Yesterday was a great day for hiking, with sunny skies and temp about 80 F. The trees along this trail provide plenty of shade. The clear-running creek and a few birds were the only sounds I heard for most of the hike. Only encountered 1 other human the entire hike.
This hike was much easier than I expected, based on comments I'd read on this website. I'm 57 years old and I barely broke a sweat while hiking this trail. Someone needs to re-check the estimated 1800 foot elevation gain because it seems to be way off the mark. The highest point of the nearby Jolleyville plateau is roughly 1100 feet above sea level and the Lake Austin shoreline is at about 492 feet above sea level. Even if you count the undulations along the River Place trail, it does not come close to 1800 feet, which would make it the trail with the largest gain of any in this database. Regardless, I enjoyed the hike a lot and will return with my altimeter/watch to get more info on this discrepancy. Will re-post if I find anything contrary to my initial thoughts.