Forging a Path in South Austin

A new path is being forged in South Austin. In 2006, planning of the Violet Crown Trail began. Its purpose is to create the first regional trail system in Central Texas. After years of strategic land acquisition and planning the first six-mile segment opened, and HCC’s vision is becoming a reality.

The Violet Crown Trail, which will eventually extend from Zilker Park to Hays County, is part of an effort to give Austin residents greater access to natural areas and inspire them to care for Central Texas land and wildlife.

“When people spend time on land it helps them make that connection between land preservation and clean air and water,” said Romey Swanson, Hill Country Conservancy’s Conservation Project Manager.

Six miles of the trail are now open starting in Zilker Park to Highway 290 at Brodie Lane. Future additions will connect to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and City of Austin Water Quality Protection Lands in Hays County. Upon completion, the trail will total thirty miles and become the longest of its kind in Central Texas.

When asked about the best spots Travis Audubon members might enjoy, Swanson recommended “the stretch between the 290 Trailhead at Brodie Lane and the 360 Trailhead. This stretch is usually a bit quieter and less trafficked. However, birders should expect good opportunities along any portion of the current six miles.”

You can learn more about the Violet Crown Trail and see maps at If you visit April 14 -18 be sure to help document Austin species for the City Nature Challenge!