Hiking is My Cheap Therapy – Exploring Nature Trails in the City

Taking a mid-day break to hike a nature trail is my cheap therapy – I think only of the  exact moment I am in, walking the trail, exploring nature. Time doesn’t exist.

Hiking at Bull Creek Park in northwest Austin recently I lost all track of time. I had planned to spend a half hour or so enjoying a quick hike along Bull Creek before grabbing some lunch and heading off to my afternoon appointment.

Bull Creek Park - Lakewood Drive Austin TX hiking trail

Bull Creek Park near the entrance on Lakewood Drive in NW Austin

It’s a good thing most of my bookkeeping clients are flexible about when I show up to work because my hike took around two hours and it might have been three had the rain clouds not been threatening.

Tangle of Spiderwort blooms and buds along Bull Creek Hiking Trail in NW Austin TX

Tangle of Spiderwort blooms and buds along Bull Creek Hiking Trail

I can get lost in the beauty of nature, spending inordinate amounts of time observing and photographing flowers, plants, insects, or lizards. I see gorgeous little landscapes at my feet and wonder about all the activity that is going on in the tiny ecosystem.

Tiny landscape of moss - St Edwards Park in NW Austin

Moss landscape at St Edwards Park in NW Austin

Air bubbles in Bull Creek - nature and hiking trail in NW Austin TX

Air bubbles in Bull Creek

I see an amazing assortment of gorgeous colorful wildflowers along the hiking trails throughout the year. Springtime is my favorite time of year because the days are starting to get longer and the weather is generally perfect for hiking.

And the bluebonnets are blooming!

Bluebonnets along hiking trail at St Edwards Park in NW Austin

Bluebonnets along hiking trail at St Edwards Park

Evening primrose are common along Bull Creek in NW Austin TX

Pastel pink evening primrose are common along Bull Creek

Yellow wildflowers at St Edwards park in NW Austin

Yellow wildflowers at St Edwards park in NW Austin

Walking along the trails at Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve one hears the rustling of the leaves as lizards dash from place to place. When I see a lizard I find that if I stand still they will often remain motionless as well – allowing me to observe them more carefully.

Spiny Lizard at Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve in central Austin

Spiny Lizard at Mayfield Park in central Austin

Six Lined Racerunner lizard common in Texas

Six Lined Racerunner lizard at St Edwards Park

I’ve seen some interesting insects while hiking the nature trails and been bitten by quite a few – the tiny creatures have the ability to sneak up on us humans so easily! I prefer the more docile ones – rolly polly is just a cute little insect that never hurts anyone.

Happy little rolly polly insect on a log - hiking and nature trails in Austin TX

Rolly polly insect on a log

Grasshopper on a log at St Edwards Park in NW Austin

Grasshopper on a log at St Edwards Park

Vibrant Tiger Swallowtail butterfly enjoying nectar from the flowers - Austin TX

I saw this beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly at St Edwards Park

Enjoying the fresh air and the beauty of nature while getting a little exercise is my favorite outdoor activity in Austin. I find it meditative hiking a nature trail and getting lost in the moment.

Trail along St Edwards Park in NW Austin TX

St Edwards Park Hiking Trail in NW Austin

Fragrant flowers bloom along the hiking and nature trails in Austin TX

Fragrant blooms along the Bull Creek hiking trail

Wisteria bloom in spring - Lady Bird Lake - Austin TX

Beautifully fragrant Wisteria at Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail in downtown Austin

Something that cannot be properly conveyed in words or pictures is the glorious fragrance of certain flowers, the fresh scent of the woods, the sound of the birds singing, and the relaxing tone of the water.

Pure Zen.

Tell me about your favorite outdoor escape. What is your cheap therapy?

About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter

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