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What you need to know about the 2023 State of the Trail

Let’s take a look back at what improvements the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail saw in 2023, and have a sneak peek into what the future holds in 2024.

View of the Austin, Texas skyline from the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.

View of the Austin skyline from the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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We’re hot on the trail — the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

It’s been 20 years since the Trail Conservancy began caring for the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Looking at the organization’s 2023 State of the Trail report, let’s peek into what the last year has held for the trail.

A look back on 2023

A goat standing in the brush of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.

The Trail Conservancy brings the goats back as-needed to clear the brush.

Photo by ATXtoday

A 20-year anniversary and dozens of events later, it’s been a busy year for the Trail Conservancy. These are a few of the projects that changed the trail over the last year.

  • Cumulative investments into the trail and adjacent parkland reached $24 million since 2003.
  • A herd of 150 goats from Rent-a-Ruminant cleared 15.4 acres of poison ivy and other invasive plants on the trail.
  • The Butler Shores Exercise Enhancement was unveiled, including brand new equipment, a solar-powered drinking fountain, and a seating plaza.
  • Construction on the Rainey Street Trailhead began — crews planted 7,635 new plants and saplings, picked up 18,000+ pounds of trash, and spread 485 cubic yards of mulch.
  • The Trail Conservancy reported that 3,802 volunteers worked 72 events, equivalent to 8,000 hours of work or $225,000 in labor support.
  • The Arts + Culture Plan was introduced, ending a 10-year moratorium on arts on the Butler Trail.
  • The Virtual 360 Tour launched — take the tour here.

Looking ahead to 2024

ATX_SeaholmWaterfront.png

The Trail Conservancy plans to transform the once abandoned Seaholm Waterfront building into a community space with a cafe, public space, and Wi-Fi.

Photo by ATXtoday

That’s just the beginning — 2024 is already looking busy for the Trail Conservancy. Some items in the pipeline:

  • Continued implementation of the Arts + Culture Plan, which entails creating site-specific art installations along the trail including The Current Underneath and Fortlandia
  • Completing the Rainey Street Trailhead project
  • Beginning the Holly Project shoreline and habitat restoration, which will include a fishing pier, native plant and urban forest restoration, and additional seating
  • The Seaholm Waterfront Project, the ongoing transformation of an orphaned building into a community space
  • Seeking funding for the Green Stormwater Infrastructure for phase one at Festival Beach
  • Enhanced signage through the Comprehensive Signage Plan
  • Appointing leadership, which includes finding a new Park Grounds Manager and new CEO

What would you like to see at the Trail in 2024? Let us know.

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