The Violet Crown Trail

In a phone call home this week, Alec from Iowa told his parents how our crew, the purple crew, is building a trail that will be famous in Austin when it is finished and when people talk about Austin they will talk about this trail that we are building. Of course, the purple crew won’t complete the entire trail. Roughly 30 miles long and 8 feet wide of crushed granite, the Violet Crown Trail will pick up the end of the Greenbelt and carry it through South Austin’s Dick Nichols Park, the Veloway, and the Wildflower Center on its way out towards Buda. Once completed, it will not only host hikers, dogs, cyclists, and the adjacent neighborhoods, but also people commuting from those neighborhoods to work and the nearby businesses. And after years of meetings between our staff and the City of Austin and the Hill Country Conservancy, work has finally started by cutting a 12’ x 12’ corridor through cedars and greenbriar and the occasional oak destroyed by oak wilt. Throughout the week, a few of us also measured, tagged, and took the GPS coordinates of the larger oaks and cedars along the trail which will be included in a GIS map of the trail. The youngest of our crew, Molly Coffman, led the way on this part of the project with her background as a civil engineering major at UT. Though many of our crew are new to Austin, being a part of creating the Violet Crown Trail is a very big project and in the words of one of the SLA crew leaders, Preston Smith, “Totally awesome, man!” It’s a sentiment the purple crew echos everyday we work on it.

Emily Grooms, ECorps Crew Leader


2 thoughts on “The Violet Crown Trail

  1. Hi,

    You guys are doing great work! As a South Austinite and future bike commuter and explorer on the trail, I am very excited about this super cool project. I regularly ride my MTB in the areas west and south of the Veloway and Wildflower Center.

    Last week, I noticed in the area just west of southbound MoPac, right at the “elbow” where MoPac becomes 45 that a bulldozer had begun clearing a southbound track. It starts along southbound MoPac just North of the 45 elbow, cuts right across the bottom of 45 and continues southbound on the south side of 45.
    Sadly, I’m afraid it’s developers tearing up this pristine landscape (currently hip-deep in wildflowers and rich in wildlife).

    Aren’t you guys going to be carving the trail from the Wildflower Center on the east side of MoPac, running parallel to northbound MoPac and continuing due south to Hayes County at the point MoPac elbows right to become 45?

    I’m trying to identify this bulldozer cut I’m seeing and wondering if it’s the beginning of a new paved “mini-MoPac”extension to Hayes County or just a road for a new local development. Any ideas?

    Also, is there a timeline available for the completed construction of the 30-mile trail?

    Many thanks – you are doing Austin, Austinites and the Hill Country a grand and lasting favor!


  2. Thank you for your interest and excitement for our work! Some developers own the 50 acres on the Southeast corner of Mopac/SH 45 where you are seeing the bulldozers, but it might also be the City of Austin utility work. There maybe a trailhead there one day, but exact location is still unknown. The Violet Crown Trail south of LBJWC/Veloway will be constructed in 2014/16. Keep checking back as our crews will continue to update the site with their work on the VCT and other Austin Conservation Projects.

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