Bright Leaf Preserve

2point5stars (2.83)7
2stars (2.29)
2stars (2.07)
More Info

Hiking at Bright Leaf Preserve is by guided hike only. Check out the Friends of Bright Leaf web page for scheduling.

Trail View
Almost all of the trail on our hike was covered by Cedar, Oak and other trees. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Rougher Trail
Although much of the trail is fairly easy, there are some rocky and steep sections. The larger loop appears to offer more of a challenge. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Winding trail
Another view of the trail as it winds between the trees. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Creek Crossing
Hikers on the tour look for fish in the creek before crossing. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Looking south along the trail. The longer loop heads towards the peak in the distance. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Log Entries
By jtkatie on 6/4/2011
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours

Guided hike through Bright Leaf Preserve during an open house. No real soltude due to the group setting (the only way that you are allowed to hike through the preserve)

By rastacane on 5/14/2011
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: halfstar
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Nice guided hike
By jtkatie on 8/14/2010
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 5 minutes

To all of you AustinExplorers wondering how to get access to this hike: they only allow you to hike the trails on guided hikes. The land was left to the Austin Community Foundation by Georgia Lucas, and she stipulated in her will that all hikes must be guided.

They always give guided hikes on the 2nd Saturday and the 2nd Sunday of each month at 9 am - or you can contact ACF to set-up an alternative time. Anyone want to set-up a AustinExplorer hike sometime? :-)  There is also going to be an Open House on Oct 23rd from 9a-1p for those interested. More info on all of this is found online:

Now, onto our hike: Including the two of us, there were seven hikers that showed up this Saturday. Nancy (from ACF) and Nancy (from Friends of Bright Leaf) were our guides. We hiked the major loop clockwise up to the top of Mt. Lucas (which is supposedly 39' higher than Mt. Bonnell). At the top, we got to see Georgia's "out of town" house, which has a stunning view of the lake and surrounding area.

Although we gained (and later lost) quite a bit of elevation, the trail was never very steep. This combined with the moderate pace of the group accounts for the lower difficulty rating. After the hike, neither of us were tired at all - just felt warmed up to do another, "real" hike. :-) However, we very much enjoyed this hike, the sights, and the knowledge shared by the Nancy's. We will definitely return.

By fitg on 11/4/2009
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: N/A Duration: 1 minute

after following a google map to a dead end neighborhood,,I see a fence that says state park,,no trespassing,,why have a none entry trail listed on the site..,,what a frustrating load of crap,,

Nice park, but when will it open for public use?
By figment on 4/24/2005
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
I hiked this park several years ago during Earth Day or something similar. The terrain is similar to Wild Basin or other parks in the area, and it is a relatively dry area, without a lot of water. For various reasons, this park was donated to the state rather than the city, and the state has not opened it to the public for use. You have to go with a group.
Got a glimpse, will be back for more
By Austin Explorer on 4/16/2005
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A
I took a guided hike as part of Austin Nature Day. The tour was a shortened 1 mile loop, but it looks like on a regular day one could get up to 4 or 5 miles. There was lots of shade and some fun, rocky trails.
Great hike for location. Hills & Views.
By JennHiker on 8/3/2002
Rating: N/A Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Check the Friends of Bright Leaf Yahoo Group Site for Guided Nature Hikes of this area. Meet at 8:30 a.m. on August 3, 2002 for a 2 hour guided nature hike.
Recommended Item
Recommended Item Austin (Lone Star Guide to Austin)
Richard Zelade
List Price: $15.95 Your price: $14.47 Buy Now
Lonely Planet Pocket Austin is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Jump into the icy waters of Barton Springs Pool for instant relief when the heat gets too much, catch a local band at the Continental Club or one of the hundreds of live-music venues around town, or watch the nightly exodus of America's largest urban bat colony during summer, under the Congress Avenue Bridge; at all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the best of Austin and begin your journey now!