Lakeway-Bee Cave Area Parks
Lakeway, TX, USA: Parks & Trails
Lakeway Parks Overview/Assessment:
Lakeway offers a wide variety of nature themed parks that are unmatched by any city in the State of Texas on a per-capita basis. This variety includes: lakefront, creek-side, waterfall, canyon, and mountain landscapes. These first class nature parks offer a vast botanical variety of native hill country plant pieces from water lilies and ferns to desert cactus and sotols. A vast variety of trees from water loving Bald Cypress and Palmetto palm to typical Hill Country trees including Escarpment Live Oaks, Texana Red Oaks, Cedar Elms, Texas Madrones, Texas Persimmons, Shin Oaks, Mohr Oaks, Burr Oaks, Evergreen Sumacs, Flame Sumacs, Sycamore, Texas Ash, etc. Several gems include a rare American Elm and a massive Texas Madrone. As with almost all of the Texas Hill Country, Ashe Juniper, a.k.a. Cedar, infest almost all areas of these parks. The Canyonlands and Rough Hollow Greenbelts offer exceptional Fall and Spring Foliage from the leaf turning Red Oaks, Live Oaks, and Cedar Elms.
The native parks which include: City Park, Rebel Park, Sailfish Park, Hamilton Greenbelts, Smith Greenbelt, Canyonlands, Hurst Creek, Rough Hollow Greenbelt, and Serene Hills Preserve, feature a wide variety of flowering shrubs, including Texas Mountain Laurel, Texas Redbud, Purple Sage, Retama, Fragrant Mimosa, Agarita, Rough Leaf Dogwood, Rock Rose, Anacacho Orchid, and Daminanita. Berrying shrubs include: American Beautyberry, Possumhaw, Yaupon Holly, Agarita, and Mustang Grape.
Native wildflowers are abundant in all the nature parks and include the typical Bluebonnet, Indian Paint Brushes, Indian Blankets, Prairie Verbena, Evening Primrose, Lantana, Blackfoot Daisy, Winecups, plus numerous others. Less prevalent and harder to find gems include: Missouri Primrose, Mountain Pink, Blue Bells, Gay Feather, Jimson-Weed Indian Apple, and Palafoxia.
The watery areas of the native parks also feature a variety of ferns, water lilies, algae, and lichen. Native grasses are abundant many of Lakeway's native parks; these grasses include tall Lindheimer Muhly to the shorter curly mesquite, Sideoaks Grama, plus numerous other native species. Cactus and sotol include Nolina Sotol, Twisted Leaf Yucca, plus various other sotol and cactus.
Smaller Neighborhood Parks include: Dragon, Porpoise, and Swim Center/Skateboard Park. While the Swim Center and Skateboard Parks are first class, the lack of small neighborhood parks in almost all neighborhoods of the City is a real weakness. There appears to be no effort to address this weakness. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) calls for neighborhood parks within ½ mile of every residence; the City of Lakeway cannot meet this standard for 70% of its residences even if the distance is expanded to 1 mile.
For years, dating back to before the City of Lakeway was incorporated, the community relied on sports facilities provided by the developer. These facilities included the golf courses and the World of Tennis. Sadly the cost of using these facilities was out of reach of many families. The Lake Travis Youth Association at their Bee Cave facility provided organized youth sport activities. However Lakeway families must travel through heavy and dangerous traffic to reach this facility. In 2013 the City purchased a large tract of land within the city to construct new athletic fields for youth sports and other organized sports. Sadly this land has never been developed for its intended purpose. The lack of city sponsored sports programs for all ages on facilities within the City is a real weakness.