Economic Impact of the Trail: 2020/2021 Study Update

As the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake (the Trail) celebrates its 50th anniversary, we pause to reflect on where it has been. The vision of Lady Bird Johnson and her commitment to a verdant slice of nature in the heart of downtown. Today the Trail’s 10+ miles and its nearly 4.9 million annual visits demonstrate how the Trail has grown with Austin.

A healthy Trail means so much to Austin. It means a healthy population. It means a healthy economy. It means a healthy city. Most importantly, it means a healthy community. The Trail Conservancy was formed in 2003 to ensure that health. Its commitment to better understanding how the Trail functions as a part of the city has simultaneously revealed how the Trail is perceived by residents old and new. Through increased volunteerism and community engagement, TTF embraces the need to connect to all of Austin.

The spirit of Lady Bird Johnson lives on as the Trail is one of Austin’s most recognizable and popular recreation areas thanks in large part to TTC stewardship.

In 2021 AngelouEconomics was retained by TTF to measure the economic impact of the Trail as well as the positive externalities that the Trail provides. This abridged version of that report is a testament to the sweeping positive impacts that the Trail provides to Austin.

For the full report, email

Ecological Benefits

Lady Bird Lake and the surrounding Trail, urban forest and natural areas are valuable ecological assets for the City of Austin. This region performs essential tasks for the residents of Austin, which include:

  • Cleaning the Air
  • Reducing Noise Pollution
  • Enhancing Water Quality
  • Sequestering Carbon
  • Increasing Public Health
  • Mitigating Flooding
  • Reducing Erosion
  • Protecting the Shoreline
  • Building Soil
  • Creating Wildlife Habitat
  • Intercepting Rainfall
  • Decreasing Urban Temperatures

Real Estate & Housing

2025 Real Estate & Housing Markets Impact Projection

The economic impact of the Trail and of TTF capital improvement projects combined is projected to be $5.8M in Travis County alone.

Job Creation & Tax Benefits

Economic Impact Outlook of the Trail through 2025