Hidden on the northwest side of San Antonio, near the medical district, is where you will find Denman Estate park. Although it does not have many amenities, it is a unique and memorable community park. The atmosphere of the park is peaceful, and its appearance will provide you with special photographic moments.
- Dog friendly
- South Korean pagoda
- Nature walk
Denman Estate Park is fairly small (20 acres), but you could spend more time here than in some larger parks. After parking, I noticed the Tower of the Americas in the distance. This is one of only a few parks with that quality in San Antonio. The view can be seen from the top of the hill, above the open field which often hosts picnics, games, and dog friendly activities.
Dog Friendly Activities
Space is limited, but there is some room to play with your four legged friend. After capturing a shot of the Tower of the Americas, we headed down the hill toward the open field. There was another family trying to fly a kite with a child and dog. Instead of interrupting, we decided to head back up the hill to find more things to do.
East of the parking area we found the two story mansion. It is made of large stone blocks and has a very large second story balcony. The mansion is currently owned by the University of the Incarnate Word, as are the grounds beyond. Unfortunately, these areas are not open to the public and are maintained by the UIW. Our dog, Abbey, spotted a couple of ducks near the mansion before we followed the trail to the pagoda.
South Korean Pagoda
You can find the pagoda at Denman Estate Park on the east side of the pond. Nearly a decade ago, the pagoda was built as a gift from the city of Gwangju. After reading the description in front of the pavilion, I learned San Antonio and Gwangju are sister cities. Unfortunately, the pagoda is not open to the public.
Reviewers often fail to mention this fact – you can see the pagoda, but you cannot do anything with it. Special occasions and events may be a different story. Denman Estate Park does provide the backdrop for weddings, and photography sessions. In fact, one family was being photographed around the park throughout our visit.
The park is filled with live oak and cypress trees. A concrete path circles the pond, and another loops through the wooded area on the east side. The total distance is only half a mile, so you won’t do a lot of hiking here unless you make multiple loops. The trails are handicap accessible. There is also one drinking fountain, and several picnic tables near the pond.
Denman Estate Park is a great place to have lunch, read a book, or enjoy a peaceful walk with the family. We are a family of three including Abbey, and we enjoyed the park. We will definitely return to experience it during different seasons. The park is very close to I-10, I-410, and the medical district. However, it did not seem to be polluted by the noise of the city like some other parks.
The labyrinth at Denman Estate Park is between the mansion and the pond. We passed by without spotting it on the way to the pagoda. After we returned from the nature walk, I only noticed the labyrinth because of its marker. It is a very simple maze for walking and mindfulness. The description informed us that we would leave the labyrinth with an answer.
The hedges inside the labyrinth are extremely low. Any dog could simply walk right over them which is exactly what Abbey tried to do. I wondered why they weren’t much higher. You might say I left with more questions, but that is nothing new. Clearly we are much better at hiking in San Antonio, than completing mazes.
Six foot high, impassable hedges would be ideal, in my opinion. I would spend the better part of an hour inside that kind of labyrinth. I imagine there is no feeling like wandering through a labyrinth without being able to see where you are going. Meanwhile, you can try your luck at this one and see if you come out with the answers I did not.
Denman Estate Park should receive more recognition, but seems to get lost in the mix with the vast amount of San Antonio Parks. The fact that you cannot enter the mansion or pagoda is disappointing, but it is worth visiting nonetheless.
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I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.