CONFLUENCE - Barton Creek - Colorado River
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 30° 16.032 W 097° 45.704
14R E 619110 N 3349042
Barton Creek is a tributary that feeds the Colorado River as it flows through the Texas Hill Country. The creek passes through some of the more scenic areas in Greater Austin and forms a greenbelt.
Waymark Code: WMMXAR
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 11/19/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

A short ways upstream, Barton Creek flows through the man-made Barton Springs Pool. The outlet from the spring flows into the Colorado River, at what is known as Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake). Wikipedia tells us:

Barton Creek begins in northern Hays County and flows 40 miles east through Austin to Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), where it merges with the Colorado River. The creek falls into the fissure of the Edwards Aquifer in southwest Austin and reemerges at Barton Springs.

The Lower Barton Creek Greenbelt features these water sports year-round with swimming in Barton Springs Pool, and kayaking and caneoing in the creek fed with the discharge from the springs.

The creek is named for William Barton, who built a house near Barton Springs in 1837. The springs quickly became a popular resort, and its swimming hole was replaced with a pool some time during the 1930s.

Development in Austin in the 1970s and 1980s began to threaten both the creek's water quality and wildlife. Heavy rainfall often caused pools at the springs to close due to contamination from runoff and sewer lines, the effluent of the affluent upstream subdivisions entering the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone which feeds the springs. Following public outcry, the Austin City Council passed the Barton Creek watershed ordinance in 1980 and the Comprehensive Watersheds Ordinance in 1986. Proposals in 1990 to develop land in the watershed resulted in more public outcry which spurred passage of the Save Our Springs Citizens' Initiative of 1992, which severely limited construction, curtailed tax exemptions, established pollution control standards and implemented methods for reducing accidental contamination.

Parking Coordinates: N 30° 15.921 W 097° 46.016

Trailhead Coordinates: N 30° 15.904 W 097° 45.964

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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