Bamberger Nature Park is a small park on the northwest side of San Antonio, south of UTSA. I visited Bamberger Park to go hiking with my dog, but the park seemed to be more of a biking paradise. The park is filled with miles of trails, and intersected by the Leon Creek Greenway.
Bamberger Nature Park has two separate access points along the greenway. You will find one small parking lot at the point where Babcock Road curves to the north. The other is at the intersection of Hausman Road and JV Bacon PKWY. This section on the north side of the park is known as Fox Park Trailhead
- Dog friendly
- Bike trails
- Portable toilets
- At least 2.5 miles of paved trails
The history of Bamberger Nature Park is shrouded in mystery. I was unable to find any historical information online, or at the park. All of the signs pertain to the Leon Creek Greenway which runs through the park. To my surprise, I noticed a road running through the center of the park. The road was once known as Old Babcock Road, and is currently blocked by gates at both ends. Several bikers were using the road to travel through the park.
Bamberger Nature Park contains 2.5 miles of paved trails, and various natural trails. The Leon Creek Greenway enters the park from the north, and extends all the way to the intersection of I-10 and Loop 1604. It runs through Bamberger Park, crosses underneath Babcock Road, and continues through Oxbow, and OP Schnabel Park. Each of these are very popular biking areas.
On the west side of Bamberger Nature Park you will find an old, paved trail which loops through the woods. To the south, you will notice a road connecting Babcock Road to itself. The road is no longer accessible to vehicles. Through the center of the park, a concrete pathway runs from the parking lot in the north, to the parking lot in the south. Each of these pathways are good for hiking, or biking, but they’re not well shaded during midday.
The Figure Eight
As soon as we parked on a hot, weekday morning, I noticed several bikers waiting to ride. We quickly came to the concrete greenway trail and a few more bikers crossed our path. As we continued on, I noticed trails heading into the woods from the loop trail. We took the first possible trail and another biker rode past as we entered the woods. Clearly, we were hiking through a popular biking park.
After crossing the dry creek bed, we emerged from the woods to find Old Babcock Road. We made a loop to the south and back to the parking area. We had to get water out of the car because there is no water fountain at the south entrance. However, a dog friendly fountain can be found at the north entrance. Both entrances do contain portable toilets, in case nature calls.
After a quick drink, we headed back into the park and followed the greenway this time. The wide path wound through the woods and spit us out onto Old Babcock Road once again. We followed the road northwest instead of continuing along the greenway. Beyond the greenway, I noticed barbed wire running along the north side of the road. A very large section of the woods is still privately owned.
At the northwest side of Bamberger Nature Park we entered the woods once again. Bike tracks were clear on these natural trails, and there were several intersecting trails in the woods. The trails in this section of the park seemed especially challenging to bike, but one biker made his way through nonetheless. We followed the trail around the west side and came out onto the paved trail leading back to the parking area. Our hiking path ended up looking like a figure eight through the park.
Biking at Bamberger
With the name, Bamberger Nature Park, I was surprised to see so many trails running through the densely wooded area. In most San Antonio Parks there is an etiquette to stick to the paved trails. This is not the case at some of the parks on the northwest side of San Antonio. In fact, these parks along the Leon Creek Greenway are heavily used by bikers.
While walking along the paved path, it wasn’t possible to get very far without seeing a trail leading into, or out of the woods. We passed many people during the hike, but almost all of them were bikers. There were no other dogs on the trails with us in the morning.
The greenways in San Antonio are great for biking through (seemingly) natural areas with ease. The natural trails twist and turn through densely shaded areas, providing a completely different experience. Some of the trails seem rather challenging for a bike. Inside the woods at Bamberger Nature Park I noticed rocks, roots, branches, hills, and A LOW BRANCH – LOOKOUT!
On closer inspection there was something strange about that low branch. It had marks in the center as if someone attempted to cut it in half, but gave up because their tool was not causing enough damage. Low branches provide a certain element of danger while biking through the woods. Be safe, and don’t lose your head. Despite the creek, the woods were bone dry during this time of year (September).
The twists and turns along the dry, shaded ground create a good environment for biking during the summer. Bamberger Nature Park may be dog friendly and contain miles of adventurous trails, but it seems to be better for biking than hiking. Now that I have an idea of what the trails look like, I may bring my mountain bike back to the park in the future.
OP Schnabel Park is another good location for mountain biking. You can find it by following the Leon Creek Greenway to the south. Another park with biking trails is McAllister Park. Those trails can be found on the northeast side of San Antonio, and may be an easier ride. Where do you like to go mountain biking in San Antonio?
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I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.