Lady Bird Lake, an artificial lake on the Colorado River, stretches more than five miles through the south side of Austin in Travis County (centered at 30°15' N, 97°43' W). Named Town Lake, it was formed in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam and is owned and operated by the city of Austin in cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority
. The surface area of the lake is 416 acres, and it is used primarily for flood control and recreation. Development near the lake has caused much outcry among those who believe that the area should be left as a "green belt" as originally planned. Located on the lake's shoreline are hotels and apartments, in addition to various civic and recreational buildings and parks, including the municipal auditorium and the Aqua Festival grounds. Auditorium Shores, a scenic part of the south riverbank, was designated a part of the city's beautification plans. The park features gardens, picnic grounds, and a hike and bike trail along the lake. After the death of former First Lady Claudia Alta Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson
, Austin changed the name from Town Lake to Lady Bird Lake in her honor."LADY BIRD LAKE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rollb), accessed June 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 31, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Good bank access to Lady Bird Lake is available at Auditorium Shores and Festival Beach Park. Shoreline access is also available at Red Bud Island in the upper end of the reservoir near Tom Miller Dam. The Austin hike and bike trail circles almost the entire lower two thirds of the reservoir offering access to the bank. Unimproved boat ramps are located on the north shore at Festival Beach and behind the Holiday Inn Hotel west of I-35. One additional ramp for boats that can be carried is located across Stephen F. Austin Street from Austin High School.
RESERVOIR CONTROLLING AUTHORITY
City of Austin
124 West 8th
Austin, Texas 78701