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The Green Space of Great Hills


Looking for a place to call home with easy access to nature and outdoor activities? Look no further than Great Hills, TX! This beautiful community is located in the heart of Austin and is home to Great Hills Park, a lush green space that offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a place to walk your dog, go for a run, or just relax in the sun, Great Hills Park has you covered. And if you’re one of the lucky residents of Great Hills, this park is right in your backyard!

Visiting Great Hills Park

Great Hills Park can be found at 10801 Sierra Oaks in Austin. The park is open daily from 5 AM to 10 PM to residents of Great Hills real estate and other visitors. Pets are welcome as long as they remain on a leash. Glass, motorized vehicles (including scooters, bikes, etc.), and alcohol are strictly prohibited.

Park facts

Great Hills Park covers more than 80 acres, with approximately 2 miles of trails maintained by the park volunteers. The park is located within the area marked geologically as Jollyville Plateau.

Given the sheer size of the park, it is no wonder that so many plants and wildlife species can be viewed in this gorgeous park.


Plants

Among the many plants visible in Great Hills Park, some of the trees and shrubs include American Elm, Arizona Walnut, Cedar Elm, Cottonwood, Pssomhaw Holly, Silk Tassel, Soapberry, Texas Ash, and Willow.

Grass and sedge (a grass-like plant with flowers and triangular-shaped stems) include but are not limited to Buffalograss, several varieties of Bluestem, Cedar Sedge, Inland Sea Oats, Lovegrass, Purpletop, Sand Bur, Switchgrass, Texas Grama, Windmill Grass, and Witchgrass.
 

Flowers found in the park include Lindheimer's Senna, Twisted-Leaf Yucca, Mexican Ruellia, Upright Prairie Cone Flower, Bird's-Eye Speedwell, Stiff Greenthread, Silverleaf Nightshade, and many more.


Wildlife

Great Hills Park is home to many species of wildlife.

Insect species found In the park include Western Honey Bee, Common Buckeye, Red Admiral, Monarch, American Lady, and many more.

Birds that can be seen in the park include Bewick's Wren, House Sparrow, Barred Owl, Turkey Vulture, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Northern Cardinal, and many more, with over 150 species seen in the area.
 

Nature watchers can also expect to see coyotes, white-tailed deer, Eastern cottontail, North American porcupines, raccoons, and squirrels. Reptile residents of the park include the Texas Spiny Lizard, Little Brown Skink, Common Snapping Turtle, and several types of snakes.

For those interested in bats, be sure to check out the nesting boxes near the trailhead at the Floral Park entrance to the park. Bats can be seen leaving the nesting boxes near sunset daily.

Great Hills Park activities

Bring the kids to the playground

Residents of Great Hills are sure to enjoy the recent upgrades to the playground at Great Hills Park. Recent renovations include a playscape, climbing net, swings, spinning seat, working telescope, excavator for playing in the gravel area, and musical instruments.


Hike the trails


Great Hills Park has five trailheads: Colina, Floral Park, Fox Way, Sierra Oaks, and Taylor Draper. The trails are popular for hiking and biking, and dogs are welcome if they remain on a leash.

The main trail stretches from Sierra Oaks to Floral Park and crosses the park's creek in five separate areas.

The side trail accessible from the Fox Way trailhead takes park visitors past two springs as well as a small waterfall that's visible after heavy rain.

The Colina and Taylor Draper trails intersect on their way toward the main trail and pass two dams and the Fish Pool.


Park Work Days

Great Hills Park invites Austin residents and other volunteers to participate in bi-annual Park Work Days. The workdays are held once in the fall and once in the spring, and dates are announced on the park's website.

During the workdays, volunteers participate from 9 AM to noon and aid in removing invasive plants, picking up trash, general trail maintenance, spreading mulch where directed, adding new plants, and more. Tools and gloves are provided along with snacks and refreshments for participants.


Spring Trail Walk

Great Hills Park hosts an annual Spring Trail Walk with guide commentary from local geologists, birders, naturalists, and plant experts. Dogs are not welcome on this guided tour, but participants are encouraged to bring water, notebooks, and a camera. Given the trail walk takes place on unpaved paths, the park recommends visitors wear sturdy shoes and long pants. The date for the spring walk of 2022 has not yet been announced, but it usually occurs in May.


Annual Easter Egg Hunt


The park is proud to host an annual Easter Egg Hunt for local children. Volunteers hide plastic eggs filled with candy around the playground, and the hunt is open to two age groups. Children enjoy the chance to bring home some treats and to meet the Easter Bunny. The date for 2022 has not yet been announced, but volunteers can reach out to GreatHIllsPark@gmail.com or email the event organizer, Sheri Brummett, at sbrummett@cbunited.com for more information.


Fourth of July Parade

Annually on Independence Day, Great Hills Park is proud to host the ending point of the Fourth of July parade and offers popsicles to participants. The parade runs from the corner of Colina and Sierra Nevada and is led by a local fire truck. Participants are welcome to walk, bike, and even bring the dog!


Halloween Carnival and Parade

The annual Halloween Carnival is traditionally held the weekend before Halloween. The Carnival is free and starts with a parade that follows the same route as the Fourth of July Parade, complete with a fire truck at the head of the pack. At Great Hills Park, celebrants can play carnival games for prizes, have their faces painted, and participate in the costume contest, bake sale, and raffle. Residents of Great Hills, as well as any friends and other guests, are welcome to join the fun for free.

Volunteer or donate to keep Great Hills Park in tip-top shape

Join the volunteer group that keeps Great Hills Park running smoothly. In addition to the bi-annual workdays, the park needs volunteers for watering, gardening, and maintaining the kiosk notices near the playground. The park is also looking for someone to report on park events and projects for the kiosk notices and website.

Great Hills Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and nature. Whether you’re looking for trails, a playground for your kids, or events, there are plenty of amenities to keep everyone happy.

Looking for Great Hills homes for sale?

If this sounds like your kind of place, be sure to check out the Great Hills homes for sale! You might just find your perfect home and community here.  For assistance with buying or selling Great Hills real estate, reach out to trusted local realtors at The Speed & Neuren Group for expert assistance.

*Header image courtesy of Austin Parks and Recreation



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