Getting there: From MoPac in Austin, take the Lake Austin Blvd. exit and head west. Drive past UT Married Student Housing and the Lions Municipal Golf Course.
Turn left onto Redbud Trail and then turn left into the parking lot once on the island.
The well maintained trail circles around Red Bud Isle.
Red Bud Isle sits just south of Tom Miller Dam, where Lake Austin ends and Town Lake begins. The small island features a short hiking trail that circles the island and several spot along the way that extend right out to the water. These small coves are ideal for fishing or taking the dog down for a dip in the water.
The trail begins at the small parking lot on the north side of the island, just off of Red
Bud Trail, which clips the northern tip. We hiked the trail in a counter clockwise direction, so we started down the west side of the island. The west side is the best, I think, because it looks up to a sheer rock wall on the opposite side of the water.
The trail continues to south, all the way to southern point of the island. Here you can see the two halves of Town Lake join again as they flow towards downtown. The view here is all the more spectacular when you consider how close you are to downtown. Looking south, there are but a few houses in view.
The southern-most tip of Red Bud Isle trail. Downstream is the center of Austin, around the bend.
Although I prefer the western side of the island, the east manages to maintain the illusion of being away from it all. The University of Texas' married student housing lies on the opposite side of the water, but a buffer of trees and shrubs all but hides them from view.
Red Bud Isle is an easy hike that anyone can enjoy. Be aware that the island is a very popular place for dog owners to being their pets for a bit of exercise and many are off leash. One dog apparently has an issue with people wearing hats and barked at me in a menacing way, though nothing else came of it.
Red Bud Isle may be joined with the Town Lake hike and bike trail in the future. A new
organization, the Town Lake Trail Foundation, was formed to promote and raise funds for the maintenance and improvement of Town Lake's
trails. One plan is to work with the University of Texas to extend the Town Lake trail from its westernmost point at Deep Eddy all the way to Red Bud Isle. At the time of this
writeup, discussions were continuing.
In the meantime, the Friends of Red Bud Isle has been formed to work with the parks department to improve conditions on the island for both canine and human alike.