Friedrich Wilderness Park is a natural area on the far northwest side of San Antonio, where it meets the southern tip of Texas Hill Country. This San Antonio Park can be found west of the Dominion, and north of Six Flags. It contains 10 miles of trails which may only be used for hiking.
Along the hiking trails you may see canyons, hills, unique plants, or rare birds. The natural area is over 230 acres, and some trails will be more challenging than others. Friedrich Wilderness Park may be one of the most popular parks in San Antonio.
This park has fewer amenities than the average San Antonio Park. There is a bike rack beyond the parking lot if you live close enough to bike. The park also has public restrooms near the trailhead, as well as a drinking fountain. There are no other drinking fountains in the park. Upon entering the park you will find the initial trails to be concrete, and asphalt. These trails are handicap accessible, but very short. Once you get to the main loop you will find dirt, gravel, and rocks from that trail onward.
The Deal Breaker
The first time we arrived at Friedrich Wilderness Park we were planning on hiking with our dog. Unfortunately, the park is NOT dog friendly. The big red letters on the entrance sign which read, “No Pets”, are hard to miss. After that disappointment we decided to hike the Boerne Riverwalk since we were heading to Boerne anyway.
My wife and I returned to Friedrich Wilderness Park on a later date when we did not have our dog. We hiked the main loop, and a couple of the trails branching outward. The trail is labeled difficult, but we did not find it very challenging. There are a couple of sections where the rocks on the trail act like steps, but I wouldn’t consider those areas difficult to pass in dry weather.
The rocky trails are fun to hike, and provided us with a few scenic shots as well. However, the inability to hike with my dog in the park is a definite deal breaker. My pup loves hiking even more than I do. Why would I force her to sit at home while I go on an adventure? Dogs need exercise too! In fact, they can use even more exercise than us.
Hiking is one of the only activities to do at Friedrich Wilderness Park. Bird watching is said to be the other major attraction because of two endangered species. I assumed the park was not dog friendly because of dog poop, or wild animals which may roam the park. However, it is because of the endangered species, according to the parks website. How would a dog on a trail upset the birds in the trees? I have no idea either.
I’m not a bird watcher myself, and did not notice any wildlife along the trails. Most of the trails were narrow, but easy to maneuver. I noticed the rocky areas that make up some of the trails are incredibly smooth. When they get wet I imagine they become very slick, and unsafe.
I also noticed signs lying in the woods a few feet from some of the trails. It turns out, the park will block trails during or after rainy weather. They don’t want people leaving the trails to go around water or other obstacles. In fact, going off trail is against the rules at Friedrich Wilderness Park.
I understand why many people hike in this natural area. It has miles of trails through congested woods, and some scenic views. Many people in San Antonio have included Friedrich Wilderness Park on their “must see” list. Others have said it contains the most challenging trails in the city. I’m glad I was able to hike some of the trails and see the views, but I’m not sure I’d go back.
Some trails offer a challenge greater than most San Antonio parks. However, they are less challenging than some Texas State Park trails in the area. I was able to manage perfectly fine with tennis shoes, but hiking shoes may serve you better. I did not believe the hype regarding this park. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice its similarity to Eisenhower Park.
Eisenhower Park has some long trails which are equally challenging. It also contains a tower near the back which provides a nearly 360 degree view of the surrounding area. You can even make out San Antonio in the distance.
The trails, views, and surroundings of both parks are similar. I couldn’t tell why people seem to recommend Friedrich Wilderness Park more often. Eisenhower Park has the better view in my opinion, AND it’s dog friendly. I believe I know where we will be hiking on a regular basis.
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I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.