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Thread: Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike progress pics and vid

  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    You know, it's winter, the trees are bare and Al took photos on an overcast day. But, there's a bit of magic on that ribbon of concrete. It's just for us and not cars or motorcycles. Just a sweet time where you can relax on the bike, cover some miles and enjoy yourself.
    Yeah, it'll be nicer in there once they finish the landscaping (in areas) and everything is growing again. I love seeing trails like this that are dedicated to biking and pedestrians. I look forward to being able to ride 100 miles of such trails that are all connected, without having to ride the same trail twice.

    ..Al

  2. #162
    MoJo Mother Superior crazyt's Avatar
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    is it possible to get to walnut creek park? Is there any trail north of loyola?

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    MoJo Mother Superior Chardog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyt View Post
    is it possible to get to walnut creek park? Is there any trail north of loyola?
    The concrete trail north of Loyola is still under construction, but the current project only takes it to the top of the hill to the east on Johnny Morris Rd. http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...ompressed_.pdf

    There may be a way to follow the old MoKan RR and power line corridors north, under 290 and beyond, but I have not checked it out. I would expect lots of overgrown areas, fences, mud, more fences, illegal dumps, homeless camps, massive ragweed stands, areas where you would have to wade in the creek, snakes, other critters, more mud, etc. but it might be an adventure.
    "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There is something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym."
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    IMBA visits blogs & photos: http://onthetrail.imbatools.com/?p=638
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  4. #164
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    Charlie, thanks for linking that map--now that I've ridden the trail, I can look at the map and see just how much further the trail will eventually go! Can you get all the way to Loyola Lane right now? I stopped at the end of the concrete path since it was raining on and off and didn't want to ride through the mud. Are they actively working on the trail north of Loyola? Is there an ETA for completion?

    ..Al

  5. #165
    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chardog View Post
    The concrete trail north of Loyola is still under construction, but the current project only takes it to the top of the hill to the east on Johnny Morris Rd. http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...ompressed_.pdf

    There may be a way to follow the old MoKan RR and power line corridors north, under 290 and beyond, but I have not checked it out. I would expect lots of overgrown areas, fences, mud, more fences, illegal dumps, homeless camps, massive ragweed stands, areas where you would have to wade in the creek, snakes, other critters, more mud, etc. but it might be an adventure.
    In dry weather, that power line corridor is very doable. In our early exploration, we rode on it up to the apartments up the hill and could see (we think)old Manor Road (?) in the distance. In addition, there is a pipeline corridor adjacent, so several options for bushwhacking.

  6. #166
    MoJo Mother Superior Chardog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtariAge View Post
    Charlie, thanks for linking that map--now that I've ridden the trail, I can look at the map and see just how much further the trail will eventually go! Can you get all the way to Loyola Lane right now? I stopped at the end of the concrete path since it was raining on and off and didn't want to ride through the mud. Are they actively working on the trail north of Loyola? Is there an ETA for completion?

    ..Al
    I seem to recall the trail being complete to Loyola. There may be a few minor sections that need finishing up, but it's pretty much done. North of Loyola there are some longer sections of dirt and a few culverts that have not been completed. I was able to ride on the dirt most of the way except for one culvert where I had to walk.

    I would only check it out if it's dry and the trail is not blocked off or having active construction.
    "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There is something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym."
    - Bill Nye, the science guy


    Thanks REI for supporting Austin Ridge Riders Programs: http://www.austinridgeriders.com/
    IMBA visits blogs & photos: http://onthetrail.imbatools.com/?p=638
    http://onthetrail.imbatools.com/?p=602

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chardog View Post
    I seem to recall the trail being complete to Loyola. There may be a few minor sections that need finishing up, but it's pretty much done. North of Loyola there are some longer sections of dirt and a few culverts that have not been completed. I was able to ride on the dirt most of the way except for one culvert where I had to walk.
    Thanks for the additional information. It's definitely not paved all the way to Loyola yet, although it's probably somewhat close.

    I would only check it out if it's dry and the trail is not blocked off or having active construction.
    I will definitely check it out again and see if I can get all the way to Old Manor Road. Will do it on a weekend on a day when it's dry. It wasn't supposed to be raining this past Sunday!

