Located on the west side of Austin is the neighborhood of Austin Lake Hills, where Civil Goat Coffee was born. When standing in front of Civil Goat, faced towards Cuernavaca Rd, you’ll see a modest two-laned winding road that runs from north to south. South heads towards Bee Cave highway, but north heads deeper into the inconspicuous neighborhood of Austin Lake Hills where there lies a few hidden gems. One of those gems is Commons Ford Park.
Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park is a 215-acre park slightly tucked behind Cuernavaca Rd that is comprised of trails eager to be hiked or biked on. It’s right around the corner from Civil Goat…as in two and a half miles away. Right in our backyard some might say.
Many Austin cyclists who make the trek out here begin their ride from the city heading west, stop in Civil Goat for a little pick me up, and continue the ride to biking trails at Commons Ford Park. We are quite fond of the Austin cycling community and want these guys to keep doing what they’re doing.
If you like to hike or trail run, then these trails have your name written all over them. The trails are a fairly mellow terrain with a max of couple hundred feet of elevation change throughout the entire park. If you’re looking for a day hiking pack, we just so happen to be fans of the REI Flash Pack and the REI Ruckpack. These packs really get the day hiking job done. The Flash is lightweight and compactable, and the Ruckpack is more durable and quite roomy.
Tis’ true, Austin is often warm. Those of us from Austin know it, embrace it, and (hopefully) love it. One of the best parts of Austin (in our humble opinion) is that it offers a plethora of natural swimming holes to cool off on the warm days. One of those swimming holes is on the edge of the beloved Commons Ford Park, backing into waterfront that is greeted by the Colorado River; otherwise known as Lake Austin. When on the trail headed towards the waterfront you’ll see an older, slightly rusted yet perfectly antiquated blue boathouse.
Next to the boathouse is a deck, which we’re convinced its sole purpose is to be jumped off of. Plunging from the deck into a refreshing Colorado River is a delightful breather from a blazing hike.
Code Word for COFFEE ON THE HOUSE
ATTENTION to the outdoor-loving community coming from the city limits or traveling through: If you are on your way to, or are coming from Commons Ford Park and stop in Civil Goat Coffee we’ll serve you a batch brew of coffee on the house. That’s right, a free cup of coffee for a day of hiking, running, swimming, or cycling at Commons Ford Park. All you have to do is mention to one of our stellar baristas you’re either coming from, or going to Commons Ford and the coffee is all yours. A day in the outdoors with a darn delicious cup of coffee…we think yes, you should.
Enjoy yourselves out there, slow down and take in the natural beauty this area of Austin has to offer, and remember to Stay Civil.
Written by: Carley McCarra