You’ve arrived at the correct place if you’re looking for some fresh hiking trails in San Antonio, Texas. There are so many breathtaking hiking paths to discover in San Antonio, whether you’re simply visiting for the weekend or feeling the urge to discover new locations in your city. Best hiking trails in San Antonio? Continue reading.
Strolling the River Walk is one of San Antonio’s main attractions, but if you truly want to move, it’s time to leave that vibrant, energetic strip of eateries and bars behind for the other, more adventurous trails nearby. You may find paths all across the city, from leisurely strolls that are truly a walk in the park to strenuous hikes that will make you exert yourself and work up a sweat.
If you don’t know where to start, use this list as a reference. Depending on how much energy you want to expend and the kind of scenery you want to take in, there is sure to be one of these most popular hikes in San Antonio that pique your interest.
1. Best 17 Hiking Trails in San Antonio
We’re bringing you in on the natural secrets buried away not too far from downtown San Antonio since these paths don’t appear on tourist itineraries nearly as frequently as some of the city’s other attractions.
With 17 fantastic treks on this list, there is a hike for every age and skill level, so there is something for everyone. Wildflowers, local species, and expansive panoramas are all on the itinerary.
For essential information on how to reach each location, route lengths and obstacles, must-see lookouts, wildlife to be on the lookout for, and more, keep reading!
1.1. San Antonio Mission Trail
San Antonio’s renowned Mission Trail must be included whenever hiking is mentioned. Located near the four buildings that make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada), in addition to the well-known Alamo, this hike-and-bike path follows the San Antonio River’s gentle bends.
The distance between each mission is only two to three miles, so you can stop for a quick sightseeing tour before continuing your urban stroll. Remember that this isn’t a loop, so if you parked your car there, you’ll need to figure out how to go back there.
1.2. Comanche Loops Trail
All skill levels can enjoy this quick and easy loop in Comanche Lookout Park (on Nacogdoches Road), which is very accessible from downtown San Antonio. If you’re looking for some simple walking or a light workout, this is a perfect alternative. Your four-legged companions are welcome to come along if they’re on a leash.
However, this trail can get quite crowded during peak hours, just like other well-traveled hiking routes nearby San Antonio, so make parking arrangements in advance. It is well worthwhile to brave the throng in order to reach the summit, where you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the city.
1.3. Main Loop to Vista Loop to Fern Del Trail
Ten miles of hiking paths and some of the best bird watching in the nation can be found in the Friedrich Wilderness Park. One of San Antonio’s most picturesque hiking trails in this loop, which features drop-offs and imposing gorges that provide breathtaking vistas of the Hill Country.
It includes a variety of terrain, some of which will undoubtedly make you breathe heavily and others of which are excellent for all skill levels. Watch for rare bird species including the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo, as well as wildflowers.
1.4. Cougar Canyon to Hermit’s Trace Loop
One of the less popular walks in the San Antonio area is this loop in the stunning Hill Country State Natural Area, so you’ll probably have the route to yourself for the majority of the time. You will need to travel for approximately 1.5 hours outside of downtown to get away from the throng, but if you want to remain overnight, there are spots to camp in the park.
The trail offers a wide range of terrains, including flat, shady parts as well as hard climbs and descents. You will genuinely feel as though you are in the wilderness on this Texas hiking trail because as you ascend, the vistas reach all the way to the horizon.
Keep a watch out for local flora and fauna along the path, including horses that frequently carry riders and deer, armadillos, and a variety of wildflowers. As long as they’re on a leash, you’re also welcome to bring your own pets.
1.5. El Chaparral Trail
The Medina River Natural Area, a big green area in the southern portion of San Antonio, is ideal for a city escape without having to travel too far from the city.
The El Chaparral Trail, also known as the Medina River Greenway, is the longest trail on the park’s more than 500 acres. It begins in the main parking lot and extends east through the natural area and onto the land of the Land Heritage Institute.
Parkland that surrounds a meandering river will welcome visitors. In addition, the park serves as a home for a variety of stunning birds native to Texas, such as the green kingfisher, which flits among the area’s numerous pecan and barren cypress trees.
