I was really excited to take Eli and Aubry to a popular of-lease dog park (Disney for dogs) on our recent trip to Austin, TX. Red Bud Isle lies on Town Lake, just below the Lake Austin dam. It’s a popular spot for kayakers to take advantage of the shores space and nearby parking.
Surrounded by water on three sides, the peninsula provides a great safe place for pups to socialize, swim, frolic and (my favorite) wear themselves out. There was even a great coffee shop across the street, since we visited early, this human needed his caffeine. I’ll say, parking is at a premium, so arrive early. It’s a good idea to also bring a towel and some clothes you don’t mind getting muddy.
The entire park is an island on Lake Austin, just south of the Tom Miller Dam. Dogs can run in the open field right off the parking lot and through the trails and wooded areas that fill the park. They also have the option to hop in the water for a swim, but my boys aren’t swimmers, so they only went paws deep. We did see dogs just running right in after balls and toys (Labs mostly, of course – the good swimmers).
I had a blast taking pictures and exploring the trails through the park, which form a loop around the small isle. Thick trees fill the space in between the trails and along the water’s edge and it didn’t feel like Texas. There are also several areas along the paths to access the lake for optimal doggy aquatic activities (if you have swimmers).
What should you bring to Red Bud Isle?
1.Your dog(s) – they are pretty vital to the experience
2. Favorite toys/balls
3. Plastic bags on hand to pick up after your fur babies.
5. Water shoes (for humans)
It’s important to note that swimming in the water surrounding Red Bud Isle is only suitable for dogs, but you can wade in with your dogs if needed.
Pros and Cons
While there were way more pros than cons, I feel I must call out both. The parking lot is extremely small. When we left we saw cars waiting in line for someone to come out so they can park. There are signs along Redbud Trail that say “no parking,” but we were told that as long as you are behind the sign (as in way off the shoulder of the road), you’ll be okay.
Other than playing with dogs, there isn’t a lot for kids to do do they may get bored. If you do bring kids, make sure they’re comfortable around dogs, and practice proper precautions. Asking the owner before approaching or petting a dog, no running or chasing the dogs, etc. There are also no bathrooms, so go before you GO.
All told, Red Bud Isle is a super duper little place to visit with your dog(s). It’s close to several restaurants, so you can make an afternoon of it, grab a lunch at Thundercloud on Lake Austin Boulevard and then go over to play. Also nearby is Hula Hut, Abel’s on the Lake, and Mozart’s (which has a dog friendly patio). And when we left, the dogs were almost unconscious – SCORE!! Have you ever been to Red Bud Isle in Austin? What’s your favorite dog park?