Austin weather is pleasant for walking in spring and fall with warm weather. Winters are colder, although temperatures tend to stay above freezing. Occasional freezing rain can occur during colder months, making walkways slippery and treacherous for dog walkers and their pets. Wait until surfaces thaw or make sure you have footwear with good traction when walking on slippery surfaces.
Summers are very hot and dry. Extreme heat can result in sun stroke or heat exhaustion if pedestrians are not careful. Make sure you and your dog are well hydrated, sheltered from the sun, and do not overexert yourselves in high heat conditions. Severe storms are also a concern in Austin. Check forecasts for storms and take shelter when storms with high winds are imminent.
Riverside is bordered by the Colorado River on the north side, Interstate 35 on the west side, E Oltorf Street on the south, and Pleasant Valley Road on the east. The riverfront is a dominant feature and is lined with greenways and walking trails.
The neighborhood has a commercial thoroughfare with more traffic and less landscaping present, but most of the district is residential with apartment complexes, condominium developments, and single-family homes. Some areas have sidewalks, and some do not. If you find yourself walking where there are no separate pedestrian ways, be vigilant and keep your pup leashed.
Riverside is situated on mostly level ground with some hills and inclines, although hills are not very steep nor difficult to walk up and down. There is natural landscaping in the area and one of the apartment complexes has a small lake associated with it. Private properties are well landscaped and shade trees provide some shelter on hot summer days.
Riverside canines are fortunate to have a dedicated dog park just to the northwest. The Norwood Estate Dog Park has separate enclosed areas for large and small dogs with double gates for extra safety. The main area has some shade trees to provide shelter.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail provides access to the dog park and runs along the river to Lakeshore Park. The trail is 10 miles long in total and is a multi-use path. Lakeshore Park is located along the river and has treed areas and open lawns with a walking trail running around it. To the east, the Roy G. Guerrero Park has lots of recreational facilities, sports fields, volleyball courts, a BMX track, a playground, disc golf course, and trails throughout.
Heritage Oaks Neighborhood Park is a smaller park on the southwest corner of Riverside with open and treed areas, picnic sites, and a paved trail where you can walk your leashed pet.