The Visitors Guide for Hiking San Antonio, Texas


Hiking trails in San Antonio, Texas, are very adventurous and easy to find. There is an abundance of parks and things to do throughout the Alamo city. Our Indisputable Guide contains hiking trails, community parks, dog friendly parks, scenic views, “must see” locations, original park photos and more. Bookmark this page now before you hike in San Antonio because it is very long and you may not finish in one sitting.

Hiking along the San Antonio Riverwalk during winter provides beautiful illuminations.
The San Antonio Riverwalk during winter

San Antonio FAQ’s

What is there to do in San Antonio today?

Where are the best places to hike, bike, fish, or swim?

Where can I take my dog in San Antonio?

This guide will help you with all of the above, and everything else you need to know about hiking in San Antonio. Follow the guide to its conclusion for trail maps and navigational links to every park with hiking trails. First, let’s look at a few things you may need to consider before setting out on your adventure. Prepare to wag your tails, friends!

Finding the Best Hiking in San Antonio

The city of San Antonio contains a plethora of parks. There are 207 parks within the city limits, and most of them are community parks. If you include parks near San Antonio, it may be possible to make it through an entire year without visiting the same park. However, many parks are not ideal for hiking.

We have found 32 parks in San Antonio which contain hiking trails. Each of these parks has one or more trails, and a potential hiking distance of at least one mile. Additionally, the city has its Greenway Trail Network (70 miles) and the San Antonio Riverwalk (15 miles).

The total hiking distance is difficult to pin down. If we include Government Canyon State Natural Area, we have access to (at least) 231 miles of trail distance to hike in San Antonio. Most of the trails are dog friendly, but we will discuss that later in the guide. First, let’s go over the fees.

We found a red bridge leading to The Blue Hole spring while hiking at Headwaters Sanctuary.
The bridge over the headwaters at UIW

Park Fees

Texas State Parks charge a fee (typically between $5-7) if you do not have a Texas State Parks Pass. Government Canyon is one of these parks. You will find it on the northwest side of San Antonio. All other San Antonio parks are free to enter. Many parks are open from dawn until dusk. You will find that others are open from 5am – 11pm.

Hiking Prep

The initial step is choosing a park that meets your goal. The second step is figuring out how to get there. I find that it is easier to type the parks name into a search engine and view it’s location, rather than using the address these days. However, navigational links have been included in our list for your convenience. Once you have chosen a park in San Antonio and found its location, gather essentials before heading to the park.

Hiking Essentials in Texas

Hiking shoes for more challenging trails

Water to stay hydrated

Sunscreen to prevent sunburn

Trail maps

Bug spray for the woods

Swimwear if you plan on getting wet

Snacks because parks lack food

First aid in case of an emergency

Stay Hydrated

It gets very hot in San Antonio, Texas, especially between May and September. Carry water with you at all times while you hike in San Antonio. Most San Antonio parks contain water fountains, but you cannot always count on those. One fountain may be out of order, while red wasps erupt from another after pressing its button. Yes, I have witnessed each scenario. If you do not bring water you may regret it. However, you will not regret having enough water to stay hydrated.

Ripping apart the water at dog friendly Pedernales Falls State Park.
Strong enough to rip water from the river

Know the Terrain

You will discover various terrain including concrete, asphalt, gravel, sand, mulch, and natural trails on your hike. The concrete and asphalt trails will be easier. They are usually handicap accessible, and great for beginners. You will not need specific footwear in most cases. However, if you are hiking with dogs, the trail may become too hot for their paws. Many concrete paths are wide, and less shaded. Consider using trails which are heavily shaded to avoid direct sunlight.

The natural hiking trails in San Antonio have more shade and will vary in difficulty. Some natural trails are more advanced than others, contain roots which act as tripping hazards, and will be muddy after it rains. Natural and gravel trails may require hiking shoes, pants, and bug spray. I don’t know about you, but I am allergic to poison ivy, and other forms of plant life. I try to wear pants before hiking through the woods, but half the time it is too hot to wear pants.

You may not be able to get the best scenario for your hike. The natural trails are well shaded which is great when it is hot, but you may encounter poison ivy, and biting insects. The paved trails will be free of plants and mud, but there will be less shade. Consequently, it will feel hotter and the risk of sunburn will be higher. Hiking in San Antonio may require sunscreen, and provides a good opportunity to wear that cowboy hat.