1.6. The San Antonio Riverwalk
This one is for problem solvers! Explore the River Walk Mission Reach Trail if you wish to hike in San Antonio and view some sites at the same time.
This is a stroll rather than a hike, but it’s a great way to see a lot of San Antonio on foot. You have the opportunity to pause along the way at some of the city’s main attractions as the route leads you through the center of the city.
Visit the ultra-artsy La Villita district, the historic Bexar County Courthouse, and (for additional walking fuel) a few of the delectable eateries that line the riverbank. All of these attractions include striking architecture.
1.7. Rio Medina Trail
The significantly shorter and self-reinforcing Rio Medina Trail is another well-liked route in the Medina River Natural Area.
If you’re short on time, a beginner, or would rather walk on a natural surface than on paved terrain, this is a wonderful option. Do you know how sometimes you just want to feel the crunch under your feet?
You’ll be hiking through woodlands close to the Medina River, which will provide you with a lot of shade. This is great if you chance to be outside on one of those notoriously hot Texas summer days.
1.8. Hillview Natural Trail
The Hillview Natural Trail, which generally follows the park’s perimeter, is the largest hiking loop available inside Eisenhower Park, which is located between Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Camp Bullis. Contrast it with the much shorter Hillview Paved Trail, which is also located within the park.
You can (and should) take a quick detour from the Hillview Natural Trail to visit the Eisenhower Park Observation Tower, which gives spectacular elevated views of the surrounding hills and a sneak glimpse at the city skyline.
1.9. North Bluff Spurs Overlook
Government Canyon State Natural Area is still not finished! Hikers can access the North Bluff Spurs Overlook by connecting a few different paths.
You must first ascend the JJ Route to the Recharge Trail before proceeding on the Bluff Spurs Trail to the lookout. From there, take the Recharge Trail, then Sendero Balcones, until you reach the trailhead again.
Yes, it may seem like there is a lot to remember, but the park rangers will be pleased to help you since this is one of their staff members’ favorite hikes. Additionally, the breathtaking vistas of the Texas Hill Country that greet you at the top make the effort worthwhile.
1.10. Tower Loop
Comanche Lookout Park, a tiny park in San Antonio’s northeast, offers the Tower Loop climb. Its name comes from the theory that the Apache and the Comanche strategically used this peak during fighting and hunting. At 1,340 feet in height, this park really has one of the highest peaks in the county.
The Tower Loop hike, as its name implies, takes you to the park’s famous stone tower, which appears like it belongs in a medieval fantasy but was really constructed in the 20th century on the orders of a retired army colonel who once owned the property. Visitors to Comanche Lookout Park are rewarded with superb panoramic views from the summit of the unusual tower.
1.11. Salado Creek Greenway
Are you up for a tough challenge? The Salado Creek Greenway can be a good option if you want a trail that you can walk endlessly on without having to turn around and go back. This paved greenway, which is a part of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System, is used frequently by cyclists and walkers.
Start the hike at Phil Hardberger Park by leaving your car at 1021 Voelcker Lane. You will have the opportunity to stroll along a cool boardwalk along a creek in a wetland region if you make it to the section of the route by Lady Bird Johnson Park.
1.12. Leon Creek Greenway
The Leon Creek Greenway, which is also a part of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Path System, is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a long path that’s ideal for exploration.
If you wish to stop for a break or a picnic along the way, there are many parks along the trail, notably O.P. Schnabel Park and Leon Vista Park.
This greenway connects to the Salado Creek Greenway as it runs between Eisenhower Park and Pearsall Park, so if you really wanted to extend your journey, you could do so. That would be an incredible walk!
1.13. McAllister Park Blue Loop
If you ever find yourself at McAllister Park close to the airport, take the park’s longest route, the Blue Loop, which circles the majority of the park’s perimeter.
Since the majority of the walk is not shaded, you should pack some sunglasses, a hat, and enough water for the hike. Additionally, it could be a good idea to plan your hike for a later or earlier time in the day when the heat won’t make it more difficult for you.
