LivingTravelLago Lady Bird de Austin

Lago Lady Bird de Austin

Located just south of downtown, Lady Bird Lake functions as the town square. The main open-air concerts are held at Auditorium Shores. People jog and walk their dogs every day on the 10-mile walking and biking trail around the lake. Kayakers paddle through its normally slow waters, and fishermen try their hand at catching carp, catfish and bass from the shore.

The lake is actually a dammed portion of the Colorado River, covering 416 acres in area. The lake can quickly turn into a river again when floodwaters are released upstream, which occurred during the 2015 Memorial Day Flood. Originally known as Town Lake, the canal was renamed in 2007 to honor former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. She played a key role in the lakefront revival and redesign in the 1970s.

Recent Modifications

A major overhaul of the Auditorium Shores area was completed in early 2015. New restrooms and lawns were added, and the off-leash dog park was relocated and reorganized. In June 2014, a new elevated boardwalk opened in East Austin. The boardwalk addressed a long-standing problem on the walking and biking trail. The trail originally came to an abrupt stop at an apartment complex on the coast, and runners had to circle the apartments to get back on the road. Since they couldn’t move the apartment complex, city officials decided to move the road over the water via an elevated boardwalk.

The 10 mile trail around the lake is now uninterrupted. The trail itself is officially called the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail. However, most people still refer to it as Town Lake or Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

Famous residents

The 1.5 million bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge are the best known residents of Lady Bird Lake. A flock of lime green monk parakeets also calls the area home. You’ll hear their loud squawks before you see them, but they occasionally feed off the ground along with the ubiquitous screams. Although you may never see them, some of the world’s largest carp and catfish lurk in the waters of Lady Bird Lake. A 44-pound blue catfish was caught there in February 2015. A 62.5-pound monster fish (species: small buffalo) was landed in 2006.

Stevie Ray Vaughan statue

Located just west of the South 1st Street Bridge, the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue pays tribute to Austin’s most beloved blues guitarist. He tragically died in a helicopter crash in 1990 at the age of 35. Blues fans around the world often leave flowers in and around the statue. He honed his talents at Antone’s Nightclub and helped the club build an international reputation as the home of Austin blues.

Aquatic recreation

Motorized vehicles are prohibited at Lady Bird Lake, but kayaks and canoes can be rented by the hour at various locations around the lake. Although swimming is generally not allowed, exceptions are made for the major triathlons, such as the TriRock race in the fall. However, dogs can cool off in the lake at any time. Even if you don’t have a dog, you can see the excited puppies foraging for toys in the lake near the South 1st Street Bridge.

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