Frequently Asked Questions


The name of the Violet Crown Trail came from an extensive survey period where Austinites were invited to submit and vote on potential new names for the trail, which was originally called the Walk For A Day Trail. The Violet Crown Trail name originated out of this process but the term ‘Violet Crown’ has its own history in our town.

Here is what the Austin History Center has to say about it:

“The earliest mention the Austin History Center has found is from an article published in the Austin Daily Statesman on Wednesday, August 8, 1894. The article, “The Rest of the News,” begins: “May 5,1890, was a memorable day in Austin. It was memorable for the reason that on that day the citizens of the City of the Violet Crown voted to build a granite dam across the Colorado River …”

For a long time, it was believed that the first published use of the phrase is found in O. Henry’s short story “Tictocq” in the Rolling Stones collection of O. Henry short stories. It was originally published in his local newspaper The Rolling Stone on October 27, 1894.

The phrase is used in Chapter Two: “The drawing-rooms of one of the most magnificent private residences in Austin are a blaze of lights. Carriages line the streets in front, and from gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet, on which the delicate feet of the guests may tread. The occasion is the entrance into society of one of the fairest buds in the City of the Violet Crown.”

YES! Dogs are welcome on the currently open section of the trail, but please keep them on a leash at all times and pick up after them. Keep your furry friends safe – wildlife appreciates it too.
There are no dedicated restrooms on the currently open section of the trail, although there are restrooms at Barton Springs Pool and in Zilker Park. There are currently no water fountains either, so plan on bringing plenty of water for your trip!
The currently open section from Zilker Park to the 290 trailhead is a nature trail which in many ways was originally designed as a mountain biking trail. Along the route there are some flat and wide sections but there is also an uneven, rocky surface and at times this section has steep slopes and sharp curves. It is not advisable for strollers or road bikes.
Yes. The main section of trail from Zilker Park to the 290 Trailhead crosses Barton Creek 3 times. There is an alternate route that bypasses two of these crossings but trail users will have to cross Barton Creek shortly after mile marker 3. Depending on the level of Barton Creek, this could mean wading through water that is inches high or swimming across a flowing creek. Please check the creek levels if you plan to traverse this section.
There is currently no allowed equestrian use of the Violet Crown Trail but it is a coming attraction! The section of the trail from south of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center that runs through the City of Austin Water Quality Lands will be open for horses (but not dogs). This will eventually be almost 17 new miles of equestrian trails!