The Greenbelt, Safety, and You
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is a vast and beautiful space. However it is also a rugged, raw space. Mostly unmarked to warn new visitors, the trails can be very steep in many places. After morning dew or rain, the dirt and rocks can be quite slippery. Central Texas is prone to flash flooding, which is exacerbated by the terrain in the greenbelt.
Be Prepared to Pay for Parking and/ or Move Your Vehicle
The City of Austin is rapidly implementing new parking regulations in the Woods of Westlake. Look for signs that will indicate appropriate action for visitors to legally park.
Be Courteous to Residents
- Do not block mailboxes, driveways, intersections, or otherwise park illegally.
- Be respectful of the fact that you are entering a neighborhood, and not a water park parking lot.
- Be mindful that children are all around you- behave respectfully and refrain from profanity.
- Drive with care and watch closely for children at play.
- Do not speed, and do not stop in the street to load or unload.
- Do not take or move items from private property, and do not trespass. Use sidewalks or walk to the far right on a street, not through yards or gardens.
- Bring your own waste removal supplies for pets, and leave them on a leash at all times.
- Do not leave food, drink, or pet waste on public or private property.
- Do not blast stereos or be aggressive with other visitors or residents.
Make Sure You're Fit
If you cannot walk a mile without cardiac or respiratory distress, do not attempt to hike the Hill of Life. If you cannot swim, do not attempt to get into the watering holes in the greenbelt. If you do not have adequate water, sunscreen, and a hat for yourself, children, and pets, do not attempt this hike.
If your pet does not meet the above fitness benchmarks, your pet should not accompany you. If you do not have plastic bags to pick up pet waste, do not hike with your pet. If you do not have a leash, do not bring your pet.
While the rapid flow of the creek after a fresh rainfall might look enticing, visitors are strongly cautioned not to take the water and its force for granted. Many visitors don't anticipate the power of the currents, and can get quickly swept off their feet even in shallow water crossings.
Hike, Swim, and Raft at Your Own Risk
Local rescue crews are often unable to quickly locate a hiker, swimmer, or rafter in trouble, and there is no guarantee of certain rescue given the thick brush and rugged terrain.
More coming soon!