Things to Do

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail in Austin is a Sight for Sore Eyes in the Hill Country

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Texas Hill Country hikers, sightseers, bikers, and dog walkers should check out Austin’s own Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at least once in their active lives! The City of Austin and The Trail Foundation coordinated the boardwalk extension of Austin’s hike-and-bike trail and announced its grand opening in the spring of 2014, and since then, it’s been a welcome component to the outdoor lifestyle of many a Hill Country resident along with a number of Austin tourists.

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-And-Bike Trail in Austin is a Sight for Sore Eyes in the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/The 704

Set around the perimeter of Lady Bird Lake, the 10-mile hike-and-bike trail underwent a beautification project during the 1970s with the support of then-First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who was known for her pursuit of such projects and took those in Texas directly to heart. Ann and Roy Butler were integral in this project; Roy as Mayor of Austin (elected in 1971 and re-elected two years later) and Ann as an instrumental member of the Town Lake Beautification Committee. The Butlers, together with Lady Bird Johnson, Les Gage, Betty Wilson, Carolyn Curtis, Lou Neff, and Joy Scott, as well as many others formed the committee to beautify the banks of what was then known as “Town Lake,” now Lady Bird Lake. At that time, the banks of the lake were extremely polluted, barren, and weed-covered.

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-And-Bike Trail in Austin is a Sight for Sore Eyes in the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Vinchel Budihardjo

In 2003, the Town Lake Trail Foundation (now called The Trail Foundation) was developed to continue to ensure that the Trail remained one of Austin’s outstanding places to visit. Since then, the city, together with the Trail Foundation, has maintained its beauty and added to its offering as an urban path, lush with greenery, meandering along the water but also passing by outdoor recreation facilities, entire neighborhoods, skyscrapers, and cultural attractions. Seeing more than 2.6 million visitors per year, the 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is recognized as one of Austin’s most popular recreational areas, and with the Boardwalk extension, which closed the 1.3-mile gap in the trail near I-35, the trail facilitates safe and continued access to those sections east of the Interstate. For more information regarding the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail in Austin, visit The Trail Foundation online, and plan your trip around the lake in Austin.

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