When bad weather strikes, it’s important to get accurate information about conditions before heading out onto Austin’s trails and waterways. Here are several common questions with reliable resources to quickly answer whether the time is right to enjoy Austin’s many outdoor recreational areas.
Is the Barton Creek Greenbelt Open?
There’s a published phone number for “Barton Creek Greenbelt Hotline,” but it’s not accurate. The voice recording isn’t reliably updated–in fact, the day after the 2015 Memorial Day floods it cheerily claimed that “all trailheads are open” when this announcement had been made:
“The Austin Parks & Recreation Department has re-evaluated the closure of the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail and determined that the trail should remain closed at this time due to safety concerns.”
That notice came from the Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD), which is your best resource for Barton Creek Greenbelt status.
City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department website, Facebook and Twitter
Did the Hike and Bike Trail Around Lady Bird Lake Flood?
There’s not a dedicated, specific resource regarding the status of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Austin PARD is a great resource. Another place to look for general information, upcoming projects and news is The Trail Foundation, a nonprofit that works with Austin PARD to improve and maintain this beloved outdoor resource (there’s a map on the website, too).
The Trail Foundation website, Facebook and Twitter
What’s the Status of Deep Eddy Pool?
Austin PARD has a news page that relays information on planned closures at specific parks and pools (for example, if something is going on at Auditorium Shores or there’s a triathlon at Walter E. Long Park). The page is searchable by facility; this is an outstanding way to find out the status of neighborhood pools. Barton Springs, Deep Eddy and Big Stacy pools, for example, are often closed after heavy rains due to run-off.
Can I Still Visit McKinney Falls State Park?
Austin is blessed with several state parks in its immediate vicinity: McKinney Falls, Bastrop, Buescher and Pedernales, to name those within an hour’s drive of downtown. While Texas Parks & Wildlife has several Twitter accounts, one is specifically dedicated to providing the latest news about Texas’ state parks.
Texas Parks & Wildlife website and Twitter
Where Do I Find Out About Waterways?
Just 6 inches of water can be dangerous, so it’s important to know the status of low water crossings before driving through or wading in. It’s also crucial to know water levels of creeks and streams before undertaking any recreational activities after heavy rains. ATXfloods is an informative resource–and you can upload video and images to share.
Two Generally Helpful Contacts in Austin
City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has lists of public safety partners (including Twitter links). You’ll find contact info for everything from airport info to bus lines to firefights and the FBI. Media updates, such as the recent watercraft ban on Lady Bird Lake and all city creeks, are also posted on this website.
Do you know when to use 311? Whether you need to fill out an online Service Request or want to call to report standing water issues, storm drain problems, power outages, pavement erosion or trees in the roadway, give 311 a call 24/7/365. The 311 website is also a source for the latest information, such as Barton Creek and Onion Creek flood warnings.
@leahruns100 wants to know:
How have you been impacted by the recent weather in Austin?
it is worth noting that you can check out the water flow rates for the greenbelt here http://bartoncreekhome.com/barton-creek-greenbelt-water-levels not quite the same as knowing if it is closed or not.
Great information, though–thanks for sharing.
FYI, trail peeps: Here’s an update to Barton Creek greenbelt trail conditions. The footbridge located at approximately the 3.25 mile marker was washed away by the flooding, so there is no crossing at that point. If you want to go from the Spyglass entrance to 360 trailhead, you’ll have to find an alternate method to get from one side to another.
Hi, all. 4/18–Barton Creek Pool is closed until further notice. Buescher State Park is also closed. A variety of low water crossings are problematic– check out realtime information at ATXfloods. And remember, if the gate’s closed, the greenbelt’s closed. Check before you head out for that outdoor workout! Please be safe!
Be sure to check local parks before heading out. Also, remember to respect trail closures at Barton Creek Greenbelt. Stay safe out there!