Watch Your Head While Hiking at Friesenhahn Park

Friesenhahn Park is a moderately sized community park on the northeast side of San Antonio. The park does not have many amenities, but it does have room to hike and play. You can follow concrete loops through open areas of the park, or hike through the woods. We’ve visited this dog friendly park a couple of times and found it to be a good place to bike, hike, or play sports.

The pavilion at Friesenhahn Park in San Antonio.
The pavilion at Friesenhahn Park in San Antonio

Things to Do at Friesenhahn Park in San Antonio, TX

Address: 15701 O’Connor Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247

Hours of operation: 5am – 11pm

The parking lot at Friesenhahn Park is small and inadequate for large gatherings. There is a functional drinking fountain next to the parking lot, as well as a portable toilet. The park contains one pavilion and several picnic tables which are surrounded by concrete walkways.

One concrete path leads to the west and makes a very small loop near a pond. I have no idea if the pond is good for fishing because weeds made it unaccessible. During the summer you may not even see any water here. The pond may simply be from water runoff.

Beyond the pond you will find a few trails leading into the woods. They do not run very far, so your adventure will be short. The open areas of the park provide plenty of space to play with your dog, or play different types of sports.

The pond has water during the spring.
The pond in June

Hiking Trails at Friesenhahn Park

The concrete walkway at Friesenhahn Park is only about a half mile long. However, there are other trails which lead into the woods. The first time we entered the woods there were too many mosquitoes and spider webs. Moreover, I was not adequately dressed for hiking through the woods. We quickly returned to the open area, but noted the trails leading into the woods for future reference.

I would definitely recommend wearing pants if you plan on entering the woods. During a separate visit we took the trail nearest the parking lot, which was probably formed by water runoff. Exposed tree roots can be seen in abundance, and will trip you up if you aren’t careful. The “trail” seemed to lead to the pond which had dried up. I could no longer see any water around the tall grass and foliage.

Many exposed tree roots on the trail in the woods.
The root exposure

It seems like most of the trails in the woods are formed by water runoff. However, one trail, which is across from the end of the concrete walkway, is manmade. We followed this trail through the woods and noticed it may be used by bikes and smaller vehicles.

There is a significant amount of garbage in the woods, but not nearly as much as you will find in Olmos Basin. Full garbage bags are either being washed or thrown into the woods.

Garbage dumped in the woods at Friesenhahn Park.
Bags of garbage in the woods

Distance and Difficulty

The hiking trails at Friesenhahn Park are hardly one mile long including the natural trails. If you are on foot, and you take the manmade trail, it will lead you out-and-back. However, you can probably get through the woods on a bike.

Either way, make sure you watch your head in the woods because there are many low hanging branches. Abbey had no problems getting through, but I found myself ducking and squatting down more than a few times.

Abbey stands on a fallen tree in the woods at Friesenhahn Park.

Hiking through the woods was moderately difficult. The trees are tall, skinny, and close together, unlike what you will find in other nearby parks. I found myself walking over rocks, tree roots, garbage, and barbed wire in one area.

However, if you stick to the concrete and manmade trail, the journey will be fairly easy. The concrete walkways are handicap accessible, but the natural trails are not. We enjoy hitting as many trails as possible. If you do as well, getting through the woods may offer some challenges.

Rocky and dry creek beds are easy to find at Friesenhahn Park.
Dry creek bed in June

As usual, we saw some interesting things in the woods. Near the end of the manmade trail someone had dumped a laundry basket full of clothes in the woods.

Interesting, but not nearly as exciting as the couch-in-the-woods trail at Gold Canyon Park. It also wasn’t as fascinating as the face in the tree at John James Park. Many San Antonio parks have an interesting history, but Friesenhahn’s seems to be well hidden.

Laundry in the woods.
Doing laundry at Friesenhahn Park

More Opportunities at McClain Park

The entrance to Friesenhahn Park is located on the west side of O’Connor Road. You may notice the woods continue east of the road. We headed in that direction after hiking 1.3 miles at this dog friendly park.

Be cautious crossing the four lane street because vehicles come around the curves quickly. On the east side of the street we found more concrete walkways leading through the woods. We also noticed disks flying through the air. Watch your head!

Disc golf in the woods at McClain Park in San Antonio.
Disc golf at McClain Park

We entered the 18-hole disc golf course at McClain Park. The walkway on the north side of the park led us a half mile through the woods. Many of the trees have been removed, but some of the larger ones remain as obstacles. Several groups of people were playing disc golf at the park.

Feel free to use the course to extend your hike, and get a view of the action. There appears to be about two miles of concrete trails on this side of the park. Neither of us were struck by any discs. I doubt they would hurt much.

Part of the disc golf course in McClain Park.
The disc golf course in the fall

Friesenhahn Park is a peaceful place to play sports, walk the dog, bike, or take an adventure through the woods. To the east you can also find Comanche Lookout Park, which is filled with hiking trails and scenic views.

To the west you can find Mud Creek Park on the south side of Loop 1604, and Gold Canyon Park to the north. Each of these parks are dog friendly and have natural hiking trails as well. Which park is your favorite on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas?

I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it. We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site. Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

David Earley


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