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Trail improvements: Wimberley parks department awarded $273.9k grant

Staff Report

WIMBERLEY — The City of Wimberley Parks and Recreation Department was recently awarded a $273,900 grant from the Recreational Trails Grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife that will complete the Regional Hike and Bike Trail Improvement Project in Blue Hole Regional Park. 

Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley is a 126-acre park offering recreational amenities including Wimberley’s natural swimming area, sports fields, picnic areas and four miles of hiking trails, all open and free to the public year-round.

The purpose of this project is to develop miles of trails throughout the Wimberley Valley connecting key points of interest including Blue Hole and other Wimberley parks, the downtown square, WISD, Jacobs Well, and more. 

The original construction of the trail failed to properly grade slopes greater than 4%. That, combined with decomposed granite laid on top of weed barrier cloth, causes severe washout during heavy rain events. 

A solution to this issue is crucial, so the department devised the improvement project, which includes renovation and resurfacing of the existing one mile of multi-use trail going through the park with an ADA accessible improved-surface trail. The section is roughly a third of a greater  three-plus mile long hike and bike trail, with the other two-thirds of the trail owned by Hays County.

One substantial benefit of the project is to provide a sustainable trail with as minimal maintenance upkeep as possible, saving the city money on new trail material, as well as maintenance staff and volunteers’ countless hours of time that can be spent in other areas of the city’s park system. 

Environmental benefits are also to be noted. Decomposed granite is more susceptible to trail washout than other materials, and the granite that washes off this trail travels to places where it cannot be recollected like densely wooded areas, creek beds and other sensitive environmental areas. This project will greatly reduce the amount of sediment and unnatural material in the environment, as well as improve quality of experience for trail users. 

Completing this project will ensure that the trail stays ADA accessible and that users will be encountering a safe-to-traverse trail.

The trail is set to become an integral portion of the Wimberley Valley Trail Initiative. This project is a collaboration between the cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek, Hays County, Wimberley Independent School District, the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, and many others. 

Volunteers are welcome and valuable partners in the success of the parks department. For more information about the park and to plan your trip, visit www.cityofwimberley.com/202/Blue-Hole-Regional-Park  or visit in person at 100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, TX 78676. 

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