Safely opening access to preserved land, amenities, and neighbors
When Hill Country Conservancy wanted to provide access and connectivity to natural areas, neighborhoods, and a library, our goal was clear: unify 30 miles of trail stretching from downtown Austin’s Zilker Park and south across two counties to connect people with preserved land, amenities, and each other.
The greatest challenge thus far has been mitigating public and private goals for the official route of the system which, for the first five miles, runs through Barton Creek Wilderness Park. In 2016, the first six-mile segment opened and has been an overwhelming success. After each segment installation, the location is geolocated and incorporated into a database for all emergency response groups to increase the trail’s level of safety.
More than a path in the woods, the trail system will be a place for education, exercise, understanding, appreciation of the Texas landscape, and community gathering. It will also connect existing trail networks that crisscross many greenbelts, rivers, lakes, and parks throughout Austin that are currently isolated from each other. Once complete, Hill Country Conservancy’s Violet Crown Regional Trail System—the largest of its kind in Central Texas—will allow first-time access to over 23,500 acres of preserved land.
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