From Sandy Perry, President, Friends of River Place Trail:
The 1600 ft section will still be off limits until the section is rebuilt on MUD land.
At last some great news! The River Place MUD has notified the Federal agencies that it intends to reopen the upper trail – up to just past the 1.5 mile mark (when starting at the highest entrance on River Place Blvd. between Treasure Island and Golf Vista) to hiking on Friday, February 7, 2014.
Here are some details:
- The MUD will soon be in the process of decommissioning (tearing down) the 1600 linear ft. of the trail that was mistakenly built on the Cortaña tract under the jurisdiction of the Austin Water Utility. People who cross into city administered property put all of us at risk of losing access to the trail again, so please pay attention to the barriers. Also, the workers who are restoring the 1600 ft. need to be able to finish their work prior to March 1(nesting season) and we need to stay out of their way. If you see people heading toward the city section, please ask them to stop and turn around.
- A new trail to connect the upper and lower trail will not be able to be built until after this upcoming nesting season of the Golden Cheeked Warbler – which means next fall.
- The MUD is taking a leap of faith that hikers will respect the boundaries in order to allow us to enjoy the great hike that starts at the top. Round trip it is over 3 miles, and constitutes most of the elevation change – so it is strenuous.
- MOST IMPORTANT – There is still an unresolved issue of who will own and maintain the trail following the annexation of River Place by the City of Austin onDecember 31, 2017. The MUD has requested city authorities to amend the SPA (Strategic Partnership Agreement) to put the trail into the River Place Parks District that will succeed the MUD. We have been told that the city agrees to this in principal, but it is not yet in writing. To expedite this process, please send an email to Mayor Lee Leffingwell (click here) asking to city to approve this change. By approving this amendment, the full trail (including a new connecting section yet to be built) will be under the jurisdiction of the local River Place Parks District (which will also be responsible to trash and recycling collection and the maintenance of our two parks.