United States

Austin, TX

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Austin

Austin is a thriving city and an interesting mix — capital of a huge state, large university right downtown, bustling art and music scene, and a major high tech hub. The downtown is undergoing rapid change: low-slung buildings and parking garages mix with sprouting high-rises an expanding bike lanes. Our guide to running in Austin showcases some spots downtown, some good options north of the city where many corporate offices are located, and a taste of Texas ‘hill country’. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Austin, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.

The signature run in Austin is the Lady Bird Lake Trail, right downtown along the Colorado River. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is great intro trail running, starting right downtown. We love the run up Congress St. to the Capitol and around the impressive University of Texas campus. To the north, we’ve got suggestions of good running spots near corporate office/hotel locations, such as in Round Rock. We’ve also added a section on best residential neighborhoods for running.

Austin’s climate is great for running, although it is very hot from May-September — best to go early or late during those times. There is decent public transport in the inner core, but outside of that, a car is needed. Good Austin Orientation Map.

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Some of our favorite runs in Austin, TX

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Congress St. South

Austin, TX

A 'hipster' run along the fun and eclectic sections of South Congress St. Won't qualify as the most scenic run ever, but it's entertaining, with lots of fun shops and restaurants, and a wide sidewalk. Good residential side street options.

Shoal Creek Trail

Austin, TX

A pleasant trail that is basically a linear park. Southern end is downtown, northern end is near the UT campus. Paved and unpaved surfaces. Note some sections of trail have been re-routed due to storm damage.

austin-climateAustin’s weather can be delightful or brutal. October-April is mild to warm, although winter nights can be chilly. May through September are very hot, with little relief even at night. Plan your run times and hydration accordingly. Precipitation is fairly evenly spread throughout the year, though May, June, and September are much wetter than average.

Austin has a compact downtown. There are lots of hotels on the both sides of the river, east of Lamar Blvd. and west of I-35. The Lady Bird Lake, Barton Creek Greenbelt, University of Texas, and Lake Austin Blvd. runs are all accessible from downtown hotels. There’s also a lot of sprawl — tons of hotels spread out along I-35 or I-283 headed south toward the airport (12 miles from downtown), and north toward North Austin where a lot of tech company offices are located. Running opportunities in these areas are uneven.


See our map for store locations. Green icons have group runs. Click on it for location, directions, details on group runs.

Downtown – near Lady Bird Lake Trail:
Rogue Running Co.
Luke’s Locker. Many group runs.
RunLab. Well located on southern end

Ready to Run
Fleet Feet Sports. The only dedicated running store in the Round Rock area. Lots of group events.

Capital Running Co./RunLab

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Austin, TX

Austin has a vibrant running scene, with a 10k seemingly every weekend.
Events Calendars #1. Events Calendar #2

Some of the major events are:

Austin Marathon.  February. 25+ years. Also a half

Brewery Running Series. Numerous fun run events throughout the year that all start and end at local breweries.

Cap 10k  April. Big event, race weekend, etc

Austin 10/20  April. Ten Miles, 20 Bands

Thundercloud Turkey Trot  Popular Thanksgiving Day race

3m Half Marathon  13.1 mikes “Downhill to Downtown