Only a few lakes can be found in San Antonio these days and one is Elmendorf Lake.
A mosaic bench at Elmendorf Lake Park

Getting Lost on Purpose

Some parks contain trails which form a single loop. Other parks have trails which run out-and-back. The largest parks in San Antonio contain multiple loops, as well as interconnecting trails. Many of these parks have a trail map next to the parking area. Pay attention to the map so that you know where you are along the trails.

Certain parks have trails which deviate from the main path and lead into the woods. These could be created by bikes, animals, or water runoff. It will be difficult to get lost in most San Antonio parks. However, be sure you know how to determine your location, and how to get back to where you came from, just to be on the safe side. On my initial visit to the larger parks in San Antonio I took photos of the trail maps. Some of these are provided further along is this guide.

First Aid

Accidents happen. Educate yourself in the administration of first aid, and carry a first aid pack with you. Luckily, a couple of bee stings is the worst I have had to deal with. You will come across bugs and flying insects of all sorts. If you have a severe allergy to stings keep your epinephrine with you at all times. In San Antonio parks you may also encounter snakes, scorpions, spiders, and natural objects which can puncture the skin. You are responsible for yourself, and those with you. Please be careful and prepared.

A young buck at McAllister Park in San Antonio.
The deer are not easily frightened at McAllister Park

Wildlife on the Trails in San Antonio

You will come across different types of wildlife at most parks in San Antonio. Normally, the wildlife will be harmless and run away from you. I ordinarily see deer, squirrels, foxes, armadillos, possums, and hawks on the north side of the city.

I do not come across many tarantulas, scorpions, or snakes while hiking in San Antonio, but they are out there. Some of the parks have posted signs warning hikers of possible coyotes, snakes, and bobcats. We came across a large paw print at Stone Oak Park, which was most likely left by a dog from a giant breed. What a paw!

Abbey stands next to a large paw print in the dirt at Stone Oak Park.
A very large paw print at Stone Oak Park

Venomous Snakes

Texas is home to four different types of venomous snakes. Coral snakes and rattlesnakes are two of the venomous snakes you might encounter in San Antonio. Most snakes will be more afraid of you than you are of them, but you should know how to spot them and avoid them. Many bites occur because a snake was stepped on or trapped. Your risk of being bitten will be much lower if you wear boots, watch your step, and avoid any snake you see.

If you are bitten by a snake which may have been venomous, call 9-1-1, or get to a hospital immediately because you may need antivenom. DO NOT try to catch the snake, or suck the venom out. DO NOT consume caffeine or alcohol. Within 15 minutes a venomous snake bite may result in serious side effects.

Snake Bite Symptoms Requiring EMS

Severe burning

Swelling

Bruising

Labored breathing

Weakness

Snakes are a necessary part of our environment. We have only crossed paths with ONE while hiking in San Antonio. However, some of our neighbors have seen coral snakes in their backyards. The hike is worth the risk to us. Furthermore, spotting a snake at home seems just as likely. You can get more information about snakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Beware of venomous snakes and wild animals on the hiking trails.
Snake habitat along the Medina River Greenway

Dog Friendly Hiking in San Antonio Parks

San Antonio is rapidly becoming more dog friendly like its neighbors, Austin and Houston. Nearly all hiking trails in San Antonio are dog friendly. There are only a couple exceptions – Friedrich Wilderness Park and Crownridge Canyon are NOT dog friendly. Government Canyon State Natural Area restricts dogs to the front end of the park, which is unspectacular. Each of these parks are northwest of I-10 and Loop 1604.

All other trails in San Antonio are dog friendly, including the San Antonio Riverwalk. I have been hiking with my girl, Abbey, at nearly every park in this great city. Hiking with your dog(s) can be a great experience. Bring extra water for your pup, as well as proper gear. A comfortable harness or backpack may be essential, and a leash is required. We’ve noticed quite a few dogs off leash, and at least one runaway on the trails. Obey the law, stay safe, and use a leash.

Walker Ranch Park is a place for fun and education.
Walker Ranch Park is dog friendly and educational

Clean up after your dog so that his droppings do not get stepped on, or washed into the water supply. Dog poop is not uncommon along the trails. However, it can be hazardous to the environment. Bags can be found at the best places to hike in San Antonio, as well as the dog parks. Let’s help ensure San Antonio parks remain dog friendly by keeping them clean.

