Three people sitting at the top of a hill overlooking trees and a river.

Keep your New Year’s Resolutions in Austin’s Parks

Susan SeleskyFeatured Projects (Home Page), Parks, APF News, All Parks, Featured Top LPs, Park Top LPs Featured, Blog Page, Featured Parks

Do more in 2024! We're hitting the parks with all new opportunities to explore (and keep up those New Year's resolutions). Maybe you resolve to get your heart rate up, try a new hobby or spend more time offline with loved ones (two and four-legged alike). No matter how you want to spend your time this year, Austin’s parks have you covered.

We've rounded up the perfect spots to help you take your resolutions outside in 2024.

New Year's Resolution: Exercise more

No gym membership? No problem! Take advantage of Austin’s mild winter weather and kickstart your fitness goals before the summer starts heating up. Walk, bike or get your reps in the sunshine at these parks.

Parks with outdoor fitness equipment

  • Dove Springs District Park: located in Southeast Austin, this park hosts playscapes, multiple sports fields, a pool and outdoor fitness equipment along its paved walking trail.
  • Gus Garcia Park: A north Austin park with great walking paths and outdoor fitness equipment.
  • Pease District Park: This central gem features ample space for outdoor activities, including miles of walking trails and outdoor pull-up bars.
  • Great Hills Park: Tucked away in Northwest Austin, this park features 80+ acres of natural areas with hiking, picnic tables, a playscape and outdoor fitness equipment.
  • Colony Park District Park: A park with walking trails, playscapes, a covered picnic area and outdoor fitness equipment in Far East Austin.
  • T.A. Brown Neighborhood Park: A recipient of an ACL Music Festival grant, this park is your newest workout spot thanks to its brand-new fitness equipment!

Parks with walking/biking trails

Walkers and bikers enjoying the East Link Trail in East Austin outside of Rosewood Park.
A mother, son and dog enjoying the paved walk/bike path at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

New Year's Resolution: Spend more time with family & friends

A 2019 study found that spending 120 minutes in nature a week can significantly improve your overall feelings of health and well-being.

Check out these parks perfect for playing, exploring somewhere new and catching up with friends in the great outdoors. (P.S. check out our events calendar for volunteer opportunities to give back a little more in 2024).

Parks with hiking trails

  • Emma Long Metropolitan Park: Take a stroll along the scenic shores of Lake Austin (P.S. it’s one of the few places with campsites in Central Austin if you want to turn your day trip into an all-night adventure).
  • Bull Creek District Park: housing some of Austin’s best hiking trails, this park connects to the larger Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt along Hwy. 360.
  • St. Edwards Greenbelt: This hidden gem in Northwest Austin is the perfect destination or hikers and trail runners alike and features a stunning natural swimming hole to cool off after your trek.
  • Balcones District Park: Plenty of hiking trails and (if you’re lucky) waterfalls at this North Austin Park. Keep along the Northern Walnut Creek Trail for a longer hike into Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park!
  • Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve: A paved and mostly shaded nature trail awaits you at this secluded West Austin Park.

Parks with playscapes

Kids playing on an outdoor rock climbing wall in an Austin Park

New Year's Resolution: Pick up a new skill or hobby

Ever tried disc golf? Puzzled about pickleball? Austin’s parks are the perfect place to pick up a new hobby (and meet your neighbors in the process). Check out these parks to scratch the itch for both indoor AND outdoor recreation.

Parks with pickleball courts

  • Pan American Neighborhood Park: The pickleball courts are just one piece of this historic Central Austin park. APF lead the efforts to renovate the park, including a new playground and ADA improved parking lot in 2019.
  • South Austin Neighborhood Park: Between the multiple tennis and pickleball courts and kickball field, this park is a staple of ATX rec. leagues. Check out the indoor Recreation center for more info.
  • Rosewood Neighborhood Park: Another favorite of recreation leagues, the pickleball courts at Rosewood Neighborhood Park are the perfect place for a Sunday morning game.
  • Joslin Neighborhood Park: Prefer a night match? This small neighborhood park has two lighted courts for tennis lovers and pickleballers alike.

Parks with disc golf courses

Parks with sports fields/courts

  • Tanglewood Park: With a volleyball and basketball court, this Northwest Austin parks is the perfect place for your next pickup game.
  • Metz Neighborhood Park: The covered (and lighted) basketball courts at Metz will have you playing day and night, rain or shine.
  • Citivan Park: Located in the Montopolis neighborhood, Citivan Neighborhood Park boasts one of Austin’s newest outdoor soccer mini pitches.
  • Gullet School Park: This Northwest Austin park packs a punch with a covered basketball court, large multipurpose field and several baseball/softball fields. 
  • Garrison District Park: Home to one of the first APF x Spurs Give basketball court renovations, this park is the perfect place for a pick-up game. 

Walkers and bikers enjoying the East Link Trail in East Austin outside of Rosewood Park.
A mother, son and dog enjoying the paved walk/bike path at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

New Year's Resolution: Spend more time with your fur babies

Shake off those winter blues! We’re sure your four-legged friends are tired of being cooped up over the holidays. Give ‘em a place to roam around at these pet-friendly parks around Austin.

Parks with off-leash areas

  • Zilker Metropolitan Park: Give your pup a little socializing at one of Austin’s most loved dog-friendly parks.
  • Shoal Creek Greenbelt: A stunning pet-friendly park for an on-leash adventure on the trail OR free roam in the designated off-leash area.
  • West Austin Neighborhood Park: A favorite of pet parents, this small park features a large, fenced-in dog park for your pets to roam free without worry.

New Year's Resolution: Unplug

Indulge in a little screen-free self-care this year! These parks make the perfect place to unplug, relax and take in the view.

Parks with scenic views

  • Red Bluff Neighborhood Park: Open to foot traffic only, you’ll find plenty of Zen and gorgeous skyline views along the way.
  • Blunn Creek Preserve: This 40-acre park across the street from St. Edward’s University is a quiet escape in Central Austin.
  • North Cat Mountain Greenbelt: This park’s heavily wooded trail makes for a peaceful afternoon of hiking or bird watching.

Looking to explore a little more? You can search Austin’s nearly 400 parks by location, activity or amenity using our Parks Database. Share your adventures with us on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok @austinparksfdn and search Austin Parks Foundation on Facebook. See you outside!