Avery Ranch is built on land that is historically, archaeologically and culturally rich. Indian mounds, burned limestone marks and arrowheads are found in Avery Ranch. Remains of a military fort built by the Spanish in the 1800s are visible at the head of Brushy Creek. The Old Chisholm Trail was formed along Brushy Creek when travelers in buggies and wagons rolled through the area. Cowboys drove cattle along Brushy Creek and the tracks of these early visitors can still be seen in the rocks along the creek. Large granite stones bound for construction of the State Capitol building lie below the train trestle standing in Avery Ranch. The slabs fell from their train car in 1882 and were too heavy to hoist back up. The beauty of the surrounding Texas Hill Country is breathtaking, unspoiled and rugged, offering peaceful living for residents of Avery Ranch.
The recreational amenities found in Avery Ranch are in keeping with the importance of recreation for all Austin residents. There are nearly 300 miles of trails, paths and roads for hiking, biking, walking and jogging that crisscross Austin and its surrounding areas. World-class bicyclist Lance Armstrong, six-time winner of the Tour de France, lives in Austin and can be seen training on the miles of bike accessible tracks. The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail runs through the Hill Country from Zilker Park to Lost Creek. Rugged beauty awaits hikers and mountain bikers who venture along the trail. The Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail provides three, four, five and 10 mile loops around Town Lake. The trail stretches from the MoPac Expressway to Longhorn Dam. The pedestrian bridge is an excellent place to watch the sun set. Other hiking and biking trails can be found at McKinney Roughs, Westcave Preserve overlooking the Pedernales River, and Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. McKinney Falls State Park has camping areas, picnic grounds, and playgrounds. Homestead ruins, a rock shelter used by Native Americans, a cabin, gristmill and two waterfalls can be reached by trails.
Just 20 minutes away from Avery Park are the many things to see and do in Austin. Visit the Crowe's Nest Farms, with more than 100 animals and education programs; the Inner Space Caverns where stalactites and stalagmites form awe-inspiring shapes; and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to see the native and perennial plants of the Hill Country. The Austin Steam Train chugs around the city on daily excursions. Take a cruise around Town Lake on the Lone Star Riverboat, an old-fashioned, double-decked paddle wheeler. North America's largest urban bat colony lives in Austin. The harmless Mexican free-tailed bats nest under the Congress Avenue Bridge over Town Lake from March to November. A bat statute is located nearby. The Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farm contains exhibits illustrating farm-life in the 1880s. Learn to milk a cow or how to churn butter on Farm Family Days.
Austin residents enjoy farmers markets, nationally acclaimed musicians, and festivals held throughout the year. Some of the city's annual events include the Red-Eye Regatta, Texas Guitar Show, Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo, Zilker Park Kite Festival, Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, Republic of Texas Biker Rally, Austin Symphony Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Texas Wildlife Expo, Texas Book Festival, Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, and Yulefest. Arts and Cultural is expressed around the city through a program called Art in Public Places. Sculptures, renderings, and designs made out of an endless variety of materials can be touched, photographed, and admired. The Long Center for the Performing Arts features professional and amateur performances on its three stages. Dance, music of all types, live theatre and exceptional entertainment venues can found throughout the city. Museums abound featuring history, paintings, antiquities, Native American artifacts, nature exhibits, science displays, pottery, textiles, photographs, maps, plants, sculptures and cultural offerings celebrating the diversity of Austin.
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