Situated in the heart of west Austin, witness the natural beauty of Central Texas with a visit to Mayfield Park and Mount Bonnell. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a visitor looking for a glimpse of Austin's famous wild peacocks or a local, you're sure to enjoy these historic parks and their unforgettable views. Plan your day trip with our guide to these parks, perfect for solo travelers, families, hikers, history lovers and more.
Mount Bonnell was named for George W. Bonnell, Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Republic of Texas. Believed to have been located on an Indian trail, the viewpoint overlooks Lake Austin and may have served as a defense point for the city in the early 1800s. The land was donated to the city in 1939 by the Covert family and was then officially designated as Covert Park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While this park no longer overlooks purely hills of endless green, one still has great views of impressive homes built into the hillside, sprawling Downtown Austin, Pennybacker Bridge and stunning Lake Austin.
Hike the 106 limestone steps to make it to the top of one of the highest points in Austin; it's definitely worth the workout because the view is breathtaking. Mount Bonnell stands at 781 feet above sea level and allows for amazing views in all directions.
With picnic tables at the top, take a picnic and enjoy a beautiful Texas sunset any time of the year. In March, look south for hundreds of colorful kites floating above Zilker Park for the annual ABC Kite Festival. On Fourth of July weekend, keep an eye out for the spectacular displays of fireworks that go off near downtown at sunset.
Originally purchased by Allison Mayfield as a summer home for his family in 1909, Mayfield Park has come to welcome many more visitors over the years. After Mayfield’s passing, his daughter Mary Mayfield Gutsch took over the homeplace. She and her husband expanded the quaint cottage, designed beautiful gardens, built a stone wall and installed water features. After her passing, the 23-acre estate was gifted to the City of Austin in 1971 and designated as Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve. The family's historic cottage is still situated on the grounds, along with the picturesque gardens, stone walls and koi ponds. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Enjoy the natural and tranquil beauty of Mayfield Park by exploring the 23 acres of colorful vegetated gardens. Immerse yourself in 21 acres of well-maintained scenic hiking and walking trails, where visitors can admire the delightful and entertaining wildlife. If you enjoy bird watching don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars to spot these winged wonders flying by. Witness the historic cottage along the riverbank and don't miss the pond containing water lilies, huge koi fish, lotus flowers and turtles.
The park and preserve is also home to around two dozen colorful peacocks; listen for their echoing calls and look for them wandering the grounds. These confident peacocks will show off their beautiful colored feathers during spring, so don't miss out!
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Mount Bonnell and Mayfield Park are both open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are free to the public. Parking for Mount Bonnell is located off of Mt Bonnell Rd., and parking lot access for Mayfield Park can be found off of W 35th St. At each location parking is free and portable restrooms are available at Mayfield Park. If you are a pet owner feel free to bring your furry friends to Mount Bonnell, but unfortunately no pets are allowed at Mayfield Park.
Feel free to explore these two special parks on the same day. From Mayfield Park, Mount Bonnell is only a short drive north on Mt Bonnell Road and towards Covert Park at Mount Bonnell.
Learn more about Austin's historic parks and plan your next trip to Austin with our free visitors guide.