Plan emerges for hiking trail connecting San Marcos to Austin

Joggers enjoy the trails at Lower Purgatory Creek Park in San Marcos. (KXAN Photo)
Joggers enjoy the trails at Lower Purgatory Creek Park in San Marcos. (KXAN Photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance has dreams of building a regional hiking trail that would ultimately connect San Marcos to Austin.

The organization’s board president, Mark Taylor, met with Hays County commissioners Tuesday morning to introduce the idea. He says plans for the 10 to 14-mile trail would include a connection to the Violet Crown Trail that the Hill Country Conservancy is in the process of constructing from Austin to a point west of Buda.

“What we’re looking for in the regional trail is a facility that people will use to get from one place to another, from some place where they live to where they work,” said Taylor.

Renderings for the possible trail show multiple path options, with many cutting through the Five Mile Dam Park just outside of Kyle.

“It’s certainly one thing to hop in a motor vehicle, get out on the interstate and drive to Kyle or Buda. It’s another thing entirely to take in the scenery, the beauty of the hill country that we’re on the rim of here,” said Taylor.

With a project this big and spanning that far, Taylor says he’s preparing for a lot of challenges. “There’s a lot of land owners, private land owners that we have to win the hearts of,” he said. “There are also developments that are on the drawing board in the Kyle and Buda areas.”

Still early in the planning phase, organizers don’t have a price tag on how much construction will cost, but have high hopes on completing the trail in at least five years. “We’re definitely excited about it,” said Taylor.

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance plans on holding workshops in each major city sometime in March to present their ideas and hear from the public.

Proposed map for Emerald Crown trail connecting Austin to San Marcos.
Proposed map for Emerald Crown trail connecting Austin to San Marcos.

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