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Breath of fresh air: Austinites can't stay away from the party on Lady Bird Lake

Paddle boarders and kayakers head to Lady Bird Lake every chance they get in the summer, like 22-year-old Zach Melton. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Are you really a local if you've never spent the weekend soaking up the hot summer sun and lounging on Lady Bird Lake? The pastime is so popular that if you find yourself cruising over one of the Lake's many bridges on a weekend, you're likely to see hundreds of people clumped together on the water in a formation locals call "Party Island."


With temperatures in the mid-90s this week, the Colorado River's cooling waters welcome paddleboarders, boaters and kayakers alike. Though it is well known that swimming is prohibited in Lady Bird Lake, nothing can stop partiers from perching on the shallow sandbar that leads into Barton Springs Pool—not even a global pandemic.

(Steven Joyner)

Like every sunny weekend, paddle boarders, kayakers, boaters, tubers and bridge-jumpers gathered at the intersection between Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

The lake is adjacent to the Lady Bird Lake Trail, which is also a busy recreation destination for runners, bikers and lovers of nature.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Jumping from the bridge is prohibited by the city, though you can see groups jumping off the bridge nearly every weekend.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Dozens of lake-goers gather to jump the bridge—performing flips and tricks into the water below.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Zach Melton, a 22-year-old DJ that goes by the name Maniac, lives in the Zilker Park area and jumped the bridge for the first time on Sunday. A Dallas native, Melton said he loves the nature, scenery and people that live in Austin. "I love the vibes of this city," Melton said.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

The love of Lady Bird Lake transcends species—dogs can often be spotted enjoying the lake with their humans.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Or spot some other four-legged friends—Lady Bird Lake is an excellent area to turtle-watch.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

People-watch long enough and you'll probably see a few people fall off their boards.

August is the hottest month of the year in Austin, so Lady Bird Lake season is in full swing. There's still time to enjoy the greenery and water sports that Austinites love so much.

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