The Austin Public Works 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.
- Shoal Creek Gap Project
The Shoal Creek Gap Project included the construction of a ten-foot concrete trail, streambank stabilization, and lighting from West Ave to 5th St. 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
Upcoming & Ongoing Projects
The Urban Trails Program is currently developing projects to improve and extend the Shoal Creek Trail System.
Shoal Creek Wayfinding Project
The Urban Trails Program and Shoal Creek Conservancy are coordinating to install wayfinding signage along the trail from Lady Bird Lake north to Highway 183. Funded through the 2016 Mobility Bond, this project is anticipated to begin in late 2022.
Shoal Creek Conservancy has been closely coordinating with the City to improve wayfinding along Shoal Creek Trail, and the Conservancy outlined wayfinding as a key priority in their 2018 Vision to Action Plan. This project is being completed in coordination with the Austin Transportation Department’s Shoal Creek Boulevard project.
Shoal Creek Trail Connectivity Gaps (24th Street to 34th Street)
The Urban Trails Program, Watershed Protection Department, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Transportation's Active Transportation and Street Design Division, and the Shoal Creek Conservancy are partnering to address gaps in the Shoal Creek Trail, between 24th Street and 34th Street.
Sections currently being studied include:
- 24th Street to 2800 Shoal Creek Boulevard: A landslide in May of 2018 destroyed a section of the Shoal Creek trail from 24th Street to 2600 Shoal Creek Blvd. The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department is coordinating projects in response to the landslide. The project team is working to identify a suitable detour route. See the Watershed Protection Department’s Shoal Creek Slope Failure project webpage to learn more.
- 29th Street to 31st Street: Currently, a narrow, natural surface trail serves hikers, but is not accessible to users of all ages and abilities. Those following the Shoal Creek Urban Trail are rerouted to a narrow sidewalk. The project team is evaluating options to expand the sidewalk section of this trail, between 30th and 31st street.
- Lamar Boulevard to 34th Street: Currently, the Shoal Creek Trail ends at 31st Street, where trail users must walk or bike along 31st Street. The nature trail reconnects near Wabash Avenue, but the segment of trail from Wabash to 34th Street includes steep grades and a low water crossing. To create a route that is accessible for all ages and abilities, the project team is evaluating options to provide a safe and continuous route for people walking and biking between Lamar Boulevard and 34th Street.
Share your feedback on Shoal Creek Trail!
- Submit questions and comments about this project
- Request a presentation from the project team for your group or organization