Mud Creek Park – Natural Dog Friendly Hiking near Thousand Oaks


Mud Creek Park is a hidden gem in northeast San Antonio to some, but for others its appearance merely lives up to its name. I’ve gone hiking with my dog in Mud Creek several times and we love it. That being said, it could use some improvements which would appeal to more people. The only public entrance is currently located off Jones Maltsberger Road. I found it hiding just beyond a bridge on the north side of the street when coming from Redland Road. Even though there is a road sign, the parking lot is easy to miss.

A view from the parking lot.

The Place And Time

There are very few spaces in the parking lot, but I have not known it to be busy. From the parking lot I noticed several pieces of painted art attached to stone blocks, but I’m not sure what they represent. There was also a large portable toilet, which is the only one in the entire park. Right next to the portable toilet there is a locked road gate. This type of gate is usually at the entrance to the parking lot, but here it is blocking a rocky, dirt path. It is obvious that vehicles currently use this path to get into the park. Mud Creek Park is open from 5am – 11pm, although you probably don’t want to be in the park after dark.

After passing the gate and walking up the path I noticed new construction to the left and a barbed wire fence to the right. Unspectacular, although the scents seemed to excite my dog. Continuing toward the hiking trail, I saw a dam made of dirt, rocks and concrete steps. Interesting. It looks like a place you might have an event, or put on a show. However, that entire area is not accessible and is restricted by a chainlink fence. A bit farther along the path I finally found the hiking trail. In my opinion, the path should be paved and the parking area should begin in this location.

An open area view with wildflowers in bloom at Mud Creek Park.

The Trails

Upon finding the trail it was clear that I had to turn left or right. Heading to the left provides more options as the area is more open. Head to the right and I’m following that chainlink fence again, passing a bench, and a small wooded area. The footing became somewhat difficult in some of the areas as there are larger rocks. I felt the rocks rolling underneath my feet as my dog and I traversed the trail. Be careful in Mud Creek Park and wear appropriate footwear. I wouldn’t doubt it if some people have rolled an ankle walking on some of these rocks. Even with tennis shoes the rocks are uncomfortable.

There are open areas and there are wooded areas such as this.

Very quickly I notice the area open up. The direction of the trail becomes much less obvious. There are clearly wooded areas where trails go through from one end to another. However, in the open areas there is tall grass, weeds and what appears to be a vehicle route. The route marked by tires is very noticeable. The park contains no map and no markers. Online you may find a giant loop marked in this park. It’s possible that a trail does go all the way around the park. From the ground level it appears as though many trails are connected to the original trail, as well as one or two vehicle paths.

Difficulty

Mud Creek Park is a very natural hiking area. The difficulty of the trails is at an intermediate level. Many hikers may find the trails easy. However, the rocks, mud, weeds and lack of markers make it no beginner trail. Maintain an awareness of your position at all times, as well as the direction from which you came. You will have to return there unless you plan on hopping a fence. We notice deer in the park each time we hike in it. Once we found a plastic deer lying in the grass. Abbey was extremely interested in that one!

An underground cave guarded by a steel grate.

The View

I haven’t seen a top view of Mud Creek but it seems like a valley from the inside. You can see higher levels of land around much of the park, especially on the north side. Somewhere around the middle of the park there is even an underground cave. Access to the cave is straight down and blocked by steel bars. You can get a good top down view though. Some fools threw aluminum cans down there. You can find the spot by following one of the vehicle paths. There is an above ground cave in the park as well. If you search for it, it’s off the beaten path and you will notice it has been defiled by spray paint.

A small cave area defiled by spraypaint in the back of the park.

Possible Improvements

Remember the area of trail I mentioned at the beginning? I’ve taken the path to the left before and it eventually runs along the subdivision near Turkey Point. In that area I noticed another locked gate which provides vehicles access from that subdivision. This would be a good spot for more parking, as well as a fountain or playground. This would provide more access and may encourage additional visits. An updated map and trail markers would also be a huge improvement. However, if you enjoy the unmarked natural trails, Mud Creek Park is for you. Just don’t get yourself lost out there! It’s a very dog friendly park, but it lacks some of the amenities of other parks. Checkout its neighbor Gold Canyon Park, if you prefer an easier hike with a view.

A good view at Mud Creek Park behind Abbey and I.

DavidE

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.
DavidE

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