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Emma Long Metropolitan Park

48 Reviews

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

48 Reviews
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Michael V wrote a review Nov 2019
Austin, Texas6 contributions1 helpful vote
Emma Long is a little gem hidden in the heart of Austin hills. We camped alongside the Colorado for a week and might have been in the wilderness. The hikes were easy, dog friendly and pretty. Ablutions are somewhat scant and far from the camping area though. Highly recommend this hidden little gem.
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Date of experience: November 2019
flowerpickle wrote a review Apr 2019
Austin, Texas27 contributions8 helpful votes
Our first time ever staying over the weekend with our RV , jet ski and dog. We had a blast was too cold and windy all weekend but we already booked our next stay. Very clean friendly staff clean best view ever.
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Date of experience: April 2019
Gwynn C wrote a review Aug 2018
Austin, United States36 contributions10 helpful votes
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.
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Date of experience: August 2018
AthensNikita wrote a review Aug 2018
Austin, Texas111 contributions76 helpful votes
We camped at Emma Long this weekend. Pros: 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. Cons: 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.
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Date of experience: August 2018
2 Helpful votes
Kim L wrote a review Jun 2018
Austin, Texas170 contributions97 helpful votes
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. :/
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Date of experience: May 2018
4 Helpful votes