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Best Hiking Trails Around Austin

Austin is well known for being an active city – fitness and outdoor activities are a highlight for many locals. One reason is the abundance of trails, paths and hikes available to its residents. While there are too many trails or paths to put together in just one list, here are some of our top trails to check out in the area. We tried to add different trails from different areas all around our city so you always have one close to you and you have ideas of different trails to check out in the area you might not be familiar with as well!

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of the most popular and longest trails in the Austin area. Out and back, it is 13.8 miles and heavily trafficked with numerous activity options. Dogs are permitted on this trail and it is accessible year-round.

Twin Falls & Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt

Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls are part of the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail but are two of the most popular spots along the route. Don’t miss these falls!

Lady Bird Lake Trail

This trail runs next to downtown Austin with numerous bridges and over-water stretches. Ten miles in all, this loop has great views of Austin. It is accessible year-round and pet friendly!

Walnut Creek Trail

Located within Walnut Creek Metro Park in North Austin, this 1.3 mile loop trail includes a river and is accessible year-round. The creek is a common place for dogs to play and people to sunbathe and there are other interconnecting trails to explore

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Onion Creek and Homestead Loop

McKinney Falls State Park is a popular stop in the Austin area and features the Onion Creek and Homestead Trail Loop. They are good for all skill levels and allow dogs as long as they are leashed. The waterfall is a popular spot but reservations are required during COVID-19 so make sure to check the park’s website before setting out. 

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Great Hills Park Trail

Great Hills Park Trail is a 2.3 mile loop located in Northwest Austin at Quarries Park. The trail is great for hiking, walking and trail running and will allow leashed-dogs with you. 

Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt

Close by Great Hills Park Trail is another great trail, the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail. This trail is 2.2 miles with beautiful wildflowers!

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Lake Austin – 360 Bridge Overlook

The 360 Bridge Overlook provides one of the most popular photo spots in all of Austin. The hike up from 360 is a little steep but short and the views at the top make it all worth it. You’ll probably recognize the Pennybacker Bridge over Lake Austin from postcard and tourism photos – you’ll want to stop to take your own too! There is a gradual path off the top running about 1.7 miles. 

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Mount Bonnell Trail

Mount Bonnell Trail is one of the shortest in the Austin area – only .5 miles. In reality, it is a short climb up the steps to the top of Mount Bonnell. At the top, you’ll find great Austin views and picnic areas to rest or relax. 

Three Falls Hike

Another trail on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Three Falls Hike is 7.3 miles out and back with a waterfall and activity options along the way. 

Austin is a great place to live with plenty of indoor and outdoor activity options! Did we list your favorite trail or hike?! Let us know your favorite in the comments below! 

The Home Buyer’s Super Bowl – WIN BIG!

The Super Bowl is the grand finale of the NFL season and offers one team the ultimate reward for their meticulous preparation and monumental effort. Everything they have done for the past 6 months has been leading up to this. To the other teams watching, this is just another game. To them, this is the only game. Their focus is intense and their fervor is unmatched.

If you are hoping to buy a home this year, this is your Super Bowl. You are planning and preparing for your moment. In your mind, you are envisioning yourself living in your new home. Relaxing for the first time on your couch in your living room, and enjoying your home is just as rewarding or exhilarating as any player holding up that Lombardi Trophy. This is your Super Bowl, because nothing else matters. Like you, over about 30,000 other people will buy a home in the Austin area this year, but your new home is all that matters. You have worked very hard to get yourself financially ready to buy a home and put yourself in the perfect position to make that dream a reality.

I am going to share with you three quick tips for making sure your Super Bowl is a WIN!

 1.  Preparation. Football teams spending a lot of time scouting out their opponent and practicing their game plan. Bill Belichick once said, “There are no shortcuts to building a team each season. You build the foundation brick by brick.” To buy a house and move smart, you need to build a good foundation and be prepared. Research the costs of buying a home or download my FREE Guide so have enough money. Talk to a lender to find out how much you qualify for and what your payments will be. Visit some open houses to figure out what types of homes and what features are important. Each of these things can save you time and money and can help you WIN in buying your home!

2.  Coaching. It’s been said that “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their growth.” The teams that play in the Super Bowl all have coaches that have helped their players grow until they’ve reached the top. When you’re buying your home, you need great coaches who you can trust. Your family and friends are not your coaches – they’re your fans. You need a great lender who can do an amazing job and find just the right loan for your financial situation. You also need a real estate agent who can negotiate an awesome deal for you and make sure your interests are protected. The right coaches can help you win!

