Conceptual routes mapped for new regional trail through San Marcos, Buda and Kyle

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance president Mark Taylor presents Hays County commissioners with an update on the regional trail.

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance president Mark Taylor presents Hays County commissioners with an update on the regional trail.

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and its partners are steadily moving forward on a plan to connect San Marcos to Austin's Violet Crown Trail, with conceptual routes drawn and stakeholder meetings planned for later this spring.

The nonprofit Greenbelt Alliance, now in its 20th year, is spearheading the regional hike-and-bike trail, which—along with its partners Hays County and the cities of Kyle, San Marcos and Buda—it named the Emerald Crown Trail. Greenbelt Alliance president Mark Taylor presented Hays County commissioners today with an update on the trail's progress.

"This trail will be to get people from one place to another," Taylor said, adding transportation was its primary goal. "I think we will ultimately find—if we're able to put this project together—that our communities [will be] connected more closely. That includes not just the three cities but the rural areas."

The trail will likely accommodate two-way traffic and have varying surface levels depending on the topography, Taylor said.

Last fall, the alliance enlisted the help of Texas State University geography students to analyze and map several potential trails that connect to existing San Marcos natural areas and to Violet Crown in South Austin.

A workgroup consisting of the aforementioned partners and several stakeholder groups including the Hill Country Conservancy, The Meadows Center, Take-a-Hike San Marcos, Texas State and Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, have agreed it would not use eminent domain to secure trail rights-of-way.

"We have saddled ourselves with that opportunity and responsibility rather than having property taken away from private landowners without their consent," he said.

The three cities and Hays County would have jurisdiction over the trail and be responsible for part of the construction funding, maintenance and trail operation, according to Taylor.

The alliance is applying for grant funding and recently received an award from the The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, which will provide technical outreach and planning services.

Taylor said the next steps include holding community workshops in Kyle, Buda and San Marcos; developing a conceptual and master plan; identifying funding sources; and determining a design and construction schedule.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Marie Albiges

Marie Albiges was the editor for the San Marcos, Buda and Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covered San Marcos City Council, San Marcos CISD and Hays County Commissioners Court. Marie previously reported for the Central Austin edition. Marie moved to Austin from Williamsburg, Va. in 2016 and was born in France. She has since moved on from Community Impact in May 2018.


MOST RECENT

Students at Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute in East Austin point to their classmate holding the red bag, whose artwork is featured on the new electric bus. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro sets ambitious goal to eventually replace all 423 buses with electric versions

Starting Jan. 26, riders can ride the new electric buses, which will rotate among routes.

(Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Council members divided over hire of outside attorney in property protest rights lawsuit

Some City Council members said taxpayer dollars should not be used to fight taxpayer interests.

While a new story is scheduled to open in South Austin this March, the H-E-B located at 600 W William Cannon Drive, Austin, will close this spring. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
South Austin H-E-B openings, closings and renovations expected in 2020

2020 is slated to be a year of major development for H-E-B in the South Austin area, with projects totaling $200 million.

Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Central Health will explore minimum wage bumps for its employees

The health care district is considering increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Austin EyeWorks gains new leadership as longtime doctor retires

An Oak Hill optometry office has welcomed a new eye doctor.

Construction on Sunset Valley city facilities including its new police building were completed in the early summer of 2019, but problems persist with its water features. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sunset Valley to withhold payment until city facility pond issues are resolved

Sunset Valley will withhold between $200,000-$250,000 in payments for its new water quality pond.

A photo of the exterior of Dripping Springs City Hall.
Neighborhood Note: Dripping Springs appoints the city’s first full-time attorney

Dripping Springs City Council has named Laura Mueller city attorney.

An aerial rendering of the schematic design for Dripping Springs ISD's fifth elementary school.
Plans progress on Dripping Springs ISD bond projects, new school construction in 2020

Construction will move forward at several Dripping Springs ISD school sites, both new and existing, this year.

(Courtesy Whataburger)
Whataburger opens new location on East Oltorf Street

This is the burger chain's 19th location in Austin.

Travis County commissioners participated in budget hearings during the fiscal year 2018-19 budget process. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal District board will host in-person meetings for informal protests in 2020

The Travis Central Appraisal District board of trustees voted to bring back in-person meetings for informal protests this year.

Residents can expect mailers to arrive by mid-March requesting they participate in the 2020 census. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Austin-Travis County officials establish nonprofit to raise funds to support complete census count

Officials in Austin and Travis County have formed a complete count committee to support the 2020 census effort.

Austin Transportation installed "No parking" signs in 2019 on South Congress Avenue to discourage illegal parking in bicycle lanes. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Austin to start issuing tickets to drivers who park in bike-only lanes in effort to improve safety

Drivers who illegal park in a bicycle lane could receive a $300 fine and have their vehicles towed.

Back to top