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© Katie Haugland/Flickr
© Katie Haugland/Flickr
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The History Of Austin's Lady Bird Lake In 1 Minute

Picture of Mira Milla
Updated: 21 June 2016
With a beautiful view and so many activities to do on and around the lake, there is no surprise as to why Lady Bird Lake, formerly known as Town Lake, is a popular recreation area for all Austinites and visitors alike. Thanks to former United States First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Roy Butler, the mayor at the time, the lake is what it is today: a major (and clean) attraction for leisure.

Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River. The lake was formed in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam. In 1970, a system of hiking and bike trails were implemented. It’s conveniently located right by Zilker Park, Austin’s largest downtown park, and also Barton Springs, a hot spot for swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the lake is prohibited. However, activities like kayaking, canoeing, rowing and paddle boarding are encouraged and will bring the adventure side out of you. The City of Austin also prohibits the operation of most motorized watercrafts on the reservoir, so while canoeing around the lake, you don’t have to worry about being hit by any big boats.

The lake during the night is just as beautiful as in the morning. The largest colony of bats in the world live under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, which is located on the lake. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area between March and November, you can see an estimated 1.5 million bats emerge from underneath the bridge.

TIP: If you’re looking for a great view (day or night) of the Austin skyline, this is the perfect place for it!