The Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin does provide one of the greatest sanctuaries of any inner city hiking trail I know. The lush vegetation and depth of the valley quickly blot out any sounds of the surrounding metropolitan area and criss-crossing highways. Within minutes you can be lost from the hustle of the busy world and immersed in the outdoors.
Look closely and you can see the bird in the photo above. It took five minutes of listening closely and watching through the camera lens to finally catch the bird on a hop, but sure enough, there was the tiny wren, searching for bugs on the ground.
The well-worn trails make the hike easy, but the overhanging trees and bushes keep the intense sun from being too unbearable on hot and humid days. In a sort of labyrinthian way, the bends in the trail and the thick foliage create an adventure as one never knows what is around that turn or behind those bushes until one is upon them.
This shot down a smoothed granite gully to the creek has an almost rain forest or swampy feel to it - without the stifling humidity of either of those locations.