When completed the hiking-and-biking trails will connect four of Texas' Great Springs: Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and San Antonio Springs.

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In the past year, many of us have come to a new level of appreciation for nature, and, yes, even hiking.

Now, Texans' have an especially exciting greenway to fulfill all of their hiking-and-biking dreams to look forward to thanks to the Great Springs Project, which is setting out to build a greenway of contiguous protected lands between Austin and San Antonio over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. This 100-mile project will include a network of hike-and-bike trails, connecting four of Texas' Great Springs: Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and San Antonio Springs—all in an effort to address the limited access to outdoor sanctuaries in Texas and to mitigate the constant and growing threat of urbanization to Texas' drinking and recreational water supplies. "We're on a short timeline because our region is one of the fastest growing in the Country. The time to act and conserve this land is now," Emma Lindrose-Siegel, Chief Development Officer of the Great Springs Project told Southern Living. As of now, the entire project is expected to be completed by 2036.

All involved and the Texas communities along the greenway hope the impact will be manifold: "When completed, the project will result in the protection of natural resources for both aquatic and non-aquatic endangered species, water quality protection for the over two million people in the corridor who rely on the Edwards Aquifer for their drinking water, an economic development catalyst for the cities and counties along the proposed trail routes, and access to nature and health benefits for the projected population of nine million people living in and between Austin and San Antonio," states a joint press release from the National Park Service and the Great Springs Project.

If you'd like to learn more, visit GreatSpringsProject.org.

We're looking forward to the day when we can hit the trails. Texas definitely is a place for outdoors lovers and we're so grateful for all the people who work day in and day out to protect nature's treasures.