One of the things I do most often with my little Alexis is visit parks. It’s great to get outside and explore Austin’s green side, and I don’t have to spend a dime either. We usually look for the shadiest, greenest patch of grass to sit down on and eat snacks I pack. Then we’ll go to the playground, walk the trails, or work on her homework.
I also like to go by myself. It gives myself a serene place to wind down and gain back my peace of mind! These are two of my favorite parks and happen to be right next to each other. They’re also two of the first parks I took Alexis to.
I used to visit Mt. Bonnell (AKA Covert Park) with my parents as a youngster, but eventually those outings stopped. Visiting it for the first time on my own brought back a ton of memories. In high school I made many new memories there with my friends as we would trek up the long flight of stairs to the top late at night. I’d also bring sandwiches and cookies from the Arboretum Whole Foods up for a nice little picnic with N.
I brought Alexis here and she really enjoyed it. We sat up in the pavillion and talked about how someday, we would own our own nice houses like the ones dotting Lake Austin. My little brother Jacob, on the other hand, thought it was a bore. I guess he is too young to appreciate the view.
There’s not much of a trail here, it’s more suited for sitting and admiring the view of the river. Looking to the right, you can see the Pennybacker bridge, while looking to left brings views of downtown. Since it faces west, you can catch a pretty nice sunset as well.
Mayfield Park, which is just around the corner, is very unique. The park was once an estate owned by a Mr. Mayfield, who was a Texas Secretary of State. His daughter, Mary, and her husband eventually owned the estate and landscaped it into what it is today.
The park consists of an old, white cottage surrounded by lily ponds, palm trees, flower gardens, and is home to numerous peacocks. Just outside the fenced off area lie some short trails which are more suitable for strolling than jogging or anything.
I enjoyed walking some of the trails because they brought me over old wooden structures and near dilapidated stone fences. They gave a sense that the place is ancient and full of history, kind of like a real life secret garden.
The whole area is plush and vibrant, it’s really something you have to see for yourself. If you visit and don’t see any peacocks, look up. They like to run around on the cottage roof and in the trees. But don’t walk underneath them, I was almost pooped on the last time I stopped by. 😕