Eisenhower Park is a very popular San Antonio park, approximately two miles north of Loop 1604, on the far north side. Eisenhower Park is not a state park, but it is a natural area with over 300 acres. However, there is a state park with the same name in Denison, Texas. Although this park is considered a natural area it will still make your list of dog friendly things to do in San Antonio.
How to Get to Eisenhower Park in San Antonio, Texas
Hours of operation: Sunrise to sunset
You will find the entrance to the park by heading north on NW Military HWY, from Loop 1604. Prior to reaching the gate to Camp Bullis, you will make a left turn into the park. This is the only way to reach Eisenhower Park, unless you are military.
The parking lot is larger than the average in San Antonio. If you choose a spot that is shaded it may help keep your vehicle cooler. The park is most likely open from sunrise to sunset. However, there are two pavilions for rent and the hours listed for those are from 8am – 11pm.
I have been to Eisenhower Park at various times throughout the day. I can confirm that it is open before 7am and after 7pm during the week. Entrance to the park may be blocked by a locked gate after hours. Dusk and dawn will be two of the best times to hike with your dog during summer months.
Eisenhower Park Amenities
- Walk or run with your dog
- Hike various distances and terrain
- Bring your kids to the playground and climbing wall
- Rent one of two pavilions
- Eat a meal at one of many picnic areas
- Hike one mile to the observation tower
Trails at Eisenhower Park in San Antonio, TX
The Eisenhower Park trail map shows a large area containing at least five different trail routes. The park consists of 320 acres of natural area with paved, gravel, mulch and natural hiking trails. It may be a good idea to take a photo of the map. This will provide a sense of direction and aide you in the event you lose your way.
The park contains an observation tower in the back providing an amazing view of downtown San Antonio, as well as the nearby Hill Country. Any trail you choose can get you close to the observation tower. However, you should be aware of where you are going, and keep in mind the trails vary in distance and difficulty.
Trail Distance and Difficulty
On the map you will notice the trails are color coded. Cedar Flats is the easiest because it is wide, made of asphalt, and handicap accessible. Reaching the observation tower using this trail will be the path of least resistance. The distance to the tower from the parking lot is nearly one mile. Although it is paved and easy to walk, you will approach the tower on an incline.
Reaching the tower in a wheelchair will be easier said than done, unless it is motorized. On the way back you will be heading downhill most of the time. This will make the return for you and your dog seemingly easier, but you may have to decelerate yourself in some areas. The tower is not difficult to find. The asphalt trail makes a small loop around the tower on the north side of Eisenhower Park.
The other trails are marked with various colors and take you to different places throughout the park. The Hillview Trail (white) loops around the outer edges of the park, and is the longest trail. It also intersects the asphalt trail just before coming to the observation tower.
We hiked the entire Hillview Trail, and Red Oak Natural Trail recently. The hike lasted one hour, and we tracked almost 7,500 steps. Abbey probably took at least 15,000 since she’s a dog, but she hiked the trails like a boss!
Other Trails at Eisenhower Park
The Yucca Trail (yellow) is the second longest and intersects the Hillview Trail at two points to create a loop. The Yucca Trail also intersects the blue trail at one point and provides an additional path to the tower. The shorter trails are Shady Creek (red), Live Oak (green), and Red Oak (light blue).
Shady Creek and Live Oak will get you from one trail to another. Red Oak will take you on a more challenging journey through natural wooded trails, while extending the Hillview Trail hike. This is our dog friendly route of choice.
We usually walk at least 5,000 steps doing one loop in the park. This will vary for you based on your chosen hiking path. Eisenhower Park has plenty of hiking options for you and your dog.
You may want to play it safe and begin with the asphalt path. You can always move up from there. If you were to hike every trail, you would walk approximately six miles. Well done!
Most Challenging Point and its View
The Hillview Trail on the east side of the park is more challenging than it is on the west side. In fact, the most challenging point is in front of the hilltop view on this trail. This point is marked on the map between Shady Creek and Yucca.
Once you reach the viewpoint look south, and slightly west. You should be able to see downtown San Antonio from this spot. I believe this is the only point, outside of the tower, where you can get a view of the Alamo city.
Eisenhower Park is a natural hiking area. Biking, skating and rollerblading are restricted because the hiking trails are designated for walking and running. Although Cedar Flats is handicap accessible, the observation tower is not. The park is dog friendly, but dogs should remain on a leash at all times.
This is a wildlife area which means you may come across wild hogs, coyotes, bobcats, or mountain lions. We have yet to see anything other than birds at this park. Liquor and littering are not allowed at San Antonio parks. There are plenty of trash bins throughout the park. Please throw your trash away and dispose of your pets droppings as well, rather than leaving them on the path.
Things To Do
There are a couple of restrooms within Eisenhower park. Two portable toilets are located near the parking lot at the entrance. There is also a permanent restroom along the asphalt trail as you approach the observation tower. However, no sinks are available.
If you have kids who enjoy playgrounds, there are two near the entrance. One is more traditional with swings and slides. The other is a tiny, but fun rock climbing wall. Neither of the play areas are adequately shaded. No matter which trails you take, make a point to checkout the observation tower at least once. The view is unlike any other in San Antonio.
Please keep in mind that the natural trails are more difficult in some areas due to elevation changes. Wear appropriate footwear and exercise caution when it is wet. Some natural areas will be slippery, and there is a much greater risk of losing your footing. Keep your dog close as well and do not allow them to pull you forward as you step down.
Have you been looking for more things to do in San Antonio with your dog? Checkout Eisenhower Park, cross this one off your list and let us know what trails you used, and what you saw. Enjoy the views and elements of nature! Your dog sure will. If you prefer more wide open views of nature, checkout Stone Oak Park to the east.
There are many parks to go hiking in San Antonio with your dog, but they are a drive from this park.