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100-mile hiking trail between Austin and San Antonio is set for completion in 2036

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Daniel Ramirez
for Texas Public Radio
The Blue Hole is the most prominent of the springs that make up San Antonio Springs, which are part of the Headwaters Sanctuary on the campus of Incarnate Word. Now, it only runs during wet periods (like last year), but the historical record talks about its pressure being so strong that it shot up into the air.

A non-profit organization, The Great Springs Project, is working to create an expensive 100-mile hike-and-bike trail from Austin to San Antonio.

The green corridor will be created over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, but the efforts to preserve the 50,000 acres of land will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The hike-and-bike trail plan will also link together the Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and San Antonio Springs. The springs are considered sacred land for the indigenous community the Miakan-Garza Band.

According to Texas Monthly, 96% of land is privately owned. The Great Springs Project has an 844-acre ranch just north of the trailhead under contract. The acre ranch was listed for more than $8 million.

Estimated completion of the trail, conservation efforts and reunification of the springs is planned for 2036.

Can the Great Springs Project complete the dream hike-and-bike trail? How is the project funded? What other assistance is the Great Springs Project receiving to complete the hike and bike trail?

In what other ways will the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone be preserved? How will the project fair as the areas continue to grow?


  • Garry Merritt, CEO of the Great Springs Project
  • Maria Rocha, elder of the Miakan-Garza Band and member of the Great Springs Project's equity task force

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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 12.

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