River Place Nature Trail in Austin, TX

River Place Limited District provides challenging hiking with gorgeous scenery just thirty minutes outside downtown Austin, Texas. Three separate trails combine to comprise the trail system that allows hikers to leave the city behind and immerse themselves in nature.

River Place Nature Trail


8820 Big View Dr. Austin, TX. 78730


Approximately 6 miles out-and-back


On leash


Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult


Street parking available


$10 during peak hours on weekends and holidays (Free for children 12 and under)


No restrooms or water stations

Visit the River Place Limited District website for the most up-to-date fee and trail information.

Trail Highlights

River Place Nature Trail has some great highlights for nature lovers visiting Texas.

Escape the Sun

It is no secret Texas can get hot, so the first thing to note about the River Place Nature Trail is the majority of it is shaded. Do not forgo bringing water, however. The trail is challenging, and the lack of a loop means you could easily find yourself miles from your car exhausted and dehydrated if you are not careful.

The average high in Austin is over 80 degrees between April and October, peaking at an average of 100 degrees in August, so make sure to check the weather before you head out and plan accordingly. Hitting the trail early in the morning before the heat hits its peak is recommended.

Feel the Burn

AllTrails lists the River Place Nature Trail as moderate, but it is on the higher end of what you would expect from a moderately challenging trail. Hikers will climb more than 2700 steps with an elevation gain of nearly 1000 feet before turning around to take those same steps down on their way back to the trailhead.

The trail is well-maintained and not rocky, making it a destination for those in the area looking for a challenging trail run.

Enjoy the Views

Most hikers begin on the boardwalk that leads to the Panther Hollow Trail. This boardwalk takes you along a small lake where you have a good chance of seeing turtles, birds, and more.

The Panther Hollow Creek extends from the lake, winding through the River Place Nature Trail system for most of your hike. There are numerous water crossings and waterfalls along the trail. After hiking the Panther Hollow Trail for a short while, you will come across the juncture where you can make a right and do a quick out-and-back along the Little Fern Trail, or you can continue what is now the Canyon Trail.

This is where things start to pick up. The elevation gain is no joke.

Once you reach the high points of the trail, courtesy of the 2,763 stairs that take you to the top, you will meet multiple magnificent vista views.

A Great Day for a Hike

River Place Nature Trail is perfect for those seeking a challenging and scenic hike. Solid elevation gain, waterfalls, and great panoramic views await you on this trail just 30 minutes from Texas’ capital.

Learn more about other popular hiking trails by visiting the articles below:

Featured image via River Place Limited District