Emma Long Metropolitan Park features 12-mile forested trails on the beautiful Lake Austin. Some of the park highlights include barbecue pits, boat docks, and swimming spots.
Here are some of the park amenities:
- 68 barbecue pits
- 151 picnic tables
- 3 sand volleyball courts
- 66 campsites
- Fishing pier
- Basketball court
- Concession stand
- And more
A Brief History
Emma Long Metropolitan Park was originally regarded as City Park. This large municipal park is on Lake Austin’s shores.
Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1805 started to develop a tract of land into a beautiful municipal park in 1939. Their primary work included protecting the lake’s bank from erosion, planting trees, and seeding and sodding grass. They built a boathouse, piers, and docks. Also, they constructed a concession stand and a wooden bathhouse. Unfortunately, these wooden structures were replaced with stone structures after being burned.
The City Council of Austin changed the park’s name to Emma Long Metropolitan Park. The park is renamed after Emma Long, who is a former member of the council and the first woman to serve on Texas’ large city council. Today, the park is one of the highlights of every Austin trip itinerary. See More Info
Things to Know Before Visiting Emma Long Metropolitan Park
Here are some fun facts about the metropolitan park:
Fun Things to Do in Emma Long Metropolitan Park
- The park is open from Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM all year round.
- The park entrance fee is $5 from Mondays to Thursdays.
- The park entrance fee is $10 on Fridays to Sundays and holidays.
- Cash is not accepted as a payment method, so visitors are advised to bring credit cards with them.
- The park requires advanced reservations on Friday to Sunday visits.
- The park allows dogs, but they should be on their leashes.
- Dogs are not allowed in the swimming area.
- Visitors should look out for burrs and fire ants.
- Wearing water shoes or flip-flops is an excellent idea.
- Please note that the boats down Lake Austin have rough waters when kayaking.
- Lady Bird Lake is a good choice for easy and smooth kayak spots, especially with kids.
- The park is a perfect spot for camping with reservation requirements and camping fees. Please visit this link for the latest costs.
The park offers plenty of activities to do, such as:
See Wildlife and Wildflowers
Indian paintbrushes, bluebonnets, and other wildflowers bloom in the park’s open areas during springtime. The edge zones between the open spaces and the forest are well-suited for bird watching. Visitors can sometimes encounter golden-cheeked warbler, a highly endangered species.
Turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks are also common in this park. At night, the barred owls’ coo-like calls echo throughout the area, especially in spring. Check Out This Information
Adventure lovers or outdoor enthusiasts love visiting Emma Long Metropolitan Park because of its hiking trails. Visitors can enjoy dog-friendly hikes, group hikes, solo hikes, or bird-watching outings at the park.
Play Different Sports
The park helps keep everyone have an active lifestyle by offering sports facilities. The green space between the water and the woods is approximately the size of a football field. Visitors can have a friendly match for soccer, football, volleyball, or basketball.
The park is a perfect destination for people who enjoy fishing as a pastime. Fishing for largemouth bass is a popular activity on Lake Austin. The current record size for bass caught on the lake is 28.25 inches. It also weighed 16.03 pounds. The 70.5-lb smallmouth buffalo was the biggest fish species ever caught in this lake in 2008.
Try a Dog-Friendly Trail
The 2.5-mile dog-friendly trail is popular among dog owners. This trail winds in and out across the creek and travels through a dense forest. The thick canopy overhead is a life-saver for hikers and dogs because of the cool share it provides during hot summer days.
Enjoy Motorcycle and Bike Trails
The 9-mile trails are dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts and mountain bikes. While most climbs are not steep, bikers should expect bumpy rides. Additionally, bikers need to navigate some boulter-sized rough limestone steps. They can see exposed cedar tree roots that can be hazardous if bikers do not focus on the terrain.
Find Nearby Eateries
After a relaxing and enjoyable day of swimming, boating, or hiking at Lake Austin, visitors can head to nearby eateries. These food destinations are excellent for grabbing a bite. Here are some of the popular eateries near Emma Long Metropolitan Park:
- County Line on the Lake
- Mozarts Coffee Roasters
- Abel’s on the Lake
- Hula Hut
- Ski Shores Café
These eateries are especially exciting to visit after the sun goes down for a delightful dinner.
Important Information About Emma Long Metropolitan Park
- Address: 1600 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730
- Phone: +1 512-974-1831
- Website: austintexas.gov
- Park Hours: Monday to Friday – 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM