Lady Bird Lake

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Lady Bird Lake

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Lady Bird Lake is the crown jewel of the city of Austin. Because of her donations and efforts beautifying the shoreline, as well as creating the system of hike and bike trails we know and love today, it was officially named after The First Lady after she passed away in 2007.
Best time of day:

What everyone knows

What they don't tell you

Alta’s Cafe, across the Boardwalk, was named in honor of Lady Bird. It’s her middle name. Claudia Alta Taylor married Lyndon Baines Johnson - our 36th President. The cafe has a great patio overlooking the lake and is right off the hike and bike trail.

Do it like a local

The best part, in my opinion, is that there are multiple access points located throughout the 10.1 mile trail. You will notice numerous other trails that connect to the Butler trail making it accessible from different parts of the city. Whether you choose to take The Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike trail by foot or by bike, or you want to see the Mexican Free Tail Bats fly out from under the Congress Ave. Bridge, go ahead and enjoy the many uses of this trail that surrounds Lady Bird Lake.

For the History Buffs

Here in Austin we have a jewel of a location in the center of downtown called Lady Bird Lake.   Named in honor of First Lady of the United States Lady Bird Johnson.  It is a reservoir that was created in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new power plant at the time.  Currently it is used primarily for recreation and flood control.

Town Lake, as it is still referred to colloquially, is the easternmost lake in the Texas Highland Lakes - the chain of reservoirs on the Colorado River...No, bud, not the same one running through the Grand Canyon.  That Colorado River is much longer and spans several states in the southwest of the United States.  

On any day of the week you will find people admiring Lady Bird Lake as they enjoy the 10 mile Ann & Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail which bounds the lake.  Not to mention those who use the lake for recreational use whether by canoe, kayak, stand-up-paddle board or various rental vessels.  (Swimming in Lady Bird Lake is illegal and most motorized boats are prohibited).

On the southeastern side of the lake is a 1 mile long Boardwalk where you can take some amazing sunset pics while facing the skyline as you continue west on the Boardwalk.  

Numerous live-music festivals and annual events are dispersed along Lady Bird Lake thanks to different music venues located on its banks, such as Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores and Fiesta Gardens.  

So you don’t wanna walk, jog, or run the trail, and you don’t care to bike it either, huh.  I see.  You are a fisherman!  Well, good news buddy!  Lady Bird Lake has been stocked with several species of fish intended to improve the utility of the reservoir for recreational fishing.  Cast your pole and you will catch largemouth bass, catfish, carp, or sunfish.  However, be sure to have your fishing license on you!

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