Getting there: Rattan Creek Park is located at the corner of Tamayo
Drive and Dallas Drive in north Austin south of Parmer Lane. From MoPac, head west on
Parmer Lane. Pass McNeil Drive and turn left on Dallas Drive, which should be the
second left after McNeil. Head south and then turn right onto Tamayo Drive. The park
is on the right. Park along the road.
The Hike: This easy hike begins at a playground located along the banks of
Rattan Creek. The designated trail does not officially begin until you walk to the back of
the park and recreation area. However this hike's trailhead is marked near the parking at
the waypoint "Trailhead".
A recreation complex marks the southern end of the trail.
The trail heads north following Rattan Creek downstream. The trail is very easy to navigate,
being crushed gravel with a few cement water crossings here and there. All in all it's a
leisurely walk that can be used for some after work exercise or trying out new gear.
A Treehouse guards part of the trail.
Don't expect to see flowing water on this hike, that's liable to happen only right after a
rain storm. As the topo map indicates, Rattan Creek is a "sometimes" creek that usually
contains a few self contained pools of water that don't flow until the rains bring a
critical mass of moisture to push things along.
One of the interesting features on this hike is the tree house that is in one of the
oak trees that line the trail. You can find it at the waypoint marked, "Treehouse".
It's of fairly good construction, but be careful if you plan to check out the view
The gravel surface of the trail is well maintained.
The turnaround point for this hike is marked by the waypoint "Turnaround". It's situated
close to Parmer Lane which shows up as a dirt trail on the dated topo map. Conceivably
one could continue the trail on the other side of Parmer but private property and
apartment complexes are being built there as we speak. Hopefully an extension will be
possible in the future.
In all we took less than 1 hour to complete the hike out and back. It's an easy
hike that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities.