AUSTIN (KXAN) — The popular 10-mile-long Ann & Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail that wraps around Lady Bird Lake and attracts 5 million people a year is showing signs of erosion.
“The water is one of the biggest draws that we have in the city, right? said Grady Reed with The Trail Conservancy. “It’s hot, people want to get out, they want to get on the water.”
But it’s how some people are getting to the water that has eroded parts of the trail said Grady.
“We don’t think it’s intentional, right? You’re on the trail, you see the water you want to get in, or you maybe don’t want to carry your kayak that far. I think it’s just human nature,” said Reed. That decision can ruin the nature around them.
“The primary erosion is between the trail and the water and it happens when people are kind of creating informal access points to water,” said Reed.
“We have 8 official entry points along the trail that are stabilized and safe for people to access the water.”
The Trail Conservancy is in charge of operating and maintaining the trail and says it is doing its part by working with The Watershed Protection Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Parks and Recreation “to help stabilize the shoreline and help plant native species and really help create a more resilient trail for the city.”
Trail users are also asked to do their part by using the official entry points to Lady Bird Lake to stop trail erosion and for their own safety.
“The hazards can also be poison ivy. You’re walking into a woodland—you don’t know what you’re gonna find, and then the heat of the summer. There’s also algae that forms on the edges of the lake.”
If you want to donate to help The Trail Conservancy maintain the trail or volunteer, click here: https://thetrailconservancy.org/about-ttc/