Red Bud Isle: Off Leash Dog Island in Austin, TX

Searching for dog friendly places in Austin may provide you with many options. The amount of places you can take your dog is not surprising, but a dog friendly island is exceptional. Red Bud Isle is located on the northwest side of Austin, Texas, along the Colorado River. This 13-acre island is a designated off-leash dog park on the map. An amazing idea from an incredibly dog friendly city, but there are limitations and concerns.

Dogs running off leash on Red Bud Isle

How to Get to Red Bud Isle in Austin, Texas

Address: 3401 Redbud Trail, Austin, TX 78746

Hours of operation: Red Bud Isle is open from 5am – 10pm

Fees: The island is free to visit, but parking is very limited

You can reach the island from Redbud Trail, on either side of the Colorado River. Take Westlake Drive to Redbud Trail on the west side of the river, or Lake Austin Blvd from I-35, and the downtown area. The off-leash dog park is about two miles upstream from I-35.

Red Bud Isle Dog Park Amenities

This island has a parking lot, but there are only about 25 spaces available. Street parking is not allowed on the island. Of course, there is water access, but swimming is not allowed either. What is allowed? You can hike with your dog off-leash, fish, or kayak. The island has a half-mile loop trail, with water access at several points. You will not find drinking water or restrooms on the island.

Is Red Bud Isle Safe for Dogs?

Red Bud Isle is safe, but we kept our girl, Abbey, away from the river. Last year, the blue-green algae issue led to several dog deaths in Austin. We noticed dogs playing in Lady Bird Lake while hiking in Austin, but we stayed clear of the water. Encourage your dog to stay on the loop trail and play with other dogs. Stay out of the water and you will not need to fear the algae.

The well-shaded loop trail at dog friendly, Red Bud Isle
Abbey hikes Red Bud Isle in Austin, TX

Where Are All the Dogs?

Compared to other parks, this one is not large. However, it is larger than many dog parks, and it’s a beautiful space for dogs to play off-leash. Unfortunately, we saw very few dogs on the island. The water may play a factor, but parking is also an issue. There simply are not enough spaces because people also visit the island to fish and kayak without dogs.

After completing two loops around the island (one mile), there were three vehicles waiting to park. We stopped to get some water from our vehicle and decided to let the next person in line have our space. You’re welcome!

It may be possible to park on the street in a nearby neighborhood, but the walk to the island would be, at least, half-a-mile. Plan ahead by locating alternative parking, drinking water and restrooms prior to visiting Red Bud Isle. The island does not feel like a dog park, but we are happy to discover it and will return with our girl (during the week). This unique, dog friendly spot on Lady Bird Lake has great views. Hike, play, relax and allow another to do the same.

I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it. We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site. Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

David Earley


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