Dick Nichols Park

2.00 Miles
140 Feet

The trail starts off with some grassland, but quickly the tree cover predominates.
The trail starts off with some grassland, but quickly the tree cover predominates.
Getting there: Head south on MoPac south of Town Lake. Take the Davis Lane exit and turn right, heading west. Turn right on Beckett Road and continue driving until you see a parking lot for a swimming center on the right. Park there and cross Beckett to get to the trailhead.

The Hike: This short hike is easy enough for hikers of all ages and also provides a nice spot for picnic lunches. Originally we thought that much of this trail would be paved, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a well maintained gravel trail for its entire length. The trailhead is located at the waypoint "Trailhead", next to a large sign along Beckett Road.

The trail starts off with a small patch of grassland. As the trail gets closer to the creek tree coverage predominates. Throughout much of the hike trees will provide plentiful shade. The topo map that we have available has not been updated by the USGS in years, so all of the new housing developments that have sprung up in the area are not on the map. Much of the trail will have the creekbed on the right and backyards of houses on the left.

The trail here is flat, shady and well maintained.
The trail here is flat, shady and well maintained.
The trail is very easy to follow. Although a couple of side trails exist here and there it is very easy to determine which route to take for the main trail. The lone exception may be at the waypoint "Veer Left". As the name indicates you should choose the left fork at this point. Later, if you want to explore some trails on the opposite bank of the creek you can use this point to find your way across.

This dry creek bed is the only creek crossing on the main trail.
This dry creek bed is the only creek crossing on the main trail.
At the waypoint "Creek Cross" the trail crosses a small dry creek bed. The concrete crossing would not require getting wet in any but the largest of flash floods in the area.

When you reach the waypoint marked "Turnaround" the official signs posted here and at the trailhead indicate existing trails on the opposite side of the road. We searched for these but could find no trace of them. Worse yet, we could not find any potential location for at least one of the indicated trails as some of the backyards of the homes so closely hugged the creek that cutting a trail along the creek may well be impossible. This area may well offer a much larger system of trails in the future, but for now the existing trail provides a pleasant, easy hike.

In all this 2 mile out and back hike took us one and a half hours to complete. This included some searching for the trail extensions indicated on the official trail signs that we could not locate.

We walked as part of a volksmarch. (Photo by Eveline)
Apparently, it's named "The Learning Oak" (Photo by plectrudis)
Here's a path that strings the 3 parks together. There are a couple of places you can cut thru to get to Davis Ln/Karst Preserve, but you have to watch for them. (Photo by plectrudis)
Log Entries
A varied combo of urban walks/hikes
By plectrudis on 10/9/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.25 Miles Duration: N/A

I walked the loop on the right side of Beckett and then crossed and did the leg of the Latta Greenbelt.  Not sure if I did all of it--it appeared to dead end at a library or community center, and I couldn't pick it back up.

The loop, which is mostly paved, is pretty busy, but I only ran into a few people in the greenbelt.  The shade on the loop was particularly pleasant. 

I was a little disappointed there wasn't a better trail connecting to the adjacent Karst Preserve--there were some wading-through-the-grass-and-chiggers kinds of trails, but nothing that looked official.  When you put all three parks together (Dick Nichols, Latta Greenbelt, and Karst Preserve) you can get a good 3.5 miles or more, which is just the right length for an after-work hike.  The combo was kind of fun--part neighborhood trail, part city park, part hiking trail, plus a bit threading across a retail block to get to the karst--quite a varied experience.  You'll never forget you're in the middle of a city, though.

By ValEpiscopo on 4/5/2013
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
One mile flat paved loop in Dick Nichols Park with one mile across the road in housing community green belt, came back one mile in trees, crossing to north side of creek.
Nice Park
By Eveline on 2/15/2013
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Nice park with good trail.

Surprisingly isolated
By terlanmat68 on 8/19/2012
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.41 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 12 minutes
We looped around the park on the concrete trail for the first mile, then crossed the road to the west and followed that out another mile. On the way back we veered to the north to a secondary, less maintained trail. Lots of fun.
Good neighborhood walk
By texaskdog on 2/20/2010
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: 45 minutes

Pretty basic.  Nice park if you are close by.  Nice treehouses out in the woods if you go west off of the western extension.

Cache and walk
By Austin Explorer on 2/3/2007
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: N/A
Second geocaching outing for the kids. We walked about one and a half miles on the way to logging about 6 caches.
By lancescape on 12/28/2006
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Western Oaks (other side of Beckett) is a better hike.
great neighborhood park
By manwithdog on 1/15/2005
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Willow and I would like to encourage all persons with dogs to pick up after your critter (quite a bit of leavings on/along this trail). That aside, I was surprised at how nice this trail is, being that it's in the middle of a well developed neighborhood. Not much traffic noise, and we only met 4 or 5 other folks out enjoying the day. Lots of tree-cover and birds (cardinals, mockingbirds, and some yellowish wren sized ones that wouldn't sit still). For days when you don't feel like trudging up and down hill, this little trail is a good one.
Interesting park
By Centex Trekker on 10/29/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A
Watch out for the cacti.
Pleasant Paved Loop Trail
By figment on 7/24/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A
There is a nice wide concrete exercise/paved loop on the pool parking lot side of the park, and it winds through a wooded area. I didn't go to the natural trail that is covered here.
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