trails noted here are some of the most-used, best-built, and most fun to ride.
The ride begins from the Circle C Ranch Metro Park, which offers expansive parking lots, bathroom facilities, picnic tables, and more. You can easily pick up the singletrack from several spots in the park, including along the entrance road where it crosses the wash.
The trail winds through a small copse of trees before crossing under a road and running alongside a small creek. Once you begin following the creek, the quality of the riding really picks up as the swoopy singletrack flows up and down the small rises, swinging in and out of the trees.
In many places, the singletrack will split and then split again. You'll soon find that it's impossible to stop and pull out your map to navigate each split. Instead, I recommend simply riding along and trending in the same general direction, using the creek on your lefthand side as a rough guide. Rock and roll through these many interconnected trails, but if you reach a dead-end or something else that doesn't look quite right, consult the map to get yourself back on track.
Some singletrack sections get a bit more technical on the far side of this loop. You'll encounter rough rocky drops, rock gardens on narrow trail tread, and alternate lines that lead to sheer cliff drops. Thus, the SATN trails actually manage to score a respectable "Difficult" technicality rating on our FATMAP scale. That said, it's possible to avoid the most challenging features if you'd like, and it's also possible to bottom out your suspension on some optional huck-to-flat features. In fact, you'll even be able to spot a few jump lines tucked away in the trees, with tabletops, gaps, and step-down drops.
SATN is a wonderland of urban mountain bike exploration, and you won't be able to experience it all in just one ride. Instead, this is the type of mountain bike network that rewards the local rider who can return day after day and week after week to learn the ins and outs of this complex, unmarked trail system. The better you know the trails here, the more fun you're going to have!
Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.