Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Emma Long Metropolitan Park
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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This park sits at the edge of Lake Austin and features a beautiful beach, volleyball nets and plenty of lounging spots.
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48 reviews
Very good

6 contributions
Iv been to this park quite a few times both for camping and just for the day. The swimming is great! Had the most enjoyment doing that. But primitive camping in the "groves" area is not something I'd do again. Lots of trash left out/scattered around by other people and leaving the trash buckets overflowing brought out nightly raccoon issues, not good! And if the raccoons don't bug you the "drunks" who like to party all night in that area will. Underaged kids yelling and getting away with whatever they want to at 4 am just killed it for me. Told a " ranger" about what was going on and told to call 911 if it happened again. Total joke as response time for that park is 45 min at least. Did not solve the issue at all. And
The bathrooms and potties are so gross it amazes me. Poop and other "stuff" all over the inside of the outdoor potties was a health hazard. They do have rules but they were all broken....ground fires, dogs off leashes running around, lots of dope smoking. Its a shame because it's a great place to swim and cook out. The electric/ water camping sites were better also as there was no "riff raff" over there and the atmosphere was nice. So I'm mixed about this park. I will not primitive camp there ever again as its not really primitive but sleeping out in a city park getting bothered then threatened by drunk/ drug addics for speaking up. Apparently they "lock" the gates at 10pm but that's a joke too.
Written July 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Austin, TX413 contributions
We camped here with a group of four couples on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, but only two couples stayed overnight--one in a tent and the other in a pop-up. You cannot reserve sites in advance, so earlier in the week one in our group drove to the park office to pay for a designated spot on the shore of Lake Austin with water/electric hook-ups. He paid for four nights even though we were only going to be there for one so he could specifically have the spot we wanted. When we went to set up camp Saturday around noon, the park office staff had mistakenly allowed another camper to have that spot. They had to move us to a less desirable spot with a camp picnic table that only had a bench on one side--where eight of us planned to eat dinner. It was horribly crowded that weekend, and every campsite was overloaded with vehicles and campers. No posted procedures/policies are enforced. Barking dogs and rowdy children ran amok over our campgrounds. The camp road is so badly marred with potholes that on our way out Sunday the camper separated from the hitch. But the very worst thing: THE BATHROOMS. These were the most disgusting facilities I've ever used. We typically camp in state parks, and the City of Austin could take a few tips from Texas Parks and Wildlife. On Sunday morning, it was much more peaceful for a few hours before kids awoke. The quiet calm of Lake Austin was very scenic, and you can't believe you're in the city. If you're looking for a cheap weekend outing with children and you're not particular about cleanliness of restrooms, then this is the place for you.
Written May 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Spicewood, TX45 contributions
Think hot summer. What do you need? How about cypress trees and cold clear lake water. That is Emma Long park. It is a little bit of a drive out to the park, at least I thought so when I was going there in the 60's and 70's, but now Austin had grown so much it just seems normal. The drive is really nice. .day or night, but I'm let you decide when to go.
There are very good dressing rooms and roped off swimming for kids on about half mile or more of beach front. All of it sandy/natural shallow entrance with gentle slope.
Picnicking under the trees by the beach just can't be beat.
Written May 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kim L
Austin, TX171 contributions
While the (free) hiking trails are a lovely escape just minutes from downtown Austin, the (paid) park grounds are quickly going downhill.

I have camped there twice in the last month with 2 different Scout groups and I was embarrassed both times by the vulgar language and music with explicit lyrics being spouted by other park patrons. I reported the loud (vulgar) music to the park rangers on one occasion, but don't know if they did anything. They didn't seem concerned.

Aside from the loud music and vulgar language used by other people in the park (which I admit is something that many state parks and other locations face), the garbage at Emma Long Park is atrocious! I've seen some trash in state parks, but Emma Long is awful! There are cigarette butts everywhere, along with bottle caps at every step. These aren't the discarded trash items from careless children, but detritus from adults who think of this park as the armpit of Austin, in spite of the trash cans every 20 feet.

It's a real shame because it used to be a lovely place for families to go for a weekend picnic, camping trip, even holiday. While the part of the park that you pay for is now hosed, ironically, the part of the park that is free (the trails, accessed by the trailhead just before the pay station) is really quite lovely! I had the opportunity to explore the hiking trails with a Scout group and we enjoyed the chellenges of the trails and were assisted by friendly hikers when we were directionally challenged. The trail signs could be improved and printed maps aren't available, but aside from that, it's a gem in the city of Austin.

Why 2 stars? I'd give it one, but the hiking trails improve the average. I will not camp there again if I can help it. :/
Written June 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Austin, TX5 contributions
It was a nice camping spot, especially for the little ones seeing that its not "rough wilderness", but don't set up near the bathrooms- bad odor & very loud at night, brightly lit too.
Written October 10, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amman, Jordan304 contributions
So glad to see so many nature enthusiasts enjoying this great place. By 9:30 on a Sunday morning in July (just before the Tuesday 7/4 holiday), it was already hot and surprisingly humid, and the parking lot was full and cars were overflowing onto the street. Lots of dogs and their people were on the trail -- some on leashes, others free to roam. Many were even already finishing up their hikes, most of them pretty sweaty. We soon joined them despite the mostly shaded trail.

