The Violet Crown Trail is a vision by the Hill Country Conservancy and other citizen leaders in Austin. It is planned to be a 30-mile regional trail that will act as a connector that will splice together a network of over 100 miles of trails in the Austin region.
At its essence, it is a community based effort. Under the leadership of the Hill Country Conservancy, a great partnership has come together to build the trail. Partners that have directly contributed funding and other resources include:
- Austin Parks Foundation
- Austin Parks and Recreation Department
- Austin Public Works Department
- Austin Transportation Department
- Austin Wildlands Division
- Neighborhood Connectivity Program
- Sunset Valley Public Works Department
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett
- Police, Fire, EMS, 911 System
Many groups have given of their time, resources and efforts to help build and manage the trail. Some of these include:
The Violet Crown Trail was built employing a combination of contractors. Eischen’s General Contracting is responsible for the state of the art designs found in some of the low water crossings, and is especially adept at working with StaLok, one of the VCT’s surfacing materials.
The Texas Conservation Corps primarily is responsible for construction on the section of trail at the 290 trailhead traveling into Gaines Creek. The Texas Conservation Corps employs young people, many of them giving their time and effort for public service through the national Americorps program . These corps members are led by an experienced group of leaders who are highly experienced in building trails statewide. Through this experience, many of these young people will go on to future green careers in conservation, parks and trail building. Association with the Texas Conservation Corps allows Hill Country Conservancy to “pay it forward” to future generations of leaders in conservation.
Hill Country Conservancy has the unique experience of working with a variety of artists and craftsmen in the building of this trail. These jewels of the community add design and craftsmanship that was best known in times past like the Civilian Conservation Corps. These artisans are more interested in the value of their product than the bottom line. Hill Country Conservancy hopes to foster and give opportunity for these types of individuals in the community.
The Violet Crown Trail is more than a path in the woods. It can be many things for many people: recreation, exercise, transportation, nature observation, community gathering place, socializing, dog walking, baby strolling, biking, running, and more. It can also be a place for education, understanding, and appreciation of the Texas landscape. It can be a place for community service. It is a place by and for the people.
Hill Country Conservancy strives to make the trail and its facilities a state-of-the art example for others to emulate. Following the tradition of the late Lady Bird Johnson, beautification of the trail corridor is planned through enhancements with native plants and flowers, some of which will increase habitat for the threatened Monarch butterfly. Art and architecture will be used to further enhance the user experience.
Hill Country Conservancy and its partners wish the trail experience to be transformative. It is hoped that trail users gain fresh and enhanced perspectives, physical invigoration, and appreciation for the place we all share. Everyone should have a sense of ownership of “our” Violet Crown Trail.