Day Trip: Twin Falls on Barton Creek
When you say “Barton Creek” many people think of the part of the creek between the Colorado River and Barton Springs Pool. In reality, there is so much more to this creek and greenbelt. Enough to … oh, I don’t know, do a series of Day Trips exclusively on the area? What an idea!
Let’s start at Twin Falls, which is accessible from the MoPac frontage road just south of 360. You’ll know you’re there when you see the mobs of cars. The first thing you see when you set out on the trail head are trashcans overflowing to the point of spewing on the ground. It’s wonderful that the city provides them, but it’d be even better if they were maintained more regularly. But such is life, full of Miller Light cans and Sonic bags.
Ignore the garbage and head down the trail to the right. Although the trail can be slick in parts because it’s so well-traveled, it’s not strenuous. I’ve seen people walk it in flip flops, carrying coolers. I normally prefer something close-toed and solid-soled, but hiking boots aren’t necessary. After about a quarter of a mile, you come to Twin Falls. The falls can either be an idyllic pool with water rushing in from several directions, or a stagnant puddle. Luckily, thanks to the spring rains, it’s been more on the idyllic side lately.
Twin Falls can get fairly crowded, especially on the weekends, and that’s because it’s a great spot! There are plenty of rocks to sun on. The water is cool and extremely clear. The deepest part of the pool is conveniently located just below a rocky hanging, perfect for jumping off. There are shady spots for napping; there are sunny spots for tanning. And there's only the occasional snake. It really is a great place to spend the afternoon.
We spent some time at Twin Falls and then walked a little further upstream. We were pleased to discover that the crowd thins out very quickly outside of the Twin Falls pool area, and we found a great little spot where the creek splits around a small island, so to speak. Some unknown hero had built a little rock tub that was full and overflowing, and this area is where we spent our time.
We walked up and down the creek and tried to skip rocks on the water. We sat in the currents and let the water push us. Most of all, we sat in our little natural tub and completely forget that we were so close to MoPac and all the sprawl of that area. Isn’t Austin great for forgetting what’s not great about Austin?