Hiking the Old Number 9 Railway Trail Through Boerne

Boerne is an awesome place north of San Antonio, Texas, with a strangely pronounced name. There may not be many hiking trails in town, but the ones they do have are a pleasure to hike. The Old Number 9 Trail is a greenway running at an angle near downtown Boerne. Although the trail is short, it reveals bits of incredible history about the area.

A crossing sign at the Old Number 9 Greenway Trail in Boerne.
The Old Number 9 Greenway in Boerne, TX

How to Get to Old Number 9 Trail in Boerne, Texas

Address: 369 S Esser Rd, Boerne, TX 78006

Hours of operation: The greenway is open from 6am – 10pm

You can access the Old Number 9 Trail at several points, but the designated parking area is across from the Old Number 9 General Store. It’s just north of River Road, on the west side of the street. Access Esser Road via HWY 46, or by taking Herff Road, after exiting I-10. This trail is about a 30-minute drive north of San Antonio.

The Old Number 9 station along the greenway in Boerne.
You can envision the Old Number 9 station

Trail Amenities

  • Walk your dog
  • Three water fountains (one of them is dog friendly)
  • Covered benches
  • A mist fountain
  • Pull-up bars
  • Historical displays

The Old Number 9 Trail is only about one and a half miles long. It’s out-and-back, so you’ll walk about three miles if you go from end-to-end and back. The very wide path is dog friendly and handicap accessible. There’s even one dog friendly water fountain near the middle of the greenway.

You will cross three roads during the hike: Rosewood, Plant and Blanco. Traffic has the right-of-way at these crossings. Cars may stop for you, but they are not required to do so. Blanco is a four-lane street and will be the most difficult to cross.

The pull-up bars and mist fountain are located at the south trailhead. Benches and historical displays can be found along the path during your walk. One covered area is designed to look like a train station and displays information about the Texas Mexican Railway.

History of the Greenway Trail in Boerne

This greenway used to be a roadway for wagons and horses. It was transformed into State Highway 9, connecting San Antonio to Fredericksburg. Railways ran near the highway and through Texas Hill Country. These railways are displayed inside the depot along the trail.

If you look at the map you will notice Old Number 9 Trail runs directly into Route 87, and I-10. Before all of this construction took place, Native Americans used this route to get through the hills. Back then, the route was known as the Pinta Trail, but eventually became Old San Antonio Highway.

The greenway is not well-shaded, but it is dog friendly.
Old Number 9 is dog friendly in Boerne

Walking Along Old Number 9

The Old Number 9 Trail may not be well-shaded, but it has many beautiful aspects. During our dog friendly hike we saw many wildflowers, even though we are well beyond spring. Hike this trail in the springtime and your eyes will be rewarded with color.

The greenway is wide enough for bikers, runners, strollers and dogs. In fact, we saw all of those during our short, 3-mile hike. You will not find any elevation changes along this path, even though it’s located in Hill Country. However, one hill can be seen in the distance as you follow the path to the north.

There are plenty of shaded benches along the path, as well as water fountains. You will see a few of Boerne’s commercial buildings and residences, but there are also many trees lining the way. Keep your eye out for wildlife in the woods. We saw one doe and a large buck taking a stroll.

The south side of Old Number 9 Trail in Boerne, TX.
The south end of Old Number 9

Hiking Trails Near Old Number 9

Old Number 9 may not seem worth a visit if you do not live in Boerne, but there are other great trails nearby. Consider hiking some of their other trails during your visit.

Cibolo Nature Center and River Road Park can be reached on foot from Old Number 9 Trail. River Road Park has a path which follows Cibolo Creek for about one mile. Cibolo Nature Center has a few trails through various terrain: marshlands, woods and meadow.

Kreutzburg Canyon Natural Area is a lesser known place about 10 miles north of Boerne. When they say natural, they are not kidding. At this park you can float in the Guadalupe River, or hike miles of natural trails. It’s quite an amazing hike. Cave Without A Name is just east of Kreutzburg Canyon. There are short nature trails, but the main attraction is the cave which has no name.

Head east on HWY 46, and you can hike for miles, or swim with dogs in the river at Guadalupe River State Park. This Texas State Park is about 13 miles east of Boerne. The new nature trails, armadillo sightings and river access make it a “must-visit”, but there is a $7 entrance fee.

Eventually, a new park will be opening up about five miles east of Boerne, along HWY 46. Kronkosky State Natural Area will provide us with an additional Texas State Park full of great amenities. This is the only park we have yet to visit in the area, and we can’t wait to get there…

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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