Drive through the Steiner Ranch community and just about 5 miles down Quinlan Park Road. But before you drive into Lake Austin at Mary Quinlan Park, you’ll want to take a left on Selma Hughes Road.
As you wind around and down towards the shoreline of Lake Austin the first thing you’ll see is a parking lot that may be home to one of the last payphones in the Lake Travis area … and a sign of when the park was last updated (maybe all Travis County Parks have payphones).
Not to worry, this park is not one to visit for modern-day conveniences. It’s a chance to get away and relax along the shores of beautiful Lake Austin. Drive past the upper parking lot to the lower lot that opens up to views of the lake. You don’t even have to get out of your car if you just want to grab a lunch break and an afternoon siesta in your car seat.
There are several picnic tables and spots for grilling spread throughout the park and plenty of trees for a shaded picnic. With over 400 feet of grassy and sandy shoreline — and no boat ramps — it’s the perfect spot for wading and floating in the cooler waters of Lake Austin.
The summer water temps are usually somewhere in the 70-80 degree range even during the peak of heat. And the easy access makes its a great spot for fishing with your little ones.
The real estate around Selma Hughes Park has some interesting history. Once you arrive at the park, take a look across Lake Austin and you’ll notice a modern reinterpretation of a Texas lake house sitting on a large meadow. This 6,380 square foot “bungalow” is owned by 6D Ranch LTD, a Dell-controlled entity. Say “hi” to Michael Dell and his family if you happen to see them hanging out on the dock.
There are just a few properties along the road to the park, including the grand estate that you’ll pass just before you arrive. Everyone seems to know about the home that has been on and off the market over the past eight years with prices that have ranged from $13.5 million to $6.9 million.
These few properties will soon have neighbors as the last available large parcel of land on Lake Austin and along Selma Hughes Road is being developed into a residential community with 131 home sites known as McCormick Ranch.
On weekdays, you can usually drive up to an empty parking lot at this small five acre park. Most visitors are from the surrounding neighborhoods of Steiner Ranch and River Ridge, the community down and around the shores of Lake Austin.
Selma Hughes is a day use park so ground fires are prohibited. And remember, public display of the consumption of alcohol is prohibited (that just means you need to have it wrapped up in a koozie).
There are a lot of changes taking place around the area, but I hope this quiet little park stays just like it is — payphone and all.
Selma Hughes Park
11921 Selma Hughes Park Rd. Austin, TX 78732 (map)
Sunrise to dark