by Mitchell McGovern
You thought the only bat colony downtown is under Congress Bridge….. Think again – Shoal Creek has 2 and much more, including its own app.
Sizable bat colonies live under the 9th and 12th Street bridges that cross over Shoal Creek. Who knew! You can get an upfront and personal view of the bat’s emerging at dusk while they are heading out for a night of foraging. Now that the fall weather is upon us go out and sit on the shores of Shoal Creek at Duncan Park and enjoy the spectacle. It is a much more intimate and relaxing experience than Congress Ave Bridge and a lot less “touristy”.
A lot of attention has been paid recently to Waller Creek with the beginning of construction for the flood control tunnel but let’s not forget about our other hidden gem downtown – Shoal Creek. The creek was originally defined as the western edge of the City of Austin in 1839 by Edwin Waller and Waller Creek was the eastern edge.
I recently came upon a website dedicated to Shoal Creek that was created by Ted Eubanks who lives next to the creek. It is full of interesting information about the creeks history and natural environment. Did you know that the Historic 6th Ave. bridge over Shoal Creek will be 125 years old next year? I didn’t. Ted created an app (of course there is an app for that!) called Shoal Creek Trail To Go and if you download it to your iPhone or Android it will give you all kinds of facts about Shoal Creek as you walk along the trail from Lady Bird Lake all the way up to 38th St. How cool is that! Scroll to the bottom of the link to learn more and download the app if interested. There is also an extensive list of links for additional information related to all things Shoal Creek on the site.
I’m also happy to report that the City is at 90% completion of the design phase to connect the Shoal Creek trail from 5th St. to West Ave. and construction is anticipated to start next year. Yeah!