Less than 10 miles away from St. Edward’s campus, lies Wild Basin Creative Research Center and Wilderness Preserve. Wild Basin is a favorite of students and the Austin community, even earning a 2018 Best of Austin award from The Austin Chronicle. The Creative Research Center encourages undergraduate research and hosts programs for student researchers, K-12 groups, and the public. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, but the Wilderness Preserve trails can be accessed every day from sunrise to sunset.

Getting there

Wild Basin Creative Research Center is accessible from Loop 360/Capital of Texas Highway, about 4 miles south of Pennybacker Bridge. Free, paved parking is available on site.

Address:
805 North Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX 78746-3301

Hike the trails

Explore the Preserve with this self-guided tour or use the trail map with mileage. Every second Saturday, the Center hosts a free guided nature hike with master naturalist John Barr. Registration in advance is required for the Second Saturday Guided Hikes through Meetup. There is no fee to access the Preserve but donations are accepted.

What to wear and pack

Closed-toe shoes, a hat, and sunscreen are recommended for the trails and you’ll need to pack your own water. No pets, bikes, or picnics are allowed.

Cell phone service

Although it varies by carrier, cell phone service is generally good at the parking lot and near the Visitor Center. It is recommended that you download the trail maps, take a picture of them, or take a screenshot in case you lose reception on the trails.

Best photo spots

You’ll find scenic overlooks, creek crossings, and green backgrounds throughout your hike. Don’t miss the waterfall where the Creek, Yaupon, and Warbler trails meet.

About Wild Basin

Wild Basin Creative Research Center and Wilderness Preserve covers 227 acres managed in partnership with Travis County. The Preserve is managed as part of the Balcones Cayonlands Preserve (BCP), a system of habitat preserves that protect eight federally listed endangered species. Learn more about the key partnerships that protect Wild Basin at this link.

Story by Alexandra Hill