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Healthy exercise in Austin, Zilker park, Barton Springs pool, hiking and biking trails

Zilker Park - One of the most loved and visited landmarks in the Austin area. Zilker park is host to Barton Springs pool where there are daily lap swimmers even in the 65 degree water.

There are 4 building facilities and 30 picnic areas in the 18 surrounding parks. Unlimited recreation opportunities abound! The Austin Parks and Recreation Department promotes recreational, cultural and outdoor experiences for the Austin community year round. Austin has been voted one of Texas' healthiest cities mostly due to this park.

The park is located at 2100 Barton Springs Road in the green belt. The park and surrounding areas comprise 351 acres including the Zilker Hillside Theater where free concerts are often available. Other special events and plays are held here to entertain the folks. The theater's spring schedule includes the South Asian New Year's Festival and Austin Shakespeare Festival's 25th Anniversary Show "A Midsummer Night’s Dream".

The Zilker Botanical Garden is a must see! Great trees, natural grottoes, and aquatic features that have been integrated into a design of spectacular beauty and tranquility are a feast for the eyes. Featured gardens include the Taniguchi Japanese garden, Green Garden demonstration garden, rose garden, cactus garden, seasonal bedding displays, floral display garden, butterfly trail and garden, and herb garden, escarpment trail and the Hartman Prehistoric Garden.

Some of the sculptures in the Umlauf Sculpture Garden will inspire you. This area of the park features sculpture by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors, several of whom were Umlauf students at the University of Texas.

The healthiest part of central Austin are the hike and bike trails that wind their way through Zilker and along Lady Bird Lake. Austin has developed one of the best trail systems in the nation. There are over 50 miles of well-surfaced scenic paths that follow nature into all areas of the city, making an excellent trail accessible to all. The Trail Directory provides a complete directory of all the trails throughout the city with site specific maps.

The park system also offers a wide variety of sports and fitness programs for all ages. There are grounds for baseball, soccer, and kite flying.  The McBeth Recreation center provides excellent facilities for wheel chair participants. This makes Austin one of the healthiest places for wheelchair fitness technology in the state.

Zilker Park and the McBeth facility offer the more athletic participants adapted sports programs in tennis, swimming, cycling, basketball, rowing, dance and more. Special events include the Art in the Park Festival in the spring, and Rock the Boat, a canoe and kayak clinic in September. Volunteers may assist in many of these program areas.

Lance Armstrong and Robin Williams have visited here along with many other celebrities. Come join the fun! Be a part of Austin's health.

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