Pflugerville Trail

Trail
7.50 Miles
450 Feet
Free
(2.67)13
(0.73)
(0.81)
N/A
Yes
Yes
No
Pflugerville
Travis
More Info

Getting there: Our hike started at the back of Pflugerville High School. To get there head north on I-35 and take the FM 1825 exit. Head east on 1825, which will turn north very soon after exiting from I-35 and then twist and turn a couple of times as it becomes Pecan Street. After crossing Heatherwilde Blvd. prepare to turn into Pflugerville High School on the right. Aim for the football stadium parking area and work you way to the back of the school property west of the stadium.

The Hike: Pflugerville's answer to the Town Lake hike and bike trail is an enjoyable series of trails that wander through the city, mostly along the banks of creeks in the area. It provides a wonderful alternative to the more crowded area in downtown Austin.

Pflugerville's trail system is completely paved, making it ideal for joggers or beginning hikers.
Pflugerville's trail system is completely paved, making it ideal for joggers or beginning hikers.
The City of Pflugerville promotes the trail on its web site via a trail map available online. Unfortunately, some of the paths marked on the map appear to be future plans instead of actual trails and one street crossing is potentially dangerous. However, the trails that we discovered were enjoyable and convenient and can be enjoyed safely if the Pecan Street crossing is avoided with small children.

The trail system has numerous entrances throughout its length. We started our hike in the back of Pflugerville High School at the waypoint marked "Trailhead". Here a small bridge crosses over a canal and the trail heads in a straight line to the south east. Throughout the trail you'll have a well-built concrete surface, making it perfect for those who do not enjoy rouger terrain.

The first creek crossing marks the end of what Pflugerville calls the Settler's Valley Trail. At 1.4 miles into the hike at the waypoint "Creek Crossing" the trail empties into a residential cul-de-sac. If you fail to pay attention you might not notice the trail continuation on the other side of the street. A narrow path cuts between the backyards of two of the houses. Once clear of the homes the trail heads north towards downtown Pflugerville. Pflugerville calls this section the Pfairways Trail.

Judging from the Pflugerville map it would appear that the Pfairways Trail follows along the east side of Railroad Avenue. But it doesn't. Instead it actually sits west of the new Dessau Road. The trail soon descends into a creek bed, though like the rest of the trail remains paved. This section obviously should be avoided during rainy times.

Gilleland Creek as it passes through Pfluger Park.
Gilleland Creek as it passes through Pfluger Park.
The trail seems to end near the fire station in the middle of Pflugerville. A waypoint marked "T-Left" may be hard to read under the "Athletic Field" notation on the topo map. On our hike we incorrectly guessed that construction to the right of the intersection of Railroad and Pecan would prevent us from getting to the trail on the other side of the road. So, we crossed through the parking area behind the fire station and used the light at Pecan and Railroad to get across the busy road safely.

Since we knew that the trail passed under Railroad Avenue further north we just hiked along the road until the trail passed beneath us. A Simple hop over the railing and down the slope and we were back on the real trail. We passed under the bridge that crosses Gilleland Creek and headed west into Pfluger Park.

Pfluger Park has playscapes and picnic areas, so it will be the most crowded portion of the hike.
Pfluger Park has playscapes and picnic areas, so it will be the most crowded portion of the hike.
The trails in Pfluger Park continue to parallel Gilleland Creek. At the far end of the park the trail crosses the stream and turns back toward east, eventually crossing the creek again near the large playscape and turning back towards Railroad Avenue. We could find no trace of a trail leading from Pfluger Park to a "Heritage Trail" to the north as indicated on the Pflugerville map.

Retracing our steps back to Railroad Avenue we stayed with the trail as it passed under the bridge once more and continues following Gilliland Creek downstream to the southeast. The trail passes under Pecan Street at the waypoint marked "Mural - Construction". We had to proceed with caution here as there was a lot of construction going on in the area. Part of the Pecan Street bridge was demolished as construction crews prepared to widen the roadway. Be sure to see the fish mural beneath the bridge before its gone.

This amusing mural resides along the trail as it passes under the Pecan Street bridge.  Hopefully some of it will be saved from the current construction.
This amusing mural resides along the trail as it passes under the Pecan Street bridge. Hopefully some of it will be saved from the current construction.
The trail passes under Dessau Road right after passing under Pecan. Note that this Dessau Road is not the Dessau Road shown on the Pflugerville trail map but rather the extension of FM 685. Old Dessau Road is a short distance down the trail on the other side of Bohl's Park.

The trail enters Bohl's Park just east of "New" Dessau Road. One of the interesting features here is the old Railroad bridge that now serves as a pedestrian bridge over the creek. Here again, we run into a dead end, trailwise. The Pflugerville trail map shows a trail continuing on the east side of Old Hutto Road (the extension of Old Dessau Road north of Pecan). But we could not see it. There appeared to be a sidewalk on the west side of the road that ended in a block or two. On the east side there was a sound barrier wall for the Bohl's Place subdivision. So, we turned back with the elusive Pflugerville Loop still out of our grasp.

On the route back to the trailhead we found an alternate route across Pecan Street that avoids the hike along Railroad Avenue. United Methodist Church has a large parking lot that adjoins the trail and feeds into Pecan. Cross the street there with extra caution. The traffic is moving quickly and there is no stop light or crossing sign to assist pedestrians. Worse, with the construction going on up and down the street visibility is less than it would otherwise be.

A pedestrian bridge next to Old Dessau Road appears to be using an old railroad bridge.
A pedestrian bridge next to Old Dessau Road appears to be using an old railroad bridge.
On the opposite side of the street a road is being rebuilt. Walk down it and take the next right. A short distance ahead you should be able to see the Pfairways Trail where it ended downtown. Now the trail merely follows the same path back to the trailhead.

While we were disappointed that the expected Pflugerville Loop did not materialize and we were somewhat put off by the temporary construction in the area, we could not help but be impressed by the trail system Pflugerville has built. For those who wish to avoid the construction hassles this trail offers two very easy and convenient segments that provide up to 3 miles of out and back pfun (sorry!) through Pflugerville.

Photos
Volksmarchers on the trail. (Photo by Eveline)
Interesting (Photo by Eveline)
Either I've missed it all the times I walked here, or this is new. (Photo by Eveline)
Log Entries
Back for another volksmarch.
By Eveline on 11/27/2010
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A

We were back to enjoy these trails doing another volksmarch.

Nice for a city hike
By texaskdog on 3/13/2010
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

We had a pfun time on this trail though it is not necessairly one of my pfavorites.  The path on geyser is easier to pfind now, as there are two green posts on either side opf the culdesac.  At the north end on Paul Street you have to go right and it gets a little trickier to pfollow the trail but you'll pfind the creek.  When the trail ends head south on swenson pfarms to get back to the high school. 

We did a volksmarch here.
By Eveline on 2/21/2009
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A

Volksmarching is a great way to see the trails of Texas.

Excellent Example of A Suburban Trail Methods
By townbuilder on 8/3/2005
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
I access the trails in Pflugerville from the neighborhood I live in. If coming from outswide of Pflugerville, park at the POP Office Park on FM 685 at Split Oak. I went under FM685 using the pedestrian tunnel and walked along pastures and Heriatge Park. There is a water park type pool, playscapes, basketball, boche, and a mueseum open the first Sunday of each month. The trail eventually leads to Pecan where you cross and follow the sidewalk that leads down to the Gilleland Creekbed. This walk heads northeast and takes you to Pfluger Park along a beautiful rock lined creek. Leave Pfluger Park by heading west on the trail on the south side of the creek. It will eventually take you across the creek and along the backside of two neighborhoods. Not the way to have a usuable neighborhood system as access and visibility are inhibited. Take a jog to the east and north when the trail hits Brookhollow Dr and follow the trail to the east. It eventually comes to a pedestrian tunnel that goes under Railroad Ave and goes between two neighboods with proper acces to the trail. It leads you back to the POP Office Park.
Nice wide paved trail
By Eveline on 5/31/2003
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A

We did a volksmarch here.

Only managed part of it.
By Centex Trekker on 2/23/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A
I did the part from the parking area by Railroad St. to Pecan St. The water was overflowing the path under the Railroad St. bridge.
By Eveline on 12/22/2002
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: N/A Duration: N/A
Won't Delete.
By Eveline on 12/27/1999
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 1/31/1999
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 7/11/1998
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
Only showing last 10 log entries. View All Log Entries
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