After summer of increased use, Violet Crown Trail work to resume this fall in South Austin

A section of the Violet Crown Trail runs through the Barton Creek Greenbelt north of W. Hwy. 290. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
A section of the Violet Crown Trail runs through the Barton Creek Greenbelt north of W. Hwy. 290. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

A section of the Violet Crown Trail runs through the Barton Creek Greenbelt north of W. Hwy. 290. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The Violet Crown Trail will be built through the city of Sunset Valley. (Courtesy city of Austin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Although work on the Violet Crown Trail stalled during the coronavirus pandemic, the Hill Country Conservancy and the city of Austin are planning to begin construction again this fall and winter across South Austin.

The trail, once completed, will connect Zilker Park with South Travis County and into Hays County through a continuous, 30-mile system of nature, neighborhood and urban trails. In 2019, sections of the trail in the Sendera neighborhood were completed, as were sections along the SH 45 SW toll road.

Adrienne Longenecker, the Hill Country Conservancy's chief operating officer, said the next phase will establish trail connecting points south of Slaughter Lane. One section will improve the trail that connects the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to Slaughter Creek. The trail near the wildflower center will also extend west, under MoPac and to Escarpment Boulevard in Circle C Ranch, she said.

“We're really excited to get that piece of construction going and have been working diligently with the city of Austin to get that moving,” she said. “I'm hopeful construction will start this fall, if not early next year.”

Construction permits were also extended in Sunset Valley this summer, and work within Sunset Valley city limits will begin in early 2021.


While the pandemic has slowed some construction and fundraising efforts, Longenecker said the trail has seen increased use this summer.

Even with social distancing guidelines in place and reservations being required on trail sections in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, since April, the trail has averaged about 10,000 monthly users. That number is more than double the 4,000-5,000 monthly users seen last summer, according to city of Austin data.

“People are definitely using the Violet Crown Trail more than ever,” Longenecker said. “They're using it with their families; they're using it for their own mental health, their own physical health; and really, I think that's Southwest Austin [residents] getting out and exploring the trail and learning how it connects to the parks.”

The Hill Country Conservancy is also planning socially distanced fundraising events for the fall and will continue to offer virtual guided hikes of the Violet Crown Trail to connect with the community, Longenecker said.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


MOST RECENT

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Austin government, nonprofit and business leaders recently participated in a weeks-long summit centered on unsheltered homelessness in the city. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house 3,000 homeless individuals in Austin in the next three years would cost $515 million

The plan Austin City Council members discussed April 20 emerged from a weekslong community-wide summit on homelessness.

Photo of Zilker Park
Travis County establishes Civilian Climate Corps to tackle environmental projects

The program will create opportunities for residents to work on projects including wildfire prevention, solar energy promotion and park cleanups.

Residents march to the Texas Capitol in protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

At an in-person information session at the Austin Community College Pinnacle campus April 17, Colorado River Constructors spokesperson Laurie Simmons said the campus is the company’s preferred choice for a batch concrete plant. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
'No toxic batch plant': Southwest Austin residents protest proposed Pinnacle site for Oak Hill Parkway concrete production

Colorado River Constructors officials said the ACC Pinnacle site would be the safest and least impactful to local residents.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard speaks to reporters March 13 at the Delco Actiity Center in Northeast Austin. Residents can walk up to the Delco Center on April 22 and 23 and receive vaccines without an appointment. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Public Health will accept walk-up vaccinations at the Delco Activity Center starting April 22

APH will also leave its registration portal open throughout most of the week.

Early voting for the May 1 election runs April 19-27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports 500 votes in first day of early voting

Education-related election items in Hays County include $443.5 million in bonds as well as city council positions, school board seats and municipal utility district directors.

Early voting for Travis County's May 1 local elections opened April 19. In this file photo, voters line up ahead of the 2020 primary elections at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 8,000 Travis County voters cast ballots on first day of early voting

Early voting for the county's May 1 election began April 19 and will run through April 27.

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin vaccine updates: Demand slows as state begins marketing push

Appointments are beginning to go unfilled, and local health officials say demand has caught up to supply. All adults in the U.S. are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Photo of two performers on an outdoor SXSW stage
South by Southwest sells ownership stake in company to Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corp.

SXSW leadership called the sale a "lifeline" for the conference and festivals.

The Southwest Austin median home price topped $500,000 for the first time in March. (Nicholas Cicale/Community impact Newspaper)
SW Austin median home price reaches $530,000 in March, up 32.8% from last year

The median home price topped $500,000 for the first time in March.