As one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US, it’s no surprise that Austin has some excellent dog-welcoming hikes. You may have already heard about downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, but the city is home to even more pup-friendly trails beloved by locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a quick walk in the park or a rugged hike in the wilderness, let’s explore some of the best dog-friendly hikes in the Austin area.

Onion Creek Trail at McKinney Falls State Park

Located just south of downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is one of the best places for a scenic excursion with your canine companion. The Onion Creek Trail is a favorite among dog owners, offering a picturesque 3.7-mile loop hike along the waters of Onion Creek. Dogs love traversing the rocky terrain, and the many shaded pathways and scenic overlooks make it a great trek for anyone looking for a moderate hike near Austin. Be sure to look for the park's iconic limestone formations and cascading waterfalls after rain.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

For a true taste of Austin's natural beauty, head to Barton Creek Greenbelt just minutes from downtown. This expansive trail system boasts over 14 miles of pet-friendly pathways, taking you through both lush and rocky terrain. Treat your pup to a busy hike along the Greenbelt’s main trail, where they will enjoy plenty of scenery to sniff, wildlife watching and fresh air.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

If you’re looking for dog-friendly trails in North Austin, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is a scenic spot with sprawling off-leash areas. The park has a mix of woods, creek crossings, and waterholes that pups love to play in. Many trails feature wide paths, shaded groves, and expansive views of the surrounding hills. Let your dog roam free in the designated off-leash area for friendly socialization and playtime. 

Turkey Creek Trail at Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Tucked away in the nearby Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Turkey Creek Trail is another wonderful hike for dog owners in Austin. This scenic trail winds its way through dense woodlands, across babbling streams, and past plenty of flora and fauna, providing constant opportunities for exploration and adventure. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, including deer, birds, and butterflies, as you wander along this 2.7-mile out-and-back trail.

Pet-friendly Places to Eat in Austin

After hiking with your pup, treat yourselves to a meal at one of Austin's pet-friendly eateries. The city wouldn’t be one of the country’s most dog-friendly destinations without plenty of local restaurants and cafes that welcome dogs on their outdoor patios.

Some popular pet-friendly places to eat in Austin include the very popular Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden on Rainey Street, Yard Bar, which was quite literally designed for dog owners, and the all-day eatery at Blue Lacy. Check with individual establishments for their specific pet policies and guidelines before visiting or letting your pet off the leash. 

Austin's pet-friendly offerings don’t have to end with the trails. To fully embrace your stay in Texas’ capital, bring your pup along all weekend with our three-day dog-friendly itinerary and consider staying in one of the many dog-friendly hotels in the city where you and your four-legged companion are warmly welcomed.