    ..Al

  8. #168
    I'm Rick James Bitch! kerryp's Avatar
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    Yeah, I kept going where the pavement stopped (wasn't raining yet) and it was muddy. I was able to avoid nasty mud for the most part for the sections I rode, pavement shows up again for a short piece up a little bit, then ends again into more dirt/mud and up to the portion where I stopped (bridge construction). Don't know what is past that point.

  9. #169
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    Wow, just rode it today between 1 and 2:30 and saw 54 people on it - maybe less since I passed some of those on the way back..
    Great weather for that trail since it seems that in the summer it will be a little exposed. The scary part is riding between a golf course and a baseball field - I was just waiting to get hit by something!
    I did ride a couple miles past the end of the trail and saw a cool view to the west near 183 and 290. Just lots of potential. I was hoping to see a good way to head west so I could do a loop back to the Barton Creek Mall area. I left my livingroom, headed down the town lake hike and bike trail, turned down 183 to Shady lane, slight right on Bolm, through Govalle Park and up the trail and back. Got in about 26 miles of almost no street riding, very nice.
    Of course I forgot my phone so no pics...

  10. #170
    MoJo Mother Superior Chardog's Avatar
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    Nice!
    "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There is something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym."
    - Bill Nye, the science guy


    Thanks REI for supporting Austin Ridge Riders Programs: http://www.austinridgeriders.com/
    IMBA visits blogs & photos: http://onthetrail.imbatools.com/?p=638
    http://onthetrail.imbatools.com/?p=602

  11. #171
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    Ride report - Wells Branch - Downtown - South Walnut Creek Trail

    All these ride reports motivated me to and check this trail out. I busted out the cross bike and rode from Wells Branch area to downtown via a slightly modified EB route. I stayed on the Shoal Creek trail by the at 35th instead of bailing onto the residential streets. This let me cruise by the 9th street jumps where I was hoping to see some early morning madness. I wanted to channel my inner Chris Akrigg and hit some gaps on my cross bike but then reality took hold so I just rode on to downtown.

    Rode the Lady Bird lake hike and bike trail all the way to the dam at Pleasant Valley. I saw a few mountain bikers along among the scenery so I was wondering if anyone else on here had been out on the same mission. I couldn't pull up the map on my phone at this point so I was flying blind trying to find Govalle park. I did a few excursions which included a crusing by by the big police station down there and ending up on a street over run with roosters. I never felt like I was in a 'bad neighborhood' but I don't think I'd like to make that same turn at night. Anyway...find the park and rode the trail all the way to Loyola. There was one turn by the golf course and I wasn't sure if I should go left or right so I went right (this is 'merica) and I think it was right. Rode home on the streets (bike lanes the whole way) and ended the ride at 54 miles.

    I have to say, those elevated sections of that trail have to be crazy expensive. There is some politics going on when they would build that before they build the flat 'simple' path elsewhere in the city. Maybe they wanted to burn the funds before they lost them? Overall, cool ride. Very secluded feeling at times and pretty peaceful.

  12. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree magnet View Post
    I have to say, those elevated sections of that trail have to be crazy expensive. There is some politics going on when they would build that before they build the flat 'simple' path elsewhere in the city. Maybe they wanted to burn the funds before they lost them? Overall, cool ride. Very secluded feeling at times and pretty peaceful.
    Thanks for the ride report. If you take a left at the intersection by the golf course, that brings you up the hill to the YMCA entrance. It's a nice climb, and a blast coming back down the hill. I agree that the elevated sections of trail were surely stupid expensive to build. But when you see the terrain they were built on, you can see that it makes some sense. I think the trail will feel even more secluded once all the flora grows back in come spring.

    ..Al

  13. #173
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    You're a Monster!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tree magnet View Post
    All these ride reports motivated me to and check this trail out. I busted out the cross bike and rode from Wells Branch area to downtown via a slightly modified EB route. I stayed on the Shoal Creek trail by the at 35th instead of bailing onto the residential streets. This let me cruise by the 9th street jumps where I was hoping to see some early morning madness. I wanted to channel my inner Chris Akrigg and hit some gaps on my cross bike but then reality took hold so I just rode on to downtown.