3.  Execution. Tony Dungy said, “You don’t win on emotion. You win on execution.” For football players, they can practice and have great coaching, but unless they make the play, they won’t win. My advice to you is this: You have a dream to buy a home. You have prepared for this moment. You selected some great coaches to help you win. Stick to the plan. Don’t let your emotion make you offer more than you can afford because you have to have THIS house. Don’t let your emotions make you settle for the wrong house. You have a plan! Follow the plan and you’ll win!

I help people like you find the right house and win. If you want to Move Smart and win, contact me with the information in the notes below and I’ll help you find that perfect house to call your own and enjoy the next Super Bowl in.

Be safe, enjoy the game and good luck in your Home Buying Super Bowl!

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KPfaffe@cityscapepg.com

m: 512-636-9707 w: MoveSmartAustin.com

Austin’s Top Moments from 2016

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What a year 2016 has been! What stands out to you from the year now almost behind us? With the year coming to a close, I wanted to take a look back on the most memorable, controversial and newsworthy stories in Austin for 2016. Here are five…
  • In an event that hosted likely the most famous visitor to Austin this year and the cause of the most traffic gridlock in one day, President Obama visits SXSW in March to talk tech and how that industry can help solve some of our nations problems (LINK). First Lady Michelle Obama also was there to talk female empowerment and to promoter her “Let Girls Learn” initiative (LINK)
  • In the most publicized local political story of the year, Uber & Lyft leave Austin in May after losing the Prop. 1 Referendum. This allows numerous Austin start-ups to take over the unregulated ridesharing market in town (LINK) Uber & Lyft met with city council staffers in August as a first step towards trying to bring their services back to town but no  resolution has happened yet (LINK)
  • In probably the most controversial Austin story of the year, local Austinite, Jordan Brown, drew national attention when he sued Whole Foods for allegedly writing an anti-gay slur on a cake he ordered from its bakery. Whole Foods responded swiftly  denying Brown’s story and releasing a video contradicting his claim. Brown quickly dropped his suit and the grocer dropped its counter-suit (LINK).
  • Odds are pretty good you know someone directly affected by this next piece of news. Dell merges with EMC in September in a deal worth $58 Billion. The now combined companies are Central Texas’ largest private employer with some 140,000 employees (LINK)
  • The most recurring piece of news for Austin this year (and the last number of years) is the 157 people per day who moved to the Austin area mid-2014 to mid-2015 (LINK). Austin’s growth ranks No. 2 nationwide for cities of at least 500,000 people, but the suburbs are actually growing much swifter (LINK)
What stands out to you from 2016? Please share with me because it’s more interesting when I hear from a voice not in my head.
And Three Bonus Stories…
  • In news that matters more than anything else to a lot of people in Austin, Tom Herman becomes the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Charlie Strong is Fired (LINK).
  • Perhaps the saddest news of the year was the tragic death of 16 people in a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart (LINK)
  • Water levels in local lakes continue to rise and recover from lows during the recent drought. In November, Lake Travis was the highest it had been in 8 years (LINK) and some lakes had to close to recreational boating because they were too high (LINK)!

PS: I started a new YouTube channel called Real Estate. Real Answers. which gives honest answers to real estate questions. PLEASE take a moment to check it out and SUBSCRIBE because I guarantee you’ll come across someone in 2017 who is thinking of buying or selling and could use these answers!

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KPfaffe@cityscapepg.com

m: 512-636-9707 w: AustinHomes4You.com

Austin Market Update – July 2016

Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!
Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!

The Austin Board of Realtors just released the official numbers for the month of July and in the City of Austin, the average sales price hit $345,000 in July 2016, a 4.6 percent increase from last year, while the number of homes sold in July declined by 7.3 percent. Housing inventory rose slightly from 2.1 months in July 2015 to 2.4 months in July 2016 and homes spent four more days on the market than the previous year.

What do those numbers mean? Well, home values in Central Texas continue to increase, which is great news for homeowners, but I believe those rising prices are starting to have cooling effect on the number of homes sold because of affordability. Home buyers, especially first time home buyers are being pushed further and further from Central Austin because they can’t afford the high prices. This will effect demand in Austin which should slow rising home values in Austin.
If you want to know more about the market in Williamson County, check out this post. If you have any questions about real estate or are thinking of buying a home, drop me a note or call me and I’d be happy to help!