The Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail
By Gerald E. McLeod, Fri., Aug. 29, 2014
Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail is a nice little 7.3-mile trip along the greener edge of Austin. Opened this summer, the trail is Austin's longest paved non-motor-vehicular pathway.
The 10-foot-wide sidewalk mostly follows the wooded creek bed from Govalle Park east of Downtown near Airport Boulevard and Bolm Road to Johnny Morris Road just shy of U.S. 290. It then connects to another trail that goes two miles to Lindell Lane. Eventually, it will meet with the Manor Express Trail and take you to Manor High School.
The federally funded, $10-million project took almost two years to build, says Nadia Barrera, an urban trail program manager with the city. The trail is ADA-compliant and great fun for walkers and riders of all skill levels. "It's not the place to ride your bike 30 mph," she says. But you can reach good speeds in long sections.
The trail has some special places, like the boardwalk near Govalle Park that goes along Boggy Creek under U.S. 183 and comes around to the railroad bridge. The north end tunnels through a field of sunflowers before circling a field with a way station provided by the farmer. There is only one really steep section, but overall it's faster and easier going south on the trail.
The trail was completed in August with a grand opening planned for Oct. 25 at Govalle Park. To find a list of Austin trails, go to www.austintexas.gov/page/trail-directory.
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