Barton Creek feels like a main artery or the pulse of the city, providing water from the aquifer from underground and providing direct access for humans to connect with Mother Earth above ground. Barton Creek leads to Barton Springs, which is another wonder that I would describe, but I don’t have the words, I just don’t write that well yet.
Barton Creek is dry a lot of the time, in most places, so you have two hiking options. You can hike the trails on the side of the creek, which are wide and usually good for strollers. There are places where the trail crosses the creek, so two people could carry a stroller across. I like hiking on the creek bed itself because it is a three-dimensional hike, with lots of ups and downs that you don’t usually get walking around town on a normal day. Sparkles and Buttercup both need someone to hold their hand for now, because the rocks are big and their balance isn’t that great. Older kids would have a great time with it.
After heavy rains, the creek has water and swimming holes that are better for older kids. Zilker Park is at the north end of the trail and it has Barton Springs, a large park, a hamburger stand and a real train for the kids to ride. Zilker Park connects to the trails around Lady Bird Lake, which are kid and stroller-friendly. On the other end, at Camp Craft Access, there is almost always water for swimming, but the hike to get to the creek is better for kids five or older.
If you hike Barton Creek, leave a comment below with what you liked or tips for other hikers. I would love to hear your story!