Walnut Creek Trail System
The Austin Public Works Urban Trails Program is currently developing the Walnut Creek Trail System for people walking and people on bikes. Two sections of the Walnut Creek Trail System are completed and open to the public, and another two sections are currently being developed through the 2016 Mobility Bond.
Walnut Creek Trail System Limits & Overview
The Urban Trails Program identified the Walnut Creek Trail Network as a high priority project in the 2014 Urban Trails Plan. Once complete, it will be 19 miles long and connect the Govalle Neighborhood Park in East Austin to the Balcones District Park in North Austin, along with many other parks, neighborhoods and landmarks. This trail network includes:
- Southern Walnut Creek Trail: Govalle Park to Johnny Morris Road/Daffen Lane
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 1: Balcones District Park to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
IN-PROGRESS & PROPOSED SECTIONS
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2A: Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to Oakbrook Drive (in progress)
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2B: Oakbrook Drive to IH-35 (proposed)
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3: IH-35 to Southern Walnut Creek Trail (proposed)
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail: Copperfield Elementary Connector (in progress)
- Southern Walnut Creek Trail: La Loma Trail Connector (proposed)
Completed Walnut Creek Trails
The following sections of Walnut Creek Trail are open to the public.
Southern Walnut Creek Trail
The Southern Walnut Creek Trail opened in 2014 and is Austin’s first urban trail. It is an 8.7 mile trail and extends from Govalle Park and to the Walnut Creek Sports Park at Johnny Morris Road and Daffan Lane.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department began working towards the Southern Walnut Creek Trail two decades ago. It connects to multiple neighborhoods and landmarks including Govalle Park, The YMCA at Hwy 183, Davis White Park, Walnut Creek Greenbelt, The Austin Tennis Center at the Walnut Creek Sports Park and the Austin to Manor Trail.
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 1: Balcones District Park to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 1 opened in 2015 and was expanded west in 2019. This project was completed in partnership between the Urban Trails Program and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
This section runs for 3.5 miles, from Balcones District Park to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. The trail can also be accessed from Scribe Drive.
Walnut Creek Trail Network Projects
Below are planned and proposed projects within this network that are not completed or open to the public at this time.
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2: Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to IH-35
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2 is located between Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to IH-35 and is currently under development.
This section consists of a new 1.7-mile segment along the Walnut Creek Greenbelt. Once completed, this project will connect to Section 1.
In partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the Austin Public Works Urban Trails Program has reached 100% design on NWCT Section 2. However, the project team recently identified potential floodplain impacts along the proposed route from Cedarbrook Court to IH-35. For this reason, NWCT Section 2 will be constructed in two phases. The first phase (2A) will include construction of a roughly 1-mile long, 12-foot wide trail, located between Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park and Oakbrook Drive. The trail will extend east of North Lamar Blvd, to a circular turn-around point on the Walnut Bluffs trail. From this turnaround, an 8-foot wide connector trail ending at the Walnut Bluffs trailhead will provide residents with additional trail access. The project team will continue to explore solutions to extend the trail to IH-35 in a future phase.
- Planning Phase: Winter 2013 - Winter 2014
- Design Phase: Winter 2014 - Spring 2020
- NWCT Section 2A (Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to Oakbrook Dr): Spring/Summer 2021 - Summer 2022
- NWCT Section 2B (Oakbrook Dr to IH-35): Construction timeline to be determined after additional review.
The project team has hosted several public meetings throughout the development of Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2. See updates from recent public meetings below:
Neighborhood Meeting: Feb. 25, 2020: Urban Trails shared updates at the Walnut Creek Neighborhood Association.
Public Meeting: October 8, 2019: The team shared updates as Section 2 neared the end of the Design Phase.
Please contact us for questions about earlier project updates and outreach.
- $6.9M from the 2016 Mobility Bond
- $1.5M from the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3: IH-35 to Southern Walnut Creek Trail
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3 will connect Northern Walnut Creek Trail at IH-35 to Southern Walnut Creek Trail. This approximately 8-mile segment is currently under development.
Preliminary Engineering Report: The Urban Trails Program has developed a preliminary engineering report (PER) for Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3. This report shows the recommended route for this section of the trail. It also lists project considerations like environmental concerns, wildlife, nearby property ownership, and more. See the Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3 PER here.
There are no design or construction funds allocated for this project, but having a plan ready allows the City to move forward quickly, if funding is identified.
Public Meetings: The team has hosted two public meetings.
- Public Meeting 1: August 14, 2018: The project team hosted the first public meeting to get community feedback for the Preliminary Engineering Report. View the meeting presentation from the first Section 3 public meeting.
- Public Meeting 2: September 17, 2019: The project team hosted a second public meeting to share project updates from the Preliminary Engineering Report process. See the presentation from the second Section 3 public meeting and boards from the second Section 3 public meeting.
- $550,000 from the 2016 Mobility Bond
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Connector: Copperfield Elementary
As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond, the Urban Trails and Safe Routes to School Programs are currently designing a proposed 12-15 foot concrete trail that would connect to Copperfield Elementary from Thompkins Drive and Shropshire Lane.
This project includes repairing an existing creek crossing to help students and families walk and bike to Copperfield Elementary. Learn more about Safe Routes to School project recommendations for Copperfield Elementary here.
Southern Walnut Creek Trail Connector: La Loma Trail
Through the 2016 Mobility Bond, the Urban Trails Program reviewed options for La Loma Trail: a potential trail connection linking Southern Walnut Creek Trail with adjacent neighborhoods. Located between Airport Blvd and US 183, the project would extend through the East Boggy Creek Greenbelt area. This proposed 12-foot shared use path would be designed for people walking and on bikes, and to improve walking access for Eastside Memorial High School students.
The Urban Trails Program released a Preliminary Engineering Report for La Loma Trail in fall 2019. Read the La Loma Trail Preliminary Engineering Report here.
To collect public input, the Urban Trails Program hosted public meetings in October 2017 and September 2019. Learn more:
Share your feedback on our Walnut Creek Trail projects!
Email Carolynn.Calabrese@austintexas.gov to:
- Submit questions and comments about these projects
- Request a presentation for your group or organization
Get updates on our Walnut Creek Trail projects, or stay in the loop with the Urban Trails Program by filling out the form below. (You can also sign up for updates about other Urban Trails projects here.)