The City of Austin Urban Trails Program is currently developing the Shoal Creek Trail System. Once complete, this trail system will extend from Lady Bird Lake to Highway 183.
Shoal Creek Trail System Overview
First developed in the 1960s, the existing Shoal Creek Trail follows Shoal Creek for four miles, from Lady Bird Lake to 38th Street.
In 2018, the Shoal Creek Conservancy released the Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan, which was later accepted by the Austin Public Works Department. The Vision to Action Plan recommends improvements along the existing trail and proposes a nine-mile trail extension, ultimately connecting to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail north of Highway 183.
- The Shoal Creek (West Avenue to Fifth Street) Gap Project
The Shoal Creek (West Avenue to Fifth Street) Gap Project included the construction of a ten-foot concrete trail, streambank stabilization, and lighting from West Ave to Fifth Street. The project was completed in May 2018.
- Shoal Creek Restoration
The Shoal Creek Restoration project included sidewalk and trail improvements along Lamar Boulevard between 15th and 24th Streets. Construction was completed in September 2017.
- Preliminary Engineering Report:
Shoal Creek Trail Widening Project (5th to 15th Streets)
The Urban Trails Program reviewed Shoal Creek Trail for opportunities to widen the existing trail between 5th to 15th Streets. Urban Trails developed a preliminary engineering report to identify environmental constraints, such as steep slopes, stream bank improvements and floodplain considerations. See the Shoal Creek Trail (5th to 15th Streets) preliminary engineering report here. This project is not currently funded for design or construction.
- Shoal Creek Trail Repairs: 5th to 6th Streets
The Urban Trails Program and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department have completed Shoal Creek Trail maintenance between 5th and 6th Streets as of January 21, 2020. Repairs to Shoal Creek Trail between 5th and 6th Streets consisted of replacing a failing concrete slab that was tilting towards the creek.
- Shoal Creek Boulevard Improvements (38th Street to US 183)
As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond, the Austin Transportation Department completed improvements to Shoal Creek Boulevard between 38th Street and US 183. The Urban Trails Program is coordinating with Austin Transportation as part of this project. Learn more about the Austin Transportation Department’s Shoal Creek Boulevard Project.
- Shoal Creek Crossing Improvements
The Austin Public Works Urban Trails and Safe Routes to School Programs and the Austin Transportation Department partnered to improve intersection safety along Shoal Creek Trail. As recommended in the Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan, enhanced trail crossings at the following intersections are now complete at the following intersections:
- Lamar Boulevard & 29th Street: Improved visibility
- 34th Street and Shoal Creek Boulevard: Added an all-way stop
- Shoal Creek Trail Wayfinding
The Urban Trails Program and Shoal Creek Conservancy coordinated to install wayfinding signage along the trail from Lady Bird Lake north to Highway 183. Funded through the 2016 Mobility Bond, this project was completed in Spring 2023.
Upcoming & Ongoing Projects
The Urban Trails Program is currently developing projects to improve and extend the Shoal Creek Trail System.
Shoal Creek Trail Underpass at FM 2222
Austin’s Urban Trails Program, in partnership with Active Transportation and Street Design Division, will construct a 12-foot wide urban trail underneath Northland Drive (FM 2222). The underpass will create a continuous connection to on-street bikeways along Shoal Creek Blvd. and the existing parkland nature trail.
Shoal Creek Trail Connectivity Gaps (24th Street to 34th Street)
The Urban Trails Program, Watershed Protection Department, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, and Austin Transportation and Public Works Active Transportation and Street Design Division are partnering to address gaps in the Shoal Creek Trail, between 24th Street and 34th Street. In February 2024 this project was announced to be funded and moving forward with changes in response to community feedback. Visit the project page for more information.