We field a lot of questions at The Trail Foundation, and over time we’ve realized that we get asked some of the same questions regularly! We hope that this page will be a place where you can get some of your questions about the Butler Trail and The Trail Foundation answered!

Here are some of our most commonly asked questions:

Lighting the Trail | Lost ItemsMiles Markers | Loop Map Distances | Trash at the Boardwalk | Memorial Bench/Plaque
TTF Member vs. Donor | Marketing at Trail | Reporting Graffiti | Trash | Trail Bathroom Repairs | Motorized Vehicles

Would you please light the Butler Trail? It’s dark at night! 

The Trail Foundation has worked with the City of Austin to install low-level trip-and-fall lighting where there is an absence of ambient light and a tripping hazard. Lighting beyond this would disturb the natural rhythms of nature and contribute to light pollution in the city. The low-level lighting in the Boardwalk railing is consistent with this approach. Light pollution is a serious threat to nocturnal wildlife and migrating birds. We all need to rest at night and so does the Trail!

I lost my keys/my wallet/my phone/my child’s favorite toy on the Trail. Where can I look for them?

There is an on-Trail lost and found called the ‘Rock’ where people leave items of little value. It is located under MoPac on the north side of the Lake at the Johnson Creek Trailhead. If your item is not there, you can contact the main office of the Parks and Recreation Department at 512-974-6700 or by email at parks@austintexas.gov.

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Some of the mile markers are missing. Will TTF replace them? 

There are plans to redo the measurements and the mile markers in the future, but we are waiting for the Holly Trail realignment to be completed before having them recalculated and relocated.

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Will TTF remeasure the Butler Trail and create a new loop maps? My app says the distance is different than your loop map.

The loop map was created many years ago using USATF certified distances but some of the distances have changed – especially when you take into account the addition of the Boardwalk. There are plans to redo the measurements in the future, but we are waiting for the Holly Trail realignment to be completed before having them recalculated. GPS apps are often inconsistent in their measurements since they depend on a variety of satellites to measure distances. Trees or clouds or tall buildings can block the satellite signals needed for the devices to track distances.

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I see so much trash at along the Boardwalk! What can I do to help?

TTF has been in communication with City of Austin Watershed Protection about amount of trash along the Boardwalk. What is boils down to is that all of the tributaries that feed into Lady Bird Lake dump trash in whenever there is a rain event. Much of the trash is coming from up stream! And Watershed Protection cleans the area around the Boardwalk weekly (if not more frequently), but as soon as the wind changes direction, it blows trash right back into the pylons of the Boardwalk, which tend to catch and hold the trash. There is, sadly, a limit to the amount of staff and hours the city departments can put towards pulling litter out of our beautiful lake.

There are several things that you, as a citizen of Austin, can do to help: most notably to volunteer with Keep Austin Beautiful during its bi-monthly lake clean-ups, or you can organize a group to supplement its bi-monthly lake clean-ups! http://www.keepaustinbeautiful.org/ladybirdlake We need the support and action of concerned citizens like you to mobilize and beautify the lake and the Trail!

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I would like to buy a memorial bench or put a plaque at the Butler Trail. How can I do this?

We understand the need to give back to the Trail in memory of the special friend or family member. The Trail is a special place for many people. While Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department has no need for new benches or plaques along the Trail, there are several options available for a memorial at the Trail:

      • If having a person’s name out at the Trail is most important, we have a commemorative brick location at Lakeshore Park – the east Boardwalk entrance. This allows a person’s name to be placed at the Trail where it will lie in perpetuity. Learn more about this program via our commemorative brick page.
      • If you are interested in a living, growing memorial, we have trees that have been planted and are available for adoption. TTF provides a nice adoption certificate suitable for framing and a color-coded map so people can easily locate their special tree. There is no plaque located at the site of the tree.
      • If your heart is set on a bench, the Parks Department does have benches available at other City of Austin parks that need benches. Please contact Elizabeth Richard for information about the city of Austin’s memorial bench program.
      • If having a name at the Trail is a primary concern, we can talk about your donation helping fund one of our several major Trail enhancements in the works. Their is a minimum donation level for on-site recognition and the amount is agreed upon with the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD). Please contact Rachel Rountree at 791-7572 if you have any questions about this option.
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I see that TTF has several ways to give towards enhancing and protecting the Butler Trail. What is the difference between a Member and Donor?

Memberships and donations are a little different – the memberships are set amounts that will be automatically e-mailed to remind you to renew at the end of each year term. The donations allow you to set your own amount, and break up your giving: weekly, monthly, bi-annually, etc. We have TTF supporters who prefer one over the other so we keep both available. Both entitle you to the membership benefits based on the level of giving that you can find here: http://www.thetrailfoundation.org/membership

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I saw a commercial tent set up and marketing at the Trail. What do I do? 

To report commercial marketing and/or sales at the Trail, anyone can contact the Park Ranger office at (512) 978-2600 and there will be someone dispatching 7-days a week from 8am-6pm. For before/after hours, there is voice mail and the Rangers can use those times to set up directed patrols if marketers are present outside of the daytime operating hours. That information is also useful to the Rangers in demonstrating a need for additional staff or changing their shift coverage in the future.

Austin City Code §1.06 Vending A. Persons shall not conduct the commercial sale or offer to sell any goods, wares, drinks, food or items nor render or offer to render any service for hire, at any park, wildlife preserve or facility except as authorized by contract, or permit properly issued by the Parks and Recreation Department.

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Someone sprayed graffiti at The Trail, where can I report this so it can be cleaned up?

The City of Austin Graffiti Abatement program removes graffiti from private and public property anywhere in the City of Austin. Report it at 311.

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Someone dropped a bunch of trash at the Trail. Who can I contact so it will be cleaned up?

Contact 311 or parksmaintenance@austintexas.gov with a description of the problem and an address.

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A bathroom on the Trail isn’t working correctly. Who can I contact to fix it?

Contact 311 or parksmaintenance@austintexas.gov with a description of the problem and an address. Restrooms installed by TTF have a sign with the address of the restroom that should be told to 311 or added to the e-mail.

      • Heron Creek Restroom: 1125 W. Cesar Chavez St.
      • Johnson Creek Trailhead Restroom: 2100 Veterans Drive
      • Míro Rivera Restroom: 701 Cummings St.
      • Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metro Park Restroom: 700 W Riverside Dr.
      • Butler Metro Park Restroom: 201 Dawson Rd.
      • Edward Rendon Sr. Metro Park at Festival Beach Restroom 1: 35 Robert T Martinez Jr St.
      • Edward Rendon Sr. Metro Park at Festival Beach Restroom 2: 1401 Nash Hernandez Sr Rd.
      • International Shores at Town Lake Metro Park Restroom: 1820 S Lakeshore Blvd.
      • Metz Neighborhood Park Restroom: 2407 Canterbury St.
      • Shoal Beach at Town Lake Metro Park Restroom: 707 W Cesar Chavez St.
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Are motorized vehicles allowed at the Trail?

Austin City Code 8-1-31 and 8-1-32 governs the use of motorized vehicles in Austin parks and are the basis for the Park Rule that prohibits the use of motorized vehicles on PARD’s Hike and Bike Trail system. The use of electric assist bicycles would fall under this restriction.

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