The city of Austin is one of the most popular vacation destinations in all of Texas due to its unique and quirky local culture. Here is where many national trends have started: vintage shopping, craft beers, and more. What many people don’t realize is that Austin is also a city of great beauty and many opportunities to commune with nature. For those who love the outdoors, the Ann and Roy Butler Boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake is a must visit!
Along the Colorado River resides Lady Bird Lake. This river-like reservoir was created in 1960 as cooling pond for the local power plant and was named after former First Lady of the United State, Lady Bird Johnson. The shoreline along the lake was, for many years, an unkempt eyesore. However, in 2007, the city of Austin rallied around the lake to make it a point of pride in the city. That is when the planning for the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail and Boardwalk began.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, named after a former mayor of Austin and his wife, is one of the most popular destinations in the downtown area of Austin, with over 2.6 million visitors each year! The project began in 2007 to revitalize the area, and now there exists a 10-mile loop for walking, hiking, and biking along the beautiful Lady Bird Lake. This urban path allows its visitors views of the skyscrapers in downtown, the natural lush of the lakeside environment, and allows you to interact with folks from all walks of life. However, the true gem of the Hike and Bike Trail is the Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk portion of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail was a project nearly 20 years in the making. Finally completed in 2014, this 1.4-mile boardwalk links the south end of the trail and creates a perfect loop around Lady Bird Lake. This $28 million project brings this area of Austin to life and is truly a point of pride for the city. The 7,260-foot boardwalk is also an impressive feat of engineering. The boardwalk is open daily from 5am until midnight.
In addition to being a great place to walk and enjoy the scenery of downtown Austin, the Ann and Roy Butler Boardwalk features a public art project entitled Belt It Out. The Boardwalk features an installation of 36 bronze-cast Western style belts that are an homage to the cowboy spirit of Texas. Check out these Small Group Guided Tours!
Photo By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59637737