Lady Bird Lake in Austin

Lady Bird Lake is situated on the Colorado River in Austin, TX. The lake covers 417 acres. The city created the reservoir back in 1960 to cool a new power plant at the time. Today, the lake is used largely for flood control and recreational purposes. Lady Bird Lake derives its name from America’s former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.

Brief History

After Longhorn Dam was constructed in 1960, the city needed a cooling pond to cool Holly Street. The power plant was operational for almost four decades (1960 to 2007). The lake began as an eyesore with unkempt bushes, weeds, and trash. After clean-up efforts, the city purchased trees and shrubs to start parkland development around Town Lake.

Lady Bird Johnson was appointed as an honorary chairman when the city was pushing for Town Lake beautification. Johnson’s involvement brought in publicity and funding, allowing the city to plant plenty of trees and shrubs as well as build biking and hiking trails along the lake’s shoreline.


The lake stands out as a popular recreational area in Austin, TX. The bike and hike trails, as well as businesses offering recreational waters services, make Lady Bird Lake a top attraction. What’s more, Austin’s largest park (Zilker Park) is near the lake. Barton Springs Pool is also an adjacent attraction that bring many swimmers to the lake.

Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, rowing shells, and dragon boats are popular in Lake Bird Lake due to the city’s restriction of most motorized watercrafts. The climate and calm river waters also act as an attraction. What’s more, the straight courses make the lake a popular spot for club and team activities. The banks also serve as music venues throughout the year. Many open-air concerts such as Austin Reggae Festival are held on the banks of Lady Bird Lake every year.

Driving Directions

1. From Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX, USA
To Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, 1005 E 40th St, Austin, TX 78751, United States

Get on I-35 N
Head northeast on Holly St toward Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
Partially restricted usage road
Turn right onto N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd
Slight left to merge onto I-35 N
Follow I-35 N to N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd. Take exit 237A from I-35 N
Merge onto I-35 N
Keep left at the fork to stay on I-35 N
Take exit 237A toward Airport Blvd/51st St/Cameron Rd
Continue on N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd. Take S IH 35 Frontage Rd to E 40th St

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