Work in progress

Construction is nearing completion on sections of the Aransas Pathways’ Southern Trail project, south of Market Street. Pictured is a leg of the trail at the intersection of Austin and Market streets that will tie into historic downtown Rockport (see story).

Aransas Pathways’ Southern Trail project was planned about five years ago and an engineer was hired to design it. Due to a number of reasons, including Hurricane Harvey, the project was delayed until 2020. In 2020 COVID hit and the project was delayed again. In 2021 the project has started.

Construction is underway and most of the sidewalk south of Market Street is complete. The last leg north of Market will start soon. The Texas Department of Transportation is supervising the work.

When completed, the trail route will run down S. Live Oak Street, beginning at the corner of Live Oak and Cornwall streets. It will run south on Live Oak to First Street.

On First Street the trail will turn west across Church Street to the side entrance of the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary (Aransas Pathways venue).

At First and Live Oak the trail will also run east to Water Street. Walkers can use the existing walking lane on Water Street to travel north to Bay Street.

On Bay Street the trail picks back up, and heads west where it crosses S. Live Oak, and up to Ann Street. This is across from the City of Rockport’s Zachary Taylor Park.

There is also a leg on the trail off Bay Street on Austin Street that ties the trail to historic downtown Rockport.

The reason the committee chose this route is it connects to an existing city sidewalk and walkers can visit Pathway venues, a city park, and now the historic train depot.

When completed, one can visit the following places while walking down the trail:

• Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary (Pathways venue and parking)

• Zachary Taylor Park (City of Rockport)

• Historic downtown Rockport

• Historic train depot (soon to be parking)

• The History Center for Aransas County (Pathways venue) at Live Oak and Cedar streets

• City of Rockport hike & bike trail

• Tule Park West (Pathways venue)

• Aransas Pathways Pavilion at Tule Park West (parking)

• Aransas Pathways foot bridge over Tule Creek.

• Shellcrete Nature area (Pathways venue)

• Tule Marsh East Nature venue (Pathways venue and short walk across SH 35 and south about 500 yards from Tule Park West)

Information about the Southern Trail Project and other Aransas Pathway events and venues can be found at www.AransasPathways.com or by visiting the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

How Southern Trail Project came about

Shortly after Aransas Pathways was created in 2011, the Pathways Steering Committee went about determining what types of projects it would pursue.

The four project types it selected included Bird & Nature, Kayak, History, and Trails.

During the past nine years the committee planned and built bird and nature venues, kayak launch sites, a walking bridge, the Pathway Pavilion, and restored the History Center for Aransas County.

Only trails remained to be planned and built. The committee wanted to create a trail network where people could walk safely around Aransas County.

The Aransas Pathways Pavilion is the center of that network.

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