A fantastic loop around a beautiful lake in the heart of Austin


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Lady Bird Lake is a dammed-up reservoir in the Colorado River, where it flows through downtown Austin, Texas.

While originally created "in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new city power plant," the 416-acre lake is now a hotbed of recreation in the heart of the city.

([Source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Lake)) Paddlers and rowers frequent the lake's waters, but along the shore, walkers, runners, and cyclists will find a fantastic network of wide bike paths and gravel trails.

The main trail is actually known as the "Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail," but that name's a mouthful, and most people simply call this the "Lady Bird Lake Loop." The Ann and Roy Butler trail forms the main spine of the loop, but it connects to the large system of bike paths and greenways that run throughout Austin and connect to other nearby parks.

The trail itself consists of a mixture of paved greenway paths, wide non-motorized gravel paths, and several lengthy sections of boardwalk that run across a series of pylons sunk into the lakebed.

The most notable 1-mile-long section of boardwalk is an incredible feat of engineering—and an expensive one at that.

[According to Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Lake), it cost $28 million to construct this section of boardwalk, which was critical for finally linking the entire loop together in 2014. Almost the entirety of this loop is traffic-free, except for one short section that crosses a few residential roads on the southeastern end of the loop.

Having access to a 10.4-mile non-motorized trail in the heart of a metropolis of over 2 million people is an absolutely incredible resource, and one that many locals and tourists alike take advantage of.

The trail is veritably crowded with hikers, dog walkers, runners, and cyclists of all stripes on any day of the week.

You'll even spot longboarders, skateboarders, roller skaters and rollerbladers, one-wheelers, and more using the trail.

Thanks to the trail's incredible popularity, you'll need to remain constantly vigilant of other trail users.

However, if you can negotiate the crowds, you'll enjoy beautiful views and access to Austin's vibrant downtown scene directly from the Lady Bird Lake Loop.

This is truly a special trail!