Where to Hike In and Around San Antonio Before It Gets Unbearably Hot Outside 

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It's inevitable – it'll be 100+ degrees outside in a matter of months, maybe sooner. Quick, while there's still time, take a few hours to enjoy nature and hiking before it will to literally too hot to function.
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Crownridge Canyon Natural Area
7222 Luskey Blvd, (210) 207-5320, sanantonio.gov
What was once a dumping ground is now a beautiful San Antonio park with plaques scattered throughout to detail the importance of the park to nature and history. Not only that, but this park isn’t terribly far from La Cantera, so maybe ease yourself into the outdoors by shopping in an outdoor mall before venturing into nature.
Photo via Instagram / mjmlawsatx
Lost Maples State Natural Area
37221 FM 187, (830) 966-3413, tpwd.texas.gov
You thought you had to visit the East Coast to see the seasons change color? Oh no baby, what is you doing? Honestly, though, you’ve gotta get there pretty early, because the park will reach full capacity pretty quickly after they open. Because it’s so beautiful. I mean, look at it.
Photo via Instagram / lostmaples
Hill Country State Natural Area
10600 Bandera Creek Rd, tpwd.texas.gov
You heard it here – you can bring your horse to this natural area. You can even camp like a cowboy, if you so desire, at one of their “primitive” (no running water) campsites. Spanning about 5,000 acres, Hill Country State Natural Area is more than just a place you can ride your horse, though. In fact, you can backpack down a canyon or up a plateau as well.
Photo via Instagram / hillcountrysna
Pace Bend Park
2011 Pace Bend Rd N, (512) 264-1482, parks.traviscountytx.gov
Located on Lake Travis near the northwest side of Austin, Pace Bend Park boasts more than nine miles of prime shoreline location. Incredible views are included, of course, in the admission cost.
Photo via Instagram / katekrez
Government Canyon State Natural Area
12861 Galm Rd, (210) 688-9055, tpwd.texas.gov
With around 12,000 acres and 40 miles of hiking trails, Government Canyon State Natural Area is important to Texas for more than just being an outdoor refuge where you can feel separated from the hustle and bustle of San Antonio – this area remaining undeveloped is also important to the city’s drinking water. While you’re there, be sure to look for dinosaur tracks that are more than 100 million years old, or the Ziezelmann house, which was build in the 1800s, so while it isn’t quite as old, it’s still pretty darn old.
Photo via Instagram / governmentcanyon
River Bend Park
118 River Bend Rd, (830) 249-9343, visitboerne.org
Also known as James Kiehl Park, River Bend Park is located in Kendall County, somewhere along IH-10 between Boerne and Kerrville. Birdwatchers from many surrounding counties call this park their preferred destination, and a wildlife census is held every month for documentation purposes. With three loops of varying difficulty and terrain, these trails are a can’t-miss for your bird-watching friends.
Photo via Instagram / treehouseemily
Barton Creek Greenbelt
3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B, austinparks.org
This park would make a lovely stop during a day trip to Austin – especially since spring is coming and that’s when the water is known to run in Barton Creek. These trails are heavily trafficked and are also dog-friendly, so be prepared to socialize with other pet parents.
Photo via Instagram / johnnyscalise
Medina River Natural Area
15890 TX-16, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
With campsites available for rental for $20 a night, that’s way cheaper than any hotel you’d want to stay at, and probably a lot more fun if you bring your friends. Or don’t – they say that being alone in nature is the best place to contemplate your existence and face your own mortality. Yikes, that got dark.
Photo via Instagram / mrssaenzrocks
Friedrich Wilderness Park
21395 Milsa Dr, (210) 207-3781, sanantonio.gov
Protect this area at all costs! Friedrich Wilderness Park is not only home to two federally listed endangered songbird species and is nationally known for birdwatching opportunities, but they have wheelchair accessible hiking routes to boot. In all, this park has around ten miles of paved and unpaved paths over six hundred acres of raw wilderness.
Photo via Instagram / karlo.antonio33
Comanche Lookout Park
15551 Nacogdoches Rd, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Could this park be haunted? Some think so. With one of the highest points in Bexar County, the hill was a major landmark in the 1700s. Various tribes of Native Americans also used the grounds for hunting and warfare, so some say that you can hear drums and chanting at night. Also, can you believe that at 96 acres, Comanche Lookout Park is one of San Antonio’s smaller parks?
Photo via Instagram / summiteffects
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Pearsall Park
4838 Old Pearsall Rd, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
If you haven’t been to Pearsall Park since 2017, you’re in for a real treat! During beautification efforts in 2017 and 2018, the park not only nearly doubled in size, but got a facelift with a bunch of cool features. It’s got a skate park, picnic tables, pavilions, splash pads, tons of parking, and a zip line. Oh yeah, and hiking trails. We’re excited about those too.
Photo via Instagram / victoriasalgadod
Eisenhower Park
19399 NW Military Hwy, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Climb the two-story lookout point that will put you just above the treeline for a fantastic view of San Antonio from a 1,278-foot elevation. And don’t forget your doggo at home! Pets are allowed on a leash as long as you’re courteous and pick up anything that they might leave behind.
Photo via Instagram / ales_224
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, tpwd.texas.gov
Garner State Park has a lot to offer, and not just in the way of trailheads. Since it’s located along the Frio River and stretches, like, a bunch of acres, there is an equipment rental place on-site if you want to try your hand at kayaking or tubing. You can also camp and rent a grill if you don’t bring your own, so use those 11 miles of trails to work up an appetite.
Photo via Instagram / garnerstateparktexas
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Rd, philhardbergerpark.org
From their website: “Phil Hardberger Park is a natural oasis in the heