Getting there: From I-35 in South Austin, take the William Cannon Drive exit
and head east. Turn left onto Nuckols Crossing Road and then right onto Escuelita Drive. Go
around the back of Widen Elementary school and look for the parking area on the right.
The Hike: Dove Springs District Park's trails can be divided into two completely
separate experiences. Although connected, they are quite different. The first trail is a hike
and bike path of crushed granite that loops around the ball fields in the park. It's completely
open and occasionally hugs the edge of the dense tree cover the southern half of the park.
On the topo map of the hike the easy trail resides in the treeless white space of the park.
The trail around the playing fields is about as easy as it gets.
Follow the trail into the tree cover and the difficulty increases a bit and the solitude shoots
up a lot. Whereas you're well within view of almost anyone in the park on the granite trail, the
rock and mud trails under the trees get far fewer visitors.
One of the most interesting spots along the trail is marked by the southernmost waypoint called
"Creek". Here the water in the creek was a bit stagnant, but coming out of the caliche wall on
the opposite bank was a cold, crystal clear stream of water. The contrast between the stagnant
water and the spring outflow was remarkable.