Transforming Austin’s oldest Hike & Bike trail

View the Shoal Creek Trail Plan

View the Plan Appendices

Imagine walking or riding your bike on a continuous path from downtown Austin all the way up to the Domain.

The Vision

Currently the existing Shoal Creek Trail is 3.9 miles that follows the creek from 38th Street to Lady Bird Lake, providing a pathway for cyclists, walkers and runners. The Shoal Creek Trail Plan lays the foundation for major project improvements as well as extending the Shoal Creek Trail by nearly 9 miles to the north. Additionally, the Plan calls for connecting the Shoal Creek Trail to the Walnut Creek Trail, north of Highway 183 which ultimately will become part of a 30-mile continuous “Big Loop” of urban trails traversing the city from Lady Bird Lake to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

The Shoal Creek Trail is important to the community because it gives people an opportunity to experience a green oasis in the middle of a bustling downtown corridor, thereby enhancing Austin as a place to both work and play. Among the many offerings that the Shoal Creek Trail brings to Austinites, one of the most useful is the option to take green transportation route through the city; allowing for a safe, bikeable and walkable commute route that also aids in taking cars off the road and bettering Austin’s infamous traffic problems.

Shoal Creek Conservancy envisions a continuous network of green spaces stretching throughout the watershed, connected by hike-and-bike trails in a healthy habitat. With more green space and a greener built environment, native plants and animals will flourish. Restored, enhanced, and celebrated, Shoal Creek will shine even more brightly as a central part of our city’s cultural heritage. The watershed will become a dynamic, safe, well-cared-for geographical area that improves the lives of residents and visitors.

Shoal Creek Conservancy partnered with the City of Austin’s Public Works Department and many community stakeholders to create the Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan, which will lay the groundwork for making major improvements to the Trail and extending it northward past Highway 183.

Support the vision today with a donation to Shoal Creek Conservancy.


Plan of Action

The Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan will guide the following efforts to transform the Trail:

  • Improve the existing Trail. The Plan identifies key locations for trail amenities such as mile markers, maps, drinking fountains, and restrooms, and identifies key gaps in City of Austin trail improvement projects currently underway. The Plan also provides a cohesive, community-developed vision for the Trail that will guide its overall look and feel and shape the design of priority projects.
  • Extend the Shoal Creek Trail from Lady Bird Lake to the Shoal Creek headwaters near Highway 183. When complete, the Trail will span 13 miles and link destinations such as the Domain, Pickle Research Center, the University of Texas, and Downtown Austin. The new Trail will expand Austin’s urban trail network by connecting the Shoal Creek Trail to the Walnut Creek Trail to the north and to the Butler Hike and Bike Trail and the regional Violet Crown Trail to the south.
  • Connect the Trail to the community. The improved Trail will create a green transportation coordinate that connects neighborhoods, schools and popular parks and major employment centers. It will provide opportunities for our kids and families to explore the natural world of Shoal Creek and connect people to the history of Austin, which can be told along the banks of the creek.


Although the official comments period is closed, we always welcome and appreciate your thoughts and feedback

Thank you to the project team – the City of Austin Public Works Department, McCann Adams Studio, Siglo Group and Fermata, Inc. – and the Technical Advisory Group and Community Advisory Group for guiding the creation of this Plan. Thank you also to the generous project supporters: Downtown Austin Alliance, Jack and Carolyn Long, Constructive Ventures, Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund, St. David’s Foundation, The Powell Foundation, Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation Fund.

Public Input Process


The Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan is the result of a yearlong public process facilitated in partnership with the City of Austin Public Works Department. Thank you to the diverse stakeholders that guided the development of the Plan, including the 70+ member Community Advisory Group, the Technical Advisory Group comprised of more than 10 public entities, and a team of skilled consultants.

The Planning Process

Over the past year, the Conservancy and the Public Works Department presented the Plan to City Council, as well as to relevant boards and commissions. View the summary presentation here or see the public engagement strategies used to incorporate the local community’s ideas. Previous presentations and meetings:

  • Historic Landmark Commission – Monday, June 25th at 6 p.m. Details here.
  • Parks and Recreation Board – Tuesday, June 26th at 6 p.m. Details here.
  • Pedestrian Advisory Council – Monday, July 9th at 6 p.m. Details here.
  • Urban Transportation Commission – Tuesday, July 10th at 5 p.m. Details here.
  • Bicycle Advisory Council – Tuesday, July 17th at 6 p.m. Details here
  • Downtown Commission – Wednesday, July 18th at 5:30 p.m. Details here
  • Planning Commission – Tuesday, July 24th at 6 p.m. Details here
Community Workshops: 2017

Thank you for sharing your ideas and vision at the Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan Community Workshops in 2017. There were three Community Workshops at North, South, and Central locations along Shoal Creek. Meeting details and materials can be found below.

#1 – Wednesday, June 21, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Cirrus Logic Conference Center (700 West Avenue, 78701). Thank you to Upper Crust Bakery for donating cookies for the meeting and to the over 80 community members that attended.

Download a PDF of the Workshop Presentation.

Read the news coverage from Austin American-Statesman and Community Impact.

#2 – Wednesday, September 13, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Congregation Beth Israel (3901 Shoal Creek Blvd, 78756). Thank you to Tiff’s Treats for donating cookies, Austin Youth River Watch for hosting the kids activity, Congregation Beth Israel for sharing your space, Dynamic Reprographics for discounted printing, and to the over 100 community members that attended.

View the news coverage of the Workshop at Austin Monitor and KXAN.

Download PDFs of the materials from the September 13, 2017 Workshop below.

Workshop Agenda with Big Loop Map
Workshop Materials: draft route maps, focus area maps, proposed pathway cross sections

#3 – Wednesday, November 15, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Rock Rose Hall at the Domain, 11420 Rock Rose #100b, Austin, TX 78758. Thank you to Endeavor Domain NORTHSIDE for donating space and snacks for the event, Dynamic Reprographics for discounted printing, and to the over 50 community members that attended.

Download the Workshop Presentation and Priority Project Maps: Segment ASegment BSegment C

View CBS news coverage of the Workshop.

TAG & CAG Meetings: 2017

The Community Advisory Group (CAG) and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) guide the development of the Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan. Each group met three times during the planning process. The TAG consists of representatives of City of Austin departments and divisions as well as other public entities with an interest in Shoal Creek. TAG members serve as subject matter experts and guide the creation of the plan by providing information and reviewing plan concepts and drafts. The CAG consists of representatives of neighborhood associations, major employers and nonprofit organization and other stakeholder groups with an interest in Shoal Creek and the trail.

Download a draft lists of the TAG and the CAG members.
Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting #1: June 7, 2017 – Meeting Notes
Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting #1: June 14, 2017 – Meeting Notes
Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting #2: August 30, 2017 – Presentation
Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting #2: September 6, 2017 – Presentation
Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting #3: November 1, 2017 – Agenda
Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting #3: November 8, 2017 – Agenda and Presentation