Nestled deep within City Park in west Austin, Emma Long is one of the better intermediate to advanced parks in town. A gutsy and intimidating sign proclaims at the first ascent, "If you feel uncomfortable with this hill, you will not enjoy the Emma Long Main Loop." If you are a new-comer to mountain biking, or have no experience with boulders and ledges, you might want to steer clear of this park.
AVI File, Cinepak CODEC, 1.0 MB
Others are often incredulous that Emma Long isn't rated "the absolute toughest ride." Let's face it, there are no long climbs (like the Hill of Life at Baton Creek), and there are not many skree covered ascents or descents. The course is usually bone dry and not much mud is likely. There are occasional stretches of Juniper covered canopy, but in summer, this park is hot.
But all arguing aside, Emma Long is compact and one
nearly endless series of ups and downs, lefts and rights.
The Main Loop is 5.5 miles, and you will be tired after one loop.
Two loops are twice as fun.
Go for it.
Very high. The park is compact and consists of one stunt after another. The big ledges near the parking lot are useful to try to launch into space and get air. Bring your video cameras.
requiring balance, hopping, pogo-action, traction control, or other bike-handling skills.
requiring sustained heart rates and a high lung capacity.
requiring leg power and upper body development.
5.5 miles of networked trails, mostly single track and worn deer trails.
80% rocky limestone with exposed bolders, shelves, and ledges. 20% hard packed dirt. A few stream beds, usually dry.
Ups and downs but no significant climbs or descents.