Riding the Zilker Eagle: Guide to Austin’s Mini Train

There’s a new mini train in Central Austin! The Zilker Eagle is running in Zilker Park starting June 12, 2024. The brightly colored train is a perfect activity for families and great for visitors since it’s close to downtown.

If you’re planning a visit to the new train, here’s what you need to know about the Zilker Eagle.

Riding the Zilker Eagle

Where is the Zilker Eagle?

The Zilker Eagle is in Zilker Park, Austin’s oldest metropolitan park, in the middle of Austin. You can find the ticket booth between the Zilker Park playground and Barton Springs.

The address for the train depot is 2131 1/2 William Barton Drive.

What is the ride like?

The train ride lasts 10 or 15 minutes and takes you from the train depot near Barton Springs down to Lou Neff Point, where it turns around and you get a glimpse of skyline.

During the ride, you go through a rainbow-painted tunnel twice, under the playground and through another dark (but not very dark) tunnel where you can see that each train car has a colored light underneath that matches the color of the train car.

Zilker Eagle

Where do I park for the Zilker Eagle?

The closest parking lots to the Zilker Eagle train depot are the Zilker playscape parking lot or the north lot for Barton Springs (closed currently through early 2025 due to bathhouse renovations). We parked at the Pecan Grove Picnic Area parking lot (east of the playscape parking lot), and it was a quick 5-minute walk.

Other options are the Rock Garden parking lot or Moon Tower Parking Lot. Most parking lots in Zilker are paid, so you may have to pay $7 at one of the lots’ pay stations.

How much does the Zilker Eagle cost?

Tickets for the Zilker Eagle are $6 each. Free rides will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month, according to the Austin Parks Foundation.

What are the Zilker Eagle hours?

You can ride the train between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. There are two to three rides scheduled each hour, and the rides last about 15 minutes.

Zilker Eagle train depot

What happened to the old Zilker mini train?

The first mini train in Zilker Park was the Austin Eagle, starting in 1961. The most recent version of the train was the Zilker Zephyr, which ran from 1997 until 2019 when it closed due to some erosion that affected the tracks.

Some contract renewal disagreements saw the train management change hands to Austin Parks Foundation, the parks nonprofit that eventually got the new train running in 2024.

Want more central Austin activities to do with kids? Check out the troll sculpture in Pease Park or jump in Barton Springs.

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