Getting there: From I-35 in Round Rock head east on Hwy. 79. After about 4 miles, turn left onto Harrell Parkway. There will be a sign indicating that it's the entrance to Old Settler's Park and you can use Dell Diamond as a landmark to tell you when to turn.
The Hike: Your hike should begin at the waypoint "Trailhead" on the topo map. The first parking area upon entering the park is not ideal since it requires a short walk on the road or across a field to get to the trail.
There are two segments to the trail. To the south, a loop circles around the Chandler Branch of Brushy Creek. Like almost all of the trail in Old Settlers, the trail surface is paved concrete and the terrain mostly flat. Unlike the northern half of the trail system, there are
patches of shade here and there. As a bonus, it appears the southern part of the trail is less crowded than its northern counterpart, which resides closer to the lake and ball fields.
Much of the trail is exposed to the Sun, but a few portions provide at least a little bit of shade.
Despite not being near the park's ball fields, the southern loop passes right next to THE ball field in the area, the Dell Diamond. The home of the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team resides just south of the park and the trail passes close to the outfield fence at its southern end. With the right aim and conditions a hiker could theoretically catch a home run ball.
A small lake sits in the park and is popular with anglers.
The northern half of the trail system starting from the Trailhead heads north towards the lake that resides within the park. Since so many of the park's amenities lie near the trail in the northern section there are more people here. The trail surface is all paved concrete, with the exception of one segment of gravel road that cuts back to the southern loop. This segment is shown on the topo map as a blue trail.
The southern end of the park's trail system passes right by the Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express baseball team.
As the trail approaches the lake there is another parking area with large pavilion, playscape and restroom facilities. The trail parallels the edge of the lake and the shore was full of people casting lines in hope of landing a fish.
As the dammed up lake narrows back into the shape of a stream the trail crosses it and seems to wander right into the middle of part of the park's Frisbee golf course. There were no signs to indicate that walkers or bicyclists weren't allowed there, so it seems fine to go on through. At the waypoint "Alt-TH" the trail comes to an end and its time to turnaround. There is additional parking available here, so one could start the trail from this point.
Old Settlers is a pleasant park that provides miles of well-maintained hike and bike trails. Don't expect a real hiking experience and you'll enjoy the outing well enough.