Have you seen the new boardwalk trail at Ladybird Lake? It’s a treat.

We recently took a walk down the beautiful new 1.4-mile boardwalk on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake.

It’s a fantastic addition to the outdoor spaces in Austin. Before the boardwalk, runners and bikers who wanted to make the 10-mile loop around the lake had to leave the lakeside trail at Riverside Drive and make their way over the dangerous and traffic-laden I-35 overpass.

Now, the boardwalk trail connects the west and east portions of the trail. It’s safe and scenic, with stunning views of downtown Austin.

The boardwalk is just a short walk away from many downtown hotels, including the Four Seasons Austin, Hilton Austin, Marriott Austin Downtown and Radisson Austin.

A leisurely stroll

On our recent walk, we saw several runners, quite a few people walking their dogs, children on bikes and older couples walking hand-in-hand. On a weekday morning, it was not crowded and there was a nice, cooling breeze off the lake.

We saw turtles and large fish in the water. There were some beautiful rose mallow hibiscus flowers blooming in the Blunn Creek Delta, a marshy area with many different kinds of plants. (It’s near the Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant.)

On the water, people on paddleboards glided by, as did parents and children in rented canoes.

This peaceful place is yet another reason to be proud of our city.

Here are some fun facts about the boardwalk trail

  • It connects the eastern edge of the Austin American-Statesman property to International Shores Park off Lakeshore Boulevard.
  • It’s made of two-foot-wide, sandstone-colored pre-cast concrete planks.
  • It’s fully wheelchair-accessible.
  • The boardwalk trail is elevated above the water about 5 to 6 feet. At its highest point it is 12 feet above the water.
  • LED lights are mounted under the handrails. Amber navigation lights are attached every 20 feet.
  • This project also includes a new restroom, parking and landscaping at International Shores Park.

Photo courtesy of 365thingsaustin.com