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 complete and open to the public, and additional sections are currently being developed through the 2016 and 2020 Mobility Bonds.
What's happening now?
- Construction on Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2A began in October 2021 and is expected to be complete in February 2023.
- Some sections of the new Walnut Creek Trail Section 2A are now open to the public! Visitors can walk or bike the trail until they reach the bridge crossings. Please do NOT cross construction fencing closing off bridge 1. This includes the area under bridge 1, which is still closed off with safety fence. This is an active construction site while the contractor continues to work on the bridge and boardwalk.
- Construction on the Copperfield Connector trail (within the limits of Trail Section 3) began March 28, 2022.
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 Walnut Bluffs Trailhead (in progress)
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2B: Walnut Bluffs Trailhead to IH-35 (in progress)
- Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3: IH-35 to Southern Walnut Creek Trail (in progress). See phases below.
- 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. Once completed, this project will connect to Section 1 in Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park.
This section consists of a new 1.7-mile segment along the Walnut Creek Greenbelt. Section 2 will be constructed in two separate phases.
In partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the Urban Trails Program began construction on Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 2A in late October 2021. Find more project updates at the top of this webpage.
Section 2 Project Phases
Currently under construction. The first phase will construct a roughly 1.3-mile long, 12-foot wide trail that connects Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to the Walnut Bluffs Trailhead east of North Lamar Blvd.
Expected Timeline for Section 2A
- Planning Phase: Winter 2013 - Winter 2014
- Design Phase: Winter 2014 - Spring 2021
- Construction: Fall 2021 - Winter 2022
Estimated Project Cost for Section 2A
- $6.4M from the 2016 Mobility Bond and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Section 2B will extend Section 2A to IH-35. The project team is developing a preliminary engineering report (PER) for this section. The PER will include an updated route recommendation and list project considerations such as environmental concerns, nearby property ownership, and more.
Expected Timeline for Section 2B
- Planning Phase: Fall 2021 - Fall 2022
- Design and Construction: Timeline to be determined after additional review
Project Funding (to date) for Section 2B
- $2M from the 2016 Mobility Bond
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.
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 will be developed in three phases.
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.
Section 3 Project Phases
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3A
This phase includes two different segments that will be constructed in a similar time frame.
- To the north, the Copperfield Connector Trail will extend to IH-35.
- To the south, the Southern Walnut Creek Trail will extend to the shared use path on US 290.
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3B
This phase will begin at Samsung Blvd. and extend to the Copperfield Connector.
A feasibility assessment assessing potential route options is currently underway and expected to be complete in early 2023.
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Section 3C
This phase will begin at US 290 and connect to Old Sprinkle Cut Off Rd.
The Urban Trails Program is currently coordinating with TxDOT to understand the needs and future plans of MoKan Corridor within this segment of the trail.
Section 3A Timeline
- Planning: Completed October 2019
- Design: Summer 2022 – Summer 2023
- Construction: Early 2024 – Early 2026
Section 3B Timeline
- Planning: Completed October 2019 and will be updated by early 2023.
- Design and Construction: To be determined after additional review.
Section 3C Timeline
Planning: Completed October 2019 and will be updated by Spring 2023.
Design and Construction: To be determined after additional review.
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.
Northern Walnut Creek Trail Connector: Copperfield Elementary
As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond, the Urban Trails and Safe Routes to School Programs are constructing a 12-15 foot wide concrete trail that will connect to Copperfield Elementary from Thompkins Drive and Shropshire Lane. Construction began in late March 2022 and is expected to be complete in the Fall of 2022.
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 Cheyenne Dolin 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.)