The Trail Foundation is discouraging people from using the Butler Hike and Bike Trail right now. Pam LeBlanc photo

Technically, the Butler Hike and Bike Trail remains open, but please don’t go there.

That’s the message today from Heidi Anderson, the executive director of The Trail Foundation, the non-profit organization that works to maintain and protect the beloved loop around Lady Bird Lake.

The foundation sent out an email blast recommending that trail users exercise closer to home and “let the trail rest,” noting that it’s impossible to practice social distancing – a spacing of at least 6 feet between humans – on some sections of the trail.


Trail users have not been practicing proper social distancing recently, according to The Trail Foundation. Pam LeBlanc file photo

f you do decide to use the trail (and please don’t), the organization recommends warning others of your presence by calling out “on your left” when you pass people, and stepping aside when someone zooms by you. Before and after visiting the trail, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

Exercise stations along the trail are closed, and while restrooms and water fountains remain open for now, the public is discouraged from using them.

According to The Trail Foundation, trail usage has not decreased in the last two weeks, and too many users are not practicing social distancing.

Not sure how to maintain your fitness without Austin’s favorite running and walking trail? Go for a walk or run in your neighborhood. Tune into an online workout. (Camp Gladiator is live-streaming free fitness sessions, and Peleton is offering new users a free 90-day subscription to its app, no bike needed.) Go for a bike ride close to home, or get to work yanking weed and trimming overgrown plants in your garden.

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