    Rode the Lady Bird lake hike and bike trail all the way to the dam at Pleasant Valley. I saw a few mountain bikers along among the scenery so I was wondering if anyone else on here had been out on the same mission. I couldn't pull up the map on my phone at this point so I was flying blind trying to find Govalle park. I did a few excursions which included a crusing by by the big police station down there and ending up on a street over run with roosters. I never felt like I was in a 'bad neighborhood' but I don't think I'd like to make that same turn at night. Anyway...find the park and rode the trail all the way to Loyola. There was one turn by the golf course and I wasn't sure if I should go left or right so I went right (this is 'merica) and I think it was right. Rode home on the streets (bike lanes the whole way) and ended the ride at 54 miles.

    I have to say, those elevated sections of that trail have to be crazy expensive. There is some politics going on when they would build that before they build the flat 'simple' path elsewhere in the city. Maybe they wanted to burn the funds before they lost them? Overall, cool ride. Very secluded feeling at times and pretty peaceful.

    I want to do that before I die- or die from it..

  14. #174
    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    It is a very well engineered trail; when you spread the cost out over the life of the trail -- say 50 or 60 years because it IS very well built -- then it begins to make sense. I rode down Shoal Creek yesterday and I think some of those bridges by the dog park between 29th and Pease Park were likely built in the 1930s (based on design elements). Since then, they have survived massive floods on an almost annual basis.

    Yeah, a dirt path is a nice idea, until it rains and turns to slop. On our first ride, the trail ended just after the big bridge by the golf course. Adjacent to the golf course, the pipeline access road through the cane brake featured an impressively deep and long mud bog.

    The multi-use path crosses some very unstable/clay-ey soils, so the elevated sections just make sense to get it above unstable soils and have as much of the trail as possible above high water during flood events. Having spent a lot of time lopping vegetation off the trails at Walnut Creek, I know a narrower trail/path can get overgrown to oblivion in a year or two.

    There is also a mental health aspect that to me is the pearl without price: the ability for people, especially families with young children, to be out in nature (or anywhere) un-threatened by cars. Ditto for the Lady Bird Lake Trail. As Austin continues to explode, people need relief valves, and getting outside is certainly one of the best ways to stay healthy in every way.

  15. #175
    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree magnet View Post
    There is some politics going on when they would build that before they build the flat 'simple' path elsewhere in the city. Maybe they wanted to burn the funds before they lost them?
    This project has been in the works for a very, very long time (20 years?). To build this type of project, you must first have an easement. As you noticed, much of the trail follows train tracks, pipeline easements, powerline easements. Even now, there is relatively limited development; it is a natural corridor to put a trail. Parkland has already been set aside at various points along the way. So, the land acquisition early on was relatively cheap and easy.

    Can't even imagine what it would cost to purchase any type of easement anywhere in Austin today, let alone find a spot to put in a trail; certainly more than the entire cost of this project. It would be interesting to talk to some of the original planners to understand the planning climate in the 1970s, 80s, 90s. There were some visionaries, like the late Kent Butler, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for his commitment to setting land aside for public use.

    Yes, timing is a factor in finally getting construction completed; there are Federal matching funds that will be lost if this project is not completed this year -- not sure on the deadline.

  16. #176
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    stoked on this since I might be buying a house near 969/Decker. should be a great gateway to a lot of adventures!
    won't you be my neighbor?

  17. #177
    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    stoked on this since I might be buying a house near 969/Decker. should be a great gateway to a lot of adventures!
    Be sure and keep us up to date on your house buying progress.

  18. #178
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that during my excursion looking for the start of the trail, I stumbled upon the Live Oak Brewery. The hops/beer smell was totally worth the detour. If you're over in that area, you should definitely cruise by the downwind side. It's a good contrast to the sewer treatment plant you'll pass later on.

  19. #179
    MoJo Mother Superior Endo-err's Avatar
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    Bump - for updates on new construction.

  20. #180
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    Bump - Homeboy saw a mountain lion on the unfinished part near Old Manor Rd.

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