Discover! — Mary Moore Searight Metro Park

By Devyn Bernal – October 1, 2015
photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

Mary Moore Searight Metro Park boasts over 300 acres with facilities for hiking, horseback riding, grilling, disc golf and more. Found off of Slaughter Lane, these amenities and more make this park a destination. A dedicated corps of volunteers keeps the disc golf course in great shape, while Friends of Mary Moore Searight tends other areas. An off-leash dog area of Mary Moore Searight can be accessed on South First Street in the north end of the park. The busy road to its north and I-35 provide enough road noise, though not too disruptive, to remind hikers that they are not too far from the bustling city around it. The main loop through the park has high volume for runners or walkers, which could derail from any desired solitude. However, if the spots are chosen carefully, there are a few tranquil areas where it is possible to leave the hustle and bustle behind.

Mary Moore Searight provides the perfect outdoor adventure right in Austin’s backyard. Families can pack up and picnic next to several barbecue pits and tables, fish off the pier, or walk the trail. The park even has a nice spot for reservations if you wanted to plan a party. Although mostly known for its challenging disc golf course, Mary Moore Searight has nearly all other sports fields as well. 

Mary Moore Searight’s trail begins at the waypoint “Trailhead” near the center of the park adjacent to the main parking area. There are two noticeable trail systems in the park, the “Metro” trail for runners, walkers and hikers, and the “Equestrian” trail for those on horseback. Provided that you head south regardless of which path you choose, you'll end up at the big loop. Like most of the Metro trail in the northern part of the park, the big loop is paved. The loop itself covers just over a mile. More interesting are the criss-crossed trails in the southwest corner of the park. The big loop provides access to get there and get lost in a maze of small interconnecting trails. You'll find far fewer people here and less noise and commotion.

Another benefit of heading to the southern edge of the park is the trail's proximity to Slaughter Creek. At a couple of spots along the trail small overlooks perch over the stream below, a great place to relax or for your dog to cool down. Pets are welcome, and there is plenty of space for them to roam around freely as long as you keep an eye on them. One strong advantage is that there are plenty of trash cans, so you're not holding your dog's waste for very long (something people may take for granted). 

At Mary Moore Searight Metro Park, carefully picking your trails and areas of the park greatly affects the solitude you can expect. This park can be anything you make of it.



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