SAN ANTONIO — The Great Springs Project is a new effort to connect the cities of Austin and San Antonio with more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails.
The ambitious new project hopes to complete the network of connecting trails by the Texas Bicentennial of 2036.
Sections of the trail will likely be built in phases. A new document by the project was posted this week that lays out the path of the trails. The project also involved Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“Community, connectivity, and conservation are at the heart of the Great Springs Project,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife commented. “Texas Parks & Wildlife is proud to support this regional vision that honors and protects the rich history, culture, and natural resources of Texas’ famed Hill Country.”
The name of the project refers to the springs the trails will connect. The network of trails will start to the north at Barton Springs, the crown jewel of Austin. As you travel southwest, you encounter San Marcos Springs, which is a protected habitat for five endangered species. Below that is Comal Springs, which feeds the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers and is the largest spring in Texas. The trail network ends at the San Antonio Spring which feeds the San Antonio River and once had springs of water rising up more than 20 feet in the air!
In other places, trail alignments have been planned by local communities, or have alignments that are still to be determined.
Local officials also say the trail would have economic benefits for both cities and the I-35 corridor. Private companies are partnering in the effort.
“With more than 13,500 GM employees calling Texas home, and 13 facilities in the state, we are proud to support the Great Springs Project with a philanthropic grant to help enable their vision to address the most critical sustainability challenges facing the Central Texas region,” said Jessica James, senior manager, Climate Equity Fund at General Motors.
Click here for the proposed map and more information on the project.