The Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a beloved landmark in the city of Austin, Texas, offering stunning views of Lady Bird Lake and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Depending on who you speak to, you might even hear it referred to by a few different names: The Town Lake Trail, The Lady Bird Trail, or the Roy and Ann butler Hike and Bike trail... either way we're all referring to the same beautiful community path located adjacent to downtown Austin Texas.
The origins of the trail can be traced back to the early 1970s when a group of community leaders, led by former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, spearheaded efforts to beautify the area around the Colorado River. At the time, the river was largely neglected, with few amenities or recreational opportunities for residents to enjoy. Today, the trail is a popular destination for joggers, bikers, and walkers, who come to enjoy the stunning natural beauty for various outdoor activities.
For runners, clubs, coaches, and races in Austin, the trail is no doubt an accepted home base for the running community. The fast and flat terrain stretches for over 10 miles, and it's possible to create various loops of different lengths and difficulties, depending on one's preference and fitness level.
One of the most popular loops on the trail is the 1.3-mile loop around the lake's western end, starting at the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge and heading south to the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. This section of the trail is relatively flat and paved, making it ideal for beginners or those looking for a shorter, easier walk or jog.
Another popular loop is the 3-mile loop around the lake's eastern end, starting at the Longhorn Dam and heading north to the Congress Avenue Bridge. This section of the trail is also paved and relatively flat, with beautiful views of the lake and the downtown Austin skyline.
For those looking for a more challenging workout, the entire 10-mile loop around the lake is a great option. This loop includes both the western and eastern sections of the trail and offers a mix of paved and unpaved paths. This loop provides a great opportunity for cyclists and runners looking for a longer, more intense workout.
All are welcome here. If you're from out of town, try out the Town Lake Trail when you're in Austin, and have a casual run, long run, tempo run, or anything in between!
You'll likely find good company!