Getting there: From Hwy 183 in northwest Austin head south on Spicewood Springs Road. Turn right onto Scotland Well Drive and continue north. Turn right onto Middlebie Drive and look for the parking area.
The start of the trail is just across the street from Mountain View Park.
This trail is one of the newest in Austin, having only been completed and dedicated
November 12, 2005. The project was completed by the American YouthWorks? Environmental Corps. Over the course of two years 120 volunteers constructed the 1.3 mile trail and in the process have created a wonderful trail that occassionally draws to mind some of the stonework done by the CCC
in national parks. Thousands of pounds of stone were harvested, moved, carved and placed to fortify the trail.
The rugged terrain of the northern half of the trail required extensive stonework by volunteers to construct.
The trail begins across the street from Mountain View Park at the waypoint "Trailhead" on the topo map. There is plenty of parking at the waypoint "Parking" and just a short walk to the trailhead on the other side of the ball field and playground.
The trail starts off with a bang as it descends into the creek valley through a couple of steep switchbacks. The hard work put in by the American YouthWorks volunteers is evident right away. The steep terrain is workable by the average walker solely because of the stone steps put in place to ease the descent. While many hikers could have handled a steep descent straight down, the resulting erosion would be unacceptable.
The trail parallels a ridge of rock in the northern part of the park.
At the waypoint "Junction" the trail comes to a "T". A turn to the left and heading north
will take one to the more hilly and interesting section of the trail. Here the trail parallels a rocky bluff before switchbacking it's way uphill to another trailhead in the neighborhood. Near the waypoint "Alt-TH" a stone bench overlooks a dry waterfall that feeds water into the creek during wet spells.
The southern half of the trail is flatter. Even here some stonework can be found in the form of stone benches in the distance.
Doubling back to the junction and continuing south results in an easier, flatter segment of trail that mostly follows the creek at the bottom of the valley. Unlike the northern trail segment, the southern trail does exit from the tree canopy, exposing hikers to the Sun.
The waypoint "Turnaround" marks the spot at which the trail runs into Scotland Well Drive, a short distance from Spicewood Springs Road. There's no place to park here, so I won't mark it as a trailhead. Although I briefly looked for it, I did not find a a way to connect this trail with the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt trail across the creek. There probably is an unofficial way to connect them and it may be more obvious over time, but for now it's clearly a separate trail.
Though short, this new trail is a great addition to hiking in the Austin area. It boasts of some big hike features that make it an interesting trip.