Pack it Out

How to be Awesome

The poop fairy will not come around to clean up the mess. Do your duty after your dog does his. Be responsible and lead by example.

If it gets too hot, consider hiking around dusk and dawn. Hot pavement can burn paws, and dogs are not immune to sunburn. Signs of overheating may include confusion, heavy panting, and a desire to stay in the shade. Get your pup out of the heat fast if he is showing signs of overheating.

Best Places to Hike in San Antonio for Visitors

Abbey was too short for her wings at HemisFair park in downtown San Antonio.
Downtown San Antonio is dog friendly too!

If you are visiting San Antonio for the first time, welcome to Alamo city, Military city, and River city. It’s all the same great place. Before moving here, I visited twice and was blown away by the amount of things to do in San Antonio. Although, your feelings about the city will probably depend on your background and place of residence. Here is a short list of the best places to visit near the downtown area.

  • The San Antonio Riverwalk
  • The Alamo
  • The Missions in San Antonio
  • Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas
  • Buckhorn Saloon
  • The Museums (Fire, Western Art, Culture, Ripley’s, etc.)
  • Tobin Center
  • Spanish Governor’s Palace
  • La Villita
  • Market Square
  • Steves Homestead
  • Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours

Attempting to see everything downtown will take a lot of time. Most of it will be spent walking, unless you use one of the scooters that came out last year. Once you have had your fill of downtown activities, you may want to visit these San Antonio parks.

  • San Pedro Springs Park
  • Brackenridge Park
  • Pearsall Park
  • Comanche Lookout Park
  • Eisenhower Park
  • Government Canyon
  • Medina River Natural Area

There are more things to do outside San Antonio, but that is a completely separate topic. If you are interested in more adventuring, and don’t mind traveling outside San Antonio, checkout these 12 spectacular places to hike near San Antonio. If you are less interested in parks, there are also wineries, caverns, historic areas, and exotic places. Search our site, or leave a comment below and we can direct you to those.

The Guadalupe River is a great place to hike in Texas Hill Country.
The Guadalupe River

The San Antonio Riverwalk

Visitors and residents flock to the San Antonio Riverwalk everyday, and for good reason. There are many things to do near the downtown section of the riverwalk, and it is aesthetically pleasing. However, the outer sections of the riverwalk (north and south of downtown) contain less traffic, and are great for hiking, biking, or kayaking.

A parade takes place on the San Antonio Riverwalk.
A riverboat parade on the San Antonio River

The San Antonio Riverwalk is our nations largest urban ecosystem. Although most people prefer to congregate along the downtown stretch, the riverwalk extends 15 miles through the heart of the city. Abbey and I have hiked the entire San Antonio Riverwalk. It’s an amazing hike beyond historical structures, different backgrounds, and various forms of plant and animal life.

There is much to learn about the riverwalk, but I will allow you to investigate that for yourself. Along the downtown stretch you will find several popular places and attractions.

  • La Villita
  • River boat tours
  • Outdoor theatre
  • More than 30 restaurants
  • Steves Homestead
  • Blue Star art complex
  • Guenther House
  • The San Fernando Cathedral

Special events take place on the riverwalk throughout the year. There are too many events to list here, but some of them include parades on the river, concerts, and races. Locate the San Fernando Cathedral in the evening and you may witness a fascinating display as the face of the building is lit up with projections known as, “The Saga”.

If you are into hiking longer distances with river views, the outer stretches of the riverwalk will amaze you. If you prefer city surroundings, the downtown stretch of the riverwalk is also a pleasure. No matter your preference, we have created a map which will lead you to each access point along the San Antonio Riverwalk. This is one of the best places to hike in San Antonio at any point during the year.

Resources for Visitors

Are you new to San Antonio? Bookmark or print the San Antonio Riverwalk Map to find the best things to do in San Antonio. For more information on upcoming events view the San Antonio Riverwalk Events Page.

Mission Reach

Enjoying the architecture at Mission San Jose in San Antonio.
Visiting Mission San Jose

South of downtown you can find the Missions: Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and San Francisco de la Espada. All of the Missions can be accessed from the riverwalk, but they cannot be seen from it. This section of the riverwalk is known as Mission Reach, and covers approximately 10 miles.

