Is McAllister Park King of Dog Friendly San Antonio Parks?

The amount of wooded trails, wildlife, and dog friendly things to do at McAllister Park make it a contender for the best dog friendly park in San Antonio (aka King of dog friendly San Antonio parks). McAllister Park is an extremely popular park, one of several in San Antonio, for both humans and dogs. We have sampled many parks all over San Antonio, many of which can be found on our site, but we continue to return to McAllister Park for several reasons. It is well known that McAllister Park is a dog friendly park. Could it be King of dog friendly San Antonio parks?

Miles of dog friendly paved hiking trails at McAllister Park.


  • Dog friendly
  • Dog park
  • Restrooms and portable toilets
  • Playground
  • Exercise stations
  • Nature trails (10 miles)
  • Paved trails (5 miles)
  • Shade
  • Multiple parking areas
  • Multiple drinking fountains
  • Sports fields
  • Pavilions (4)
Soccer fields at dog friendly San Antonio park, McAllister Park.

Park Size Matters

It’s difficult to say whether McAllister Park is the 2nd largest park in San Antonio, or the 3rd, or perhaps further down the list. Government Canyon is by far the largest, coming in at well over 10,000 acres. McAllister Park tops out at just under 1,000 acres. However, there are supposedly one or two other parks in San Antonio containing more than 1,000 acres. The map seems to tell a different story as some of the larger areas have been broken up into smaller parks. One of those areas is Olmos Basin, which has an extremely interesting history, or pre-history if you prefer. The other is Rancho Diana Park, which is unfortunately not open to the public. It would be a nice adventure getting a look at that park! Anyway, let’s just say that McAllister Park is near the top of the list in terms of size.

Dog friendly natural trails at San Antonio's McAllister Park.

Miles Of Trail Options

Due to its massive size in between Jones Maltsberger and Wetmore Road, the park has miles and miles of trails for hikers, bikers, joggers, dogs and adventurers alike. You can choose between nature trails, paved trails, open fields, or mix them together. Overall you will find at least 15 miles of hiking trails at McAllister Park. If that’s not enough, you can continue through the nearby greenbelt as well. Abbey and I have been hiking at McAllister Park several times and have not tired of the trails yet.

Playground and exercise stations near the first parking lot at McAllister Park.

Many Areas To Park

At some parks you need to worry about getting a decent parking spot due to the lack of size. Even though McAllister Park is very popular, there always seems to be places to park. The park is filled with parking lots of various sizes from front to back. This is one of my favorite aspects of the park. You can park near the dog park, the soccer field, the playground, a pavilion, a bbq site, or a specific trail.

You are not limited to parking in the same spot and walking around the same loop each time. Not that there’s anything wrong with those types of parks. They’re great, and I’ve written about several of them. Who would’ve thought additional parking would be such a great perk? I suppose it’s about options and convenience. While choosing your parking lot be sure to wave to the deer as you pass them by. It’s hard to leave McAllister Park without having seen at least one!

A young buck at McAllister Park in San Antonio.

An Abundance Of Wildlife

Speaking of deer, the park contains an abundance of them. I’m sure there are all sorts of wildlife to be seen inside the park, but deer top the list and they are unafraid to be seen. Even while walking Abbey, they will stand patiently 10 feet away and watch, as long as she doesn’t make a quick move in their direction. I always have to remember to tell her to “leave it”, lest her hound instincts get the better of her.

A few weeks ago we spotted our first armadillo and it was inside McAllister Park! It was evening, the sun was still out and the armadillo was wandering in the grass. Abbey thoroughly enjoyed getting up close and personal for a scent. We saw it again on the way out of the park. At least I assumed it was the same armadillo. What kinds of wildlife have you seen at the park?

Go off trail at the enormous dog friendly McAllister Park.

A Dog Needs A Dog Park

As any good, dog friendly park would, McAllister Park also has a dog park. At the dog park you will find a dog agility zone in the center, a circular paved path around that zone, and three dog friendly fountains close to the gate. Of course you will also see various dogs having a great time, especially during the busy evening hours. I won’t go into too much detail here because you can read more about the dog park in the article, “McAllister Park Dog Park, Why Take Your Dog?

The creek at McAllister Park only contains water when it has rained recently.

Other Amenities To Help Stay Cool

There are only a few other things to mention about McAllister Park. Not only will you find one fountain, or one restroom, but multiple fountains, restrooms and portable toilets throughout the park. Most of these will be found near a parking area, but not every parking area. Most of the dog friendly fountains are close to the dog park, but there are several fountains throughout the park.

We hike with a collapsible water bowl when it’s hot, or if we plan to go the distance. Abbey simply carries the bowl on her harness, which we can fill up at any fountain. Most of the park is extremely well shaded and filled with miles of wooded trails. Those are my personal favorites. However, some areas may lead you out of the shade or into open fields. Plan ahead by bringing water or locating the fountains inside the park. While the trails are not difficult to hike you may need to watch your footing. Some trails are rocky, while others are filled with intersecting roots which may trip you up.

McAllister Park has many amenities such as this playground and exercise area.

McAllister Park contains four different pavilions. Each are reservable for a fee, except pavilion #3 which is free, but still requires a permit. Like many San Antonio parks, McAllister Park is open from 5am – 11pm. There is more than enough time to hike, bike, bbq, exercise, play, or simply hangout at one of the best, dog friendly San Antonio parks. The only downside is the noise pollution from the airport, but it’s a small price to pay.

The Case For A King

McAllister Park may not be the largest park in the city, but its amenities definitely put it at the top of the list, as far as dog friendly San Antonio parks go. By the way, that gigantic park (Government Canyon) requires a fee and is not exactly dog friendly to begin with, so it wouldn’t necessarily make the list. However, there are many dog friendly San Antonio parks and we are on a journey through them this year. McAllister Park also may not have a splash pad, a petting zoo, or a zip line, but dogs do not need those types of amenities. In any event, the case is being made for one of the best dog friendly places in Alamo City. Is McAllister Park King of dog friendly San Antonio parks? I’m asking all you dog lovers out there?

A key to somewhere in the middle of one of the best dog friendly parks in San Antonio.
Clearly dog friendly, McAllister Park holds the key to the kingdom, right?


I created Places For Pups to catalog all the dog friendly adventures Abbey and I take on a daily basis, and I hope you will share yours here as well.The content and photos on this site belong to me and may not be copied or used without permission.

This site contains some ads and affiliate links, from which I may receive a small commission, which will help further our adventuring.

Even though I promote places, or things, and emerge from the woods unharmed, I am not at all responsible for you, your family, your friends, or your pets. You are solely responsible for following in my footsteps and trying things I have described on this site. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

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