The Hamilton Greenbelt opened in April 1990, thanks to a generous contribution from Jack and Myrtle Hamilton. Several additions and modifications throughout the years have resulted in a first-rate trail network. The Hamilton Greenbelt trail network, which includes Smith Greenbelt and Hurst Creek Preserve, now offers several miles of both developed and primitive trails that wander along Hurst and Yaupon creeks, thanks to a donation of additional land and funds from Coleman and Mary Smith, an easement from the Lakeway Municipal Utility District, and countless hours of volunteer services from Friends of the Parks. These regions are ideal for family trips, walks and jogs, or bike rides.
Points of Entry
Parking is available at the two main trailheads. Hamilton Greenbelt I is accessible via the Lohmans Crossing at Cross Creek entry (across from the Lakeway Justice Center). Hamilton Greenbelt II may be reached via the Palos Verdes Drive entrance. Trailheads along Sailmaster Street, Squires Drive, and Clubhouse Drive are also accessible.
Hamilton Greenbelt I- Chapel of the Four Seasons
A nice garden area with a fountain may be found at the front entrance of the Hamilton Greenbelt Trail I (off Lohmans Crossing). The Garden Club volunteers spend numerous hours each year maintaining the landscaping in this area, which makes for a wonderful backdrop for the Chapel of the Four Seasons. The chapel has previously been used for marriages and parties of little more than 25 individuals.
To get there, take Ranch Road 620 west of Austin and proceed south towards Lakeway. Turn right onto Lakeway Boulevard and travel approximately one mile west. Take the first right onto Lohman’s Crossing Road. About a quarter mile from the Lohman’s Crossing turn, look for the parking lot on the right.
The Trek: The Hamilton Greenbelt is an unexpected hike that offers a broad diversity of terrain that is sure to suit just about everybody. Depending on how far you go from the trailhead, you’ll come across flat gravel, uphill hard pack, and somewhat steep rocky parts.
Former Lakeway residents Jack and Myrtle Hamilton kindly contributed the property that makes up the Hamilton Greenbelt. They also supplied funding for its ongoing maintenance. At the trailhead, there is a plaque remembering their contribution. The trailhead also serves as a little sitting spot with seats and a sculptural waterfall.
The route begins with a flat, gravel-surfaced stretch that goes beneath towering oaks and other tree types. Some of the trees have identifying marks on surrounding stones, however many of the markers appear to have vanished over time.
At the waypoint “Waterfall,” this greenbelt has a lovely circular waterfall. Ferns cling to slippery rock overhangs in abundance here. This waterfall is so intriguing that it’s a shame it wasn’t made the focal point of a park. Instead, residences’ backyards line the creek’s opposite bank.
The route becomes slightly more tough after the waterfall. The route begins to ascend above Hurst Creek and is partially covered with mulch. The true shift in topography occurs at the waypoint “Primitive Route,” which is also the name given by the trail maintainers. Though not technically difficult, the terrain becomes significantly rougher than the more park-like trail that led up to this point.
The primitive route goes up the slope of a ridge and splits into two at the waypoint “T-Left”. Going left will reward you with some of the more difficult parts of the trek as well as magnificent views of Hurst Creek as it flows into the lake. The right branch goes to an other trailhead, which we’ll see later.
The route falls to water level and passes through a meadow of Cedar Elm trees at the waypoint “Hurst Hollow” after hugging the hill for a while. A big stone picnic table with wonderful views of the Hurst Creek arm of Lake Travis is located beyond the waypoint, at the turnback point.
The route ascends the slope above the lake once more on the back loop before dropping back to Hurst Hollow. On the way back, you may either retrace your steps to the trailhead or explore the paths to the previously stated other trailhead. To get to the other trailhead, use the parallel path to the left at the “CrossOver” waypoint.
We walked around three kilometers in total. This enjoyable trip offers a broad diversity of terrain and scenery right in the heart of a rapidly rising Hillcountry area and is highly recommended.
Lakeway is a city located in Travis County, Texas, in the United States. The community was established on the site of a 2,700-acre ranch owned by Jack (Jake) Josey, a Houston oilman and rancher. G. Flint Sawtelle, John H. Crooker, Jr., and Lee Blocker, three Houston businessmen involved with the Gulfmont Hotel Company, secured a sixty-day option to purchase the site and develop a hotel and resort village in early 1962. Lakeway was named after Gulfmont’s Fairway Motor Hotel in McAllen, Texas, which was so called because it overlooked a golf course’s fairway. The hotel’s construction began in October 1962, and was officially opened on July 12, 1963. Around the same time, the Lakeway Land Company was established, with Flint Sawtelle as president, for the purpose of real estate development. In July 1974, a large majority of resident and nonresident property owners decided to incorporate with the approval of the city of Austin, resulting in the 1,200-acre village of Lakeway.
Next Point of Interest: Lake Travis Zipline Adventures