Mission Reach is great for hiking, biking, kayaking, and it is dog friendly. We’ve only passed a few other dogs along the riverwalk, but it would probably help if more people knew they could take their dogs to the missions. We haven’t tried the Paddling Trail yet, but hope to do so in the future.

Confluence Park can be found across the river from Mission Concepcion. The design of Confluence Park allows it to feed rainwater underground and store it. It’s also an energy neutral park with five different ecotypes. Don’t miss this park as you hike or bike through Mission Reach.

Bikes can be rented at various points along the riverwalk. During midday most of the riverwalk will be in direct sunlight. Since the path is not well shaded, you may want to keep your head covered, or wear sunscreen.

Hike Back in Time

We have hiked through the missions in San Antonio multiple times. The churches are still active today, but what was it was like 300 years ago? The land would have been open, wildlife would have been more prevalent and the San Antonio River must have looked completely different.

In fact, the San Antonio Springs were exploding with life giving water back then. Imagine hiking San Antonio, Texas, before it was even founded. There is a lot of history to learn between the missions and the San Antonio River.

Museum Reach

Directly north of downtown you will find the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Historic Pearl. Once known as, The Pearl Brewery, the restored area has become a local hotspot filled with restaurants, shops, and special events. The riverwalk runs along the back side of The Pearl, and continues north through Brackenridge Park.

Near Brackenridge you will find the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Zoo, the DoSeum, the Witte Museum and the Botanical Garden. This area is less urban and more wooded, despite the nearby attractions.

Hike a few nature trails which run along the northernmost part of the San Antonio River, or ride the Kiddie Train through the park with your family. We have mapped many of the popular things to do on our Museum Reach Map.

The Olmos Dam is located to the north, without which there would be no riverwalk as it is known today. The natural springs, and World’s Fair (HemisFair) back in 1968, also played their part. You can find one of these springs at Headwaters Sanctuary, within the University of the Incarnate Word. Despite the spring, I found the hike particularly creepy, calling it the spookiest place to hike in San Antonio.

The Blue Hole

I inadvertently found The Blue Hole while hiking random parks in San Antonio with Abbey. The Headwaters of the San Antonio River have been under the protection of the UIW for some time. The spring is definitely not exploding these days, but it’s worth a visit to see where the San Antonio Riverwalk and Spanish Missions used to get their life source.

The Blue Hole in San Antonio, Texas, crystal clear spring water.
The Blue Hole at UIW

Hike in San Antonio Parks with Downtown Views

Throughout the years we have found several parks with great views. There are at least six parks providing a unique view of downtown San Antonio. Most are between I-410 and Loop 1604, but a couple are outside of Loop 1604. Of course, you can see the Tower of the Americas, and other buildings downtown, from various points along the San Antonio Riverwalk as well.

Downtown San Antonio with a view of the Tower of the Americas.
The Tower of the Americas

Hemisfair Park

The best view of downtown can be found inside Hemisfair Park. Travel up the Tower of the Americas and you will have found the best view in town. The Tower is open from 10am – 10pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 10am – 11pm, Friday and Saturday. Regular admission is $14.50 for adults, which does not include food or parking.

Pearsall Park

The other parks are outside of the downtown area, and are located at different positions on the map. To the southwest you will find Pearsall Park. Hike up the hill at this family friendly park and you can see much of the city. Although it is possible to see downtown, it is a bit overshadowed by Lackland Air Force Base.

Pro Tip – This is one of the best San Antonio parks to visit if you have kids. It’s amenities include a large pavilion, skate park, zip line and epic splash pad. Pearsall Park is definitely geared toward families.

Eisenhower Park

At the far north end of the city you will find Eisenhower Park, which is next to Camp Bullis. Eisenhower is one of the larger, more popular parks for hiking in San Antonio. Several trails can be taken which will lead you to a wooden observation tower at the back of the park. From the tower you can see downtown San Antonio in the distance, and Texas Hill Country to the north. If the observation tower happens to be closed, you can also get a view of the city from the outer loop trail (northeast side).

