San Antonio’s hot summers and mild winters make it the perfect place for people who love spending their free time in the great outdoors. With thousands of acres of parks, walking and biking paths, and wilderness trails spread throughout the San Antonio area, fitness-freaks and nature-lovers will never be at a loss when it comes to finding things to do outdoors.
San Antonio is home to over 14,000 acres of parkland. One of the most popular and accessible parks in the city, Brakenridge Park is located on the San Antonio River. Along with miles of walking and biking trails, the 343-acre park is home to the Witte Museum, the San Antonio Zoo, and the par-72 Brakenridge Park Golf Course. One of the oldest municipal parks in the United States (second only to Boston Common), San Pedro Springs Park features miles of walking paths and a free spring-fed swimming pool. Encompassing 311 acres, Phil Hardberger Park is San Antonio’s newest park and is located in the heart of the city. One of this park’s most popular features is the 8-acre enclosed dog park, which has separate areas for small and large dogs, and a dog water fountain. Those looking for something a little more challenging will want to check out the 320-acre Eisenhower Park. Located just north of the city the park features five miles of bike-and-hike nature trails which run through and past dry creek beds, wooded hills, and rocky canyons.
Communing with Nature
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is the jewel in the city’s historic Mahncke Park. The 38-acre botanical garden features an extensive rose garden, a sensory garden, and the Texas Native Trail, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with local Texas flora. Birdwatchers will enjoy the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, located in south San Antonio. The 624-acre preserve – which includes a 600-acre lake – is located on a migratory bird route and is visited by more than 300 species of birds including hawks, roseate spoonbills, egrets, and pelicans. If you are looking to get out of the city for the day, consider a trip to Enchanted Rock State National Area, located about 90 minutes north of the city. The large pink granite “rock” referenced in the area’s name is actually an exfoliation dome covering over 600 acres and rising over 400 feet above ground, and has been visited by human beings for over 11,000 years.
The River Walk
Popular with residents and tourist alike, the River Walk is a truly unique San Antonio experience. Located one level down from the city’s sidewalks and streets in the center of the city, the River Walk has fifteen miles of sidewalks and paths and follows the San Antonio River. It is home to many of the city’s most popular coffee shops, restaurants, and shops, as well as meandering past the Alamo, the San Antonio Museum of Art, Marriage Island, the Arneson Theater, Mission Reach, and parklands and green spaces. The River Walk also features a separate trail for those preferring to tour the city by bicycle.
San Antonio is a city that is committed to preserving – and expanding – its green spaces. Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, playing with the dog, or just relaxing in nature and all that it has to offer, San Antonio is the place to be.