You could always deviate from the Blue Loop to take the connected Red Trail or Playground Trail, both of which take you deeper into the park’s forested interior if you felt like it. If not, simply follow the plan and keep an eye out for any deer. If you want to walk your dog, the McAllister area also features an enclosed, off-leash dog area.
1.14. Wilderness and Wildlife Trails
These trail systems are only ten minutes from San Antonio’s downtown. For people who want to spend time outside but don’t want to have to venture too far from the city limits, these trails are ideal.
The main trail, which runs along the edge of Brackenridge Park, is paved, but there are so many other options that you can design your own special hike each time you go. On the route, there is a lot of nature to see, including lovely sweeping vegetation and streams.
The trail is regarded as being relatively simple and is ideal for anyone with physical limitations. Students from the nearby Trinity University, which is frequently seen on the trail, visit it. Consider going to the nearby Witte Museum after your climb. From prehistoric times to the present, you can learn more about Texas’ history here.
Even the San Antonio aquarium is nearby for you to check out. You can be sure that your day will be packed with fun and adventure because there is a fantastic hiking trail to explore and so much else to do in the neighborhood.
1.15. Bandera Creek Trail
The Hill Country State Natural Area, which is roughly an hour outside of San Antonio’s city limits, has about 40 miles of trails available. Don’t be shocked if you see individuals riding horses or mountain bikes on the area’s multi-use paths! The Bandera Creek Trail is your best bet if you’re looking for a trail in this natural region that is just for hikers.
This 3+ mile long, rocky loop rail runs straight through the center of the park. Make sure you are prepared to tackle this trek by wearing the appropriate footwear because it is thought to be rather difficult. Additionally, remember to bring lots of water, as there is none at all along the walk.
Consider climbing to the top of West Peak Overlook for an unrivaled and gratifying vista of the surrounding Hill Country if you want to step up the difficulty of your journey.
1.16. Lost Maples State Natural Area
The Lost Maples State Natural Area is the ideal destination for weekend hikers who live in the San Antonio region. This gorgeous natural region, which is about two hours outside of San Antonio, is surrounded by maple trees, which in the fall display stunning red and orange foliage. Given that neighboring regions of San Antonio rarely experience this change in vegetation, it makes this location extremely unique.
This walk is rated as being somewhat difficult since it features beautiful rock formations that line the two trails on the east and west sides of the reserve.
For this experience, visitors are strongly advised to don good hiking footwear. The expansive canyons and lakes you’ll be able to witness on this weekend adventure are definitely worth the trek, even though some people may find this trail to be out of the way.
You will need around 3 hours to complete each of the trails within the Lost Maples State Natural Area, which are each roughly 7 miles long. Dogs are more than welcome to go with you and are permitted off-leash in some places.
1.17. Main Loop to Restoration Way Trail
This intermediate trail, which is located in San Antonio’s Northwestern Park within the Friedrich Wilderness Park, has amazing flora and washes of shade to keep you cool throughout the warmer months. There are roughly 10 miles of varied-difficulty hiking paths in Friedrich Wilderness Park. By far, the most frequently used trail in this park is.
This track, which is 5 12 miles long and is designed as a loop, is very well-liked for mountain biking, hiking, and bird viewing. If you want to make the best of this trail, go between April and September when the weather is perfect, and the vegetation is in full bloom.
The endangered Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler, among other uncommon birds, can be found in the larger Friedrich Wilderness Park. Since there are few, water stops after you’re far down the path, it is strongly advised that visitors bring enough water for the trip.
2. Wrapping Up
Texas is highly renowned for its huge cities, flashy lights, and reputable sports franchises. San Antonio is one of the more crowded cities in Texas since it has so much to offer. At the forefront of it are culture, festivals, parks, entertainment, shopping, and food.
It’s wonderful to step away from the buzz of the city occasionally. Additionally, San Antonio is home to some of the most stunning parks. They provide guests the ideal chance to hike in the great outdoors and take in the scenery. This list contains possibilities for everyone, whether you enjoy hiking a lot or just want to take your family for a leisurely stroll.
Because the heat might linger, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect yourself by using sunscreen, dressing appropriately, and carrying lots of water. While trekking in San Antonio, be prepared to encounter intriguing scenery, beautiful fauna, and compelling views!