The highest point at Madla Natural Area while hiking in San Antonio.
View from Madla Natural Area

Comanche Lookout Park

On the northeast side of the city you can find the fourth highest point in Bexar County, at Comanche Lookout Park. Unfortunately the tower at Comanche Lookout is off limits, but the park still contains great views. At the highest point in the park you can see downtown San Antonio, Randolph Air Force Base, and other surrounding areas. Even though the views are great, I really wish they would open the tower to the public.

Denman Estate Park

This unique park is near the medical district on the northwest side of the city. I noticed a view of the tower between the foliage after parking. The park also contains a South Korean pagoda, nature walk, pond, two story mansion, and labyrinth. Unfortunately the buildings are off limits to the public. However, it remains a popular park for photography and mindfulness.

Pro TipDenman Estate Park is very different than other San Antonio parks. You will not find it on our list of parks to hike in San Antonio because its nature trail is too short. However, it’s a place you must see for yourself. Tranquility and mindfulness are words which come to mind while visiting this gorgeous park.

Find a labyrinth of peace at Denman Estate Park in San Antonio.
The pagoda at Denman Estate Park

Cassiano Park

If you follow Apache creek from Elmendorf Lake, you can get a clear view of the tower near Cassiano Park. Although there isn’t much to see at Cassiano Park, Elmendorf Lake Park is a beauty to behold. It is a short distance west of downtown, on Commerce Street. There’s more to share about that park which you will find later in this guide.

Government Canyon State Natural Area

You will find this Texas State Park on the northwest side of the city next to Helotes. Inside you will find more hiking trails, and scenic views than any other park in the area. There are several scenic viewpoints throughout the park, but some of the best ones are unmarked.

It’s a five mile hike to Black Hill and the natural habitat on the north side of the park. If you travel around Black Hill, you may find some interesting viewpoints. Head east between two peaks and you will see the Tower of the Americas roughly 30 miles away. I was very surprised to see the sight when I visited the natural area. Is there a farther view of downtown San Antonio? It’s possible, but I haven’t found it!

The Black Hill Loop is one of the best trails in San Antonio, Texas, and provides scenic views.
View of downtown San Antonio from Black Hill

Pro Tip – The Black Hill Loop is only accessible during fall and winter months. The natural habitat on the north end of the park is not open during the spring or summer. Do not visit Government Canyon on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday because it will not be open. Each adult must pay $6 to enter this state park. Dogs are not allowed on the back end, which is 82% of the entire park.

What a View!

These are some of the parks containing the best views in San Antonio. They would also be excellent locations to watch the sunrise, or sunset, in San Antonio. I have been inside the Tower of the Americas during sunset. Coincidentally, it was also Christmastime and many of the lights could be seen after dark. The view was quite spectacular. Yes, Christmas lights are a big thing in San Antonio too. In fact, the riverwalk is illuminated from above and below.

A nighttime view from the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio.
A view from atop the Tower of the Americas after dark

San Antonio Greenway Trails

The greenways of San Antonio are a growing network of natural areas following waterways. There are currently 70 miles of paved trails which are great for hiking, or biking. If you look at the map you will notice that three of the greenways nearly form a circle. Imagine walking, running, or biking the entire loop in San Antonio! My dog would do it!

Apache Creek

This is the shortest of the greenways, and is just west of downtown San Antonio. Approximately 10 miles long, it runs from 36th street to Mission Reach at the San Antonio River. There are three parking areas along the Apache Creek trail.

Entire greenway map for hiking in San Antonio.
Map of the greenways in San Antonio

Leon Creek

This greenway is on the northwest side of San Antonio. Approximately 15 miles long, it runs from Eisenhower Park to Lackland Air Force Base. Leon Creek passes through several parks on the west side of the city. You can gain access to this trail from 17 different parking areas.

Medina River

More than 10 miles long, this greenway is on the south side of the city. It extends from the San Antonio River, past Mitchell Lake, to Medina River Natural Area. There are currently five areas to park along the Medina River trail. The extension which connects it to the end of the San Antonio Riverwalk is nearly complete, and should be opening soon.

Salado Creek

Approximately 30 miles in length, the Salado Creek trail can be accessed on the north, northeast, and east sides of the city. It runs all the way from Shavano Park to South Side Lions Park, nearly connecting to the Medina River trail. I’m not sure if it will be extended or not. It would be nice to see the confluence of the Salado Creek and San Antonio River. There are 14 areas to park along the Salado Creek trail. The greenway runs by, or through, at least 11 other San Antonio parks.

