Commons Ford includes beautiful Lake Austin shoreline.
Getting there: From MoPac in Austin, head west on FM 2244. Continue west on FM 2244 through the intersection with Capital of Texas Highway. Approximately 3.5 miles after that intersection turn right on Cuernavaca Drive and then turn left on Commons Ford Road. Continue down this road for and look for the entrance to the park on the left.
The land around Commons Ford used to be ranch land, as evidence by this old dwelling.
Commons Ford Metropolitan Park is one of the lesser known parks in the Austin area, and one of the best. In its 215 acres it boasts wonderful views of Lake Austin, groves of Pecan trees, some historic structures, waterfalls, lots of foliage and hillsides. Since few people seem to know about the park and because the common park amenities such as pools, football fields and playscapes are not present the setting is quieter and more serene.
The trails at Commons Ford vary from grassland here to Cedar covered hills farther inland.
None of the trails at Commons Ford seem to be officially supported. At least they are not mapped and do not include any official signage. However, the city does acknowledge the unimproved trails. The park offers a good variety of trails from the very easy Pecan Grove Trail
to the mildly moderate Waterfall Trail
. There are likely to be a few more paths we'll return to document at this wonderful park.
There are several picnic benches near the shore of Lake Austin. We sat for some time watching some birds forage for food in the trees nearby. Additional picnic benches and a gazebo are on the western edge of the park near the barn used to store equipment for
Please note that this park includes some strange hours. The park is open Tuesday - Sunday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM with reports that the gates are locked at 6:00 PM. You don't want to be stuck out there with no way to drive home. The park is not open on Monday.