Helpful park signs at the trail head focus on two things: the golden-cheeked warblers that make this habitat home and the importance of hikers' cleaning up after their dogs. Both were good to watch out for. Though I understand people would not want to carry a full doggie bag along the hike, we didn't want to step on one of those bags the owners intended to pick up on their way out.

We were among the few without dogs and we seemed to be the only birders looking for warblers. Happily, we did see one amid a foraging flock of chickadees, titmice, and wrens, despite the fairly late date. Given the height of most of the trees and the mostly obstructed views, we were lucky to see the birds as well as we did. Next time I'm looking for the species, I might choose a different location, and would either avoid a weekend or get there very early.
Written July 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gwynn C
Austin, United States36 contributions
Emma Long Metropolitan Park is my HOME PARK... I live about 3 miles from it and it's where we put in our boat. Plenty of room to maneuver your boat & trailer, one tree that you can fight to park under with the rest of the boaters and 2 wide enough ramps to back down.

Restrooms are "quasi-clean", depends on whether you come right after a BIG holiday or in the very busy summer months. I've always found them to have toilet paper and that's a WIN in my books.

Grounds need to be spruced up but it is a big park. You can camp (primitive or camper), lots of big ole Texas trees for shade along the banks of the lake (this part is Lake Austin but really its the Colorado River) and picnic - plenty of tables.

Avoid the park on major sunny holidays or during the summer... the park gets full and they do shut it down - not allowing any more cars to enter the park. I know cause there's a traffic jam at the intersection where you must turn around - just so happens to be the intersection going to my house!

Best time to visit is during the week between 7 am - 4 pm (not in the summer)... about 4 pm the water ways gets crowded when folks get off work. It's peaceful, relaxing and you can actually hear birds, squirrels and possible some of the deer.

You do have to pay as you enter the park. There's a live human most days but do have a parking kiosk where you can get your ticket.

Enjoy the park. Pack out what you take in and only leave footprints in the dirt or grass and please remember there are folks who live on the road you travel to get into the park so drive slowly.
Written August 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Austin, TX112 contributions
We camped at Emma Long this weekend.


1. Sites are cheap, and some of them are beautiful. It's worth scoping them out before you book, though, because there's a fair amount of diversity in setting, amperage, etc.
2. Great setting, with gently sloping lake bottom. So, great for swimmers of all abilities.
3. The water is cold! Like, definitely below 80. It felt great in the 100-degree weather.

1. Staff were pleasant. When I saw them. But there did not appear to be any at night at all. How do I know this? When we arrived around 8 there was a Lexus parked in our camping spot, making it impossible to park the camper. We called the 311 number, and they called us back the next day. In the meantime we did our best and diidn't strangle the Lexus dude when he came back to his car and lied to us about thinking it was his buddy's spot. The next night we were joined by some folks with lighting kits and a disco setup, which they were still running when we went to bed around midnight. As we drove by the beach around 10, there were tons of people in the water. So, seriously, can't you staff one dude to tell people the beach is closed and enforce quiet hours?
2. It didn't seem like there were enough staff, either. Sure, I saw a game warden in his car, and I saw a truck with a Travis Co. logo on it with clipboard-wielding, uniform-wearing people inside it. But the bathrooms were trashed in the morning. There was trash literally everywhere, including bottle caps from (forbidden) glass bottles. We were kind of near the overflow camping parking -- it exists! Despite the fact that lots of people just camped wherever they wanted to, and as many cars as they wanted to at their sites. But the overflow (past a sign that supposedly restricts the area to overnight guests) was full of day users fishing and swimming.
3. The check-in process is silly. You gotta use an electronic self-pay station for the day use fee, which you can't reach from your car window. But see an actual employee in the pay station for camping.
Altogether, nice location and not bad camping. But it needs about double the staff, to limit bad behavior by patrons.
Written August 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liza S
Austin, TX10 contributions
We camped here over Easter weekend. We reserved two sites. On Friday the campground was extremely crowded with over booked sites. We ended up having to put all of our friends (8 total) on one site, because other campers were on half of the second site we reserved.
The site we all shared was large and water front. There is curbside trash pick up which is nice. The campsites were clean.

-The cliff side campsites were small and sloped
-The leash rule is not enforced on small dogs. We had seven different small dogs from other sites antagonizing our dogs and chasing/growling at us all weekend. They also would come into our site and snatch our food despite reminding their owners of the leash rule.
- overcrowding. We left early on Easter due to the crowds. The park closed the gates at some point to more cars coming in for the day park, but people were parking along the road and walking in. The bathrooms were disgusting from not being able to accommodate this many people in the park. Also, there were unleashed small dogs squatting on the floors of the bathroom! There was trash everywhere in the day park and people smoking (also against the rules) lit cigarette butts were just dropped on the ground. The park staff seemed overwhelmed, but were doing their best.

Maybe this park is better when it's not a holiday weekend. I wouldn't camp there again on a holiday though.
Written May 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Austin, TX150 contributions
Very nice park, great for family gatherings or just a quick couple get away,$10 fee to enter,restrooms with showers and open air changing rooms.Built in grills/BBQ pits,sand volleyball,closed in beach swim area with to lighted piers(no life guards).
Lots of ski boats & jet ski's going by,like every 5 minutes. Lots of large shade trees,RV camping at the very end of the park,tent camping also.Busy all summer long,get there before 10 am,nice long drive to the park.
Written July 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Emma Long Metropolitan Park (Austin) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Emma Long Metropolitan Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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