The greenways are clearly a major factor when it comes to hiking in San Antonio. With easy access, many parking areas, and concrete pathways, they attract many walkers, runners, and bikers. They are a great addition to help improve daily activity among residents of San Antonio. That being said, I often prefer hiking in the parks because of the noise pollution from I-410, the San Antonio Airport and other highways. However, the Medina River Greenway is often noise-free. To find exact parking locations for every greenway trail in San Antonio, bookmark or print the Greenway System Trail Map.

Salado Creek is often quite dry in Walker Ranch Park.
Salado Creek from Walker Ranch Park

The 7 Largest Parks with the Longest Trails to Hike

Many parks are small and unsuitable for longer hikes in San Antonio. However, there are a few larger parks with miles of natural trails. Very few parks contain distances I would consider “long”. Of course, it’s all a matter of perspective and experience.

If you enjoy going the distance like we do, you may want to investigate some of the Texas State Parks nearby. Meanwhile, these parks in San Antonio may serve you well. Of course, the San Antonio Riverwalk, and San Antonio Greenway Trails would fit here, but have been discussed already. Checkout our map of the parks with the longest hikes in San Antonio, and get directions to the park of your choice.

Government Canyon

Government Canyon State Natural Area is a Texas State Park, which is located on the northwest side of San Antonio. The total size of the park is greater than 12,000 acres, and it contains more than 40 miles of trails to hike. Biking and camping are also allowed at this park.

The majority of the park is NOT dog friendly. Dogs are only allowed on the trails in the front of the park. Unfortunately, this information is often unclear, even under the park rules on the website. Government Canyon is open from 7am – 10pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The park is closed Tuesday through Thursday!

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Friedrich Wilderness Park is a natural area on the north side of San Antonio, connecting it to Texas Hill Country. The park contains approximately 230 acres, and more than 10 miles of trails. The trails are strictly for hiking, and dogs are NOT allowed at this park. Strangely enough, the park is open from 7:30am – 7:50pm.

Mud Creek Park has the most unmarked trails in San Antonio.
Wildflowers in the spring at Mud Creek Park

Eisenhower Park

Eisenhower Park is also on the north side of San Antonio. This San Antonio park contains more than 300 acres, and six miles of trails. The trails are good for hiking and jogging, but not biking. Some of the trails may be more difficult for beginners. The trails are a blend of multiple materials, and the park is dog friendly. The park is available for use from sunrise to sunset.

McAllister Park

McAllister Park is just north of the San Antonio Airport. It is nearly 1,000 acres in size, and has 15 miles of trails. A third of the trails are paved, while the other two thirds are natural. The trails are good for hiking, biking, and jogging. This park also contains exercise stations, a playground, sports fields, and a dog park. It is open from 5am – 11pm everyday.

Trails in San Antonio must include McAllister Park.
The creek is also dry at McAllister Park, which makes it a good trail

Phil Hardberger Park

Phil Hardberger Park is also on the north side, and just west of McAllister Park. It is approximately 300 acres and is split by Wurzbach Pkwy. There are more than six miles of trails which are good for hiking, jogging, and biking. A bridge is in the works which will connect the east and west sides of the park. There are two dog parks and playgrounds on either side. The park is open from 7:30am – 8:30pm everyday.

Medina River Natural Area

Medina River is the only natural area on the south side of San Antonio. This park is more than 500 acres in size, and has five miles of trails. The trails are good for hiking, jogging, and biking. The park is dog friendly and camping is allowed at a cost of $20 per night. You might catch catfish, or bass from designated fishing areas. Beware of venomous snakes, wild hogs, bobcats and mountain lions!

The Guadalupe River is a great area to swim in San Antonio
Abbey watches swimmers in the Guadalupe River

Mud Creek Park

If you prefer unmarked trails, Mud Creek Park is the place to go. It’s very small, but contains more unmarked trails than any other park in San Antonio. The natural trails are dog friendly and contain some unique sights. Most people have no idea how many trails are inside the park, but we tallied five miles while hiking here. Mud Creek Park is open from 5am – 11pm everyday. Walk through wild flowers in the spring, find caves in the cliffside, or witness running water on rare occasions.


4 Must-See San Antonio Trails

There are hundreds of trails in San Antonio, Texas. Most of them are great for an easy hike, or bike ride. However, the surroundings may look very different depending on the season. Here are the best trails we have found in San Antonio, Texas, and when you should visit them.

Rio Medina Trail

Inside Medina River Natural Area is where you will find the Rio Medina Trail. This trail runs alongside the Medina River and is beautiful in the spring. It’s a short 1.5 mile hike in San Antonio. Of course, you can also bike through the well shaded riparian forest. There are a few moderate changes in elevation within the forest.

The Rio Medina Trail is open from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. However, we found the evening in the middle of April to be the best time to visit this natural area on the south side of San Antonio. Follow Rio Medina to the Medina River Greenway Trail to see colorful fields of wildflowers during this time.

We hiked through fields of colorful wildflowers at Medina River Natural Area in San Antonio, TX
Wildflowers in April at Medina River Natural Area

Acequia Trail

This is another well shaded trail which runs five miles through the south side of San Antonio. The Acequia Trail connects three of the Spanish Missions, and several parks. Summer is a great time to bike this trail because of the shade and water fountains along the sparkling San Antonio River. However, you will also find cool sanctuary within some of the missions.

The Acequia Trail in San Antonio, Texas, is open from sunrise to sunset. The missions are accessible during the same hours, but the buildings have shorter hours and are closed during major holidays. The trip is one-way, but bikes can be rented at Mission San Jose if you do not have your own.

Black Hill Loop

Black Hill is located on the north side of Government Canyon State Natural Area. The Black Hill Loop is a five mile trail within a natural habitat. Dogs and bikes are NOT allowed on this trail. Furthermore, it is only open from September through February. As if those limitations were not enough, it’s a four mile trip to the moderately challenging natural habitat, but the views are rewarding.

The Black Hill Loop has some of the most limited hours of operation in San Antonio, Texas. The trail is open from 7am – 10pm, Friday through Monday, but only from September through February. However, if you conquer these limitations during autumn, you will be rewarded with colorful views of Hill Country on the north side of San Antonio.

The San Antonio Riverwalk

Without a doubt, the San Antonio Riverwalk is the most popular “trail” in the city. There are many things to do along the San Antonio River, but hiking is not always the most popular choice among visitors, or residents. However, if you are a resident you (should) know winter is the best time to visit the riverwalk. Temperatures are pleasant and the river is illuminated from Southtown to The Pearl.

The Christmas lights are beautiful and bright along the San Antonio Riverwalk at The Pearl
The San Antonio Riverwalk at The Pearl

This five mile stretch of the San Antonio Riverwalk looks amazing after the sun has set during Christmastime. It’s a completely different experience from Thanksgiving to mid January, and not limited by hours of operation. You haven’t seen how spectacular the riverwalk can be until you’ve hiked through the Christmas lights along the San Antonio River.

Other San Antonio Parks and Hiking Trails

This Indisputable Guide once contained an entire list of parks in San Antonio which are good for hiking. However, it was too long and we decided to separate it from this visitors guide. In fact, it is more useful for residents and helping them find more places to have fun. You can find the complete list of San Antonio parks for hiking here if you would like to visit them all, as we have done.

Good Luck Hiking San Antonio

If you have any other questions after viewing the guide, post them in the comments section below. If you know someone who would also benefit from this information please share it with them. Hiking is never completely risk free, but it is worth the time.

There is always something unique, or interesting to see when you hike in San Antonio. Furthermore, hiking is a fantastic way to increase your activity level. If you go hiking with your dog(s) too, they will surely thank you. Abbey is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, I’m a certified personal trainer, and hiking is our favorite activity.

There are many other great places to go hiking near San Antonio. Some of these areas include Austin, Boerne, Fredericksburg, Gruene, New Braunfels, and San Marcos. Of course, we cannot forget the Texas State Parks in Hill Country either. Feel free to view our new hiking videos, and updated articles detailing other dog friendly places.

If our Indisputable Guide helps you find the best places to hike in San Antonio, TX:

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Thank you for doing all of the above. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come!

A passerby carrying a young child up Enchanted Rock in Texas.
When it gets late, but the hike in San Antonio, TX, is not over

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.

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David Earley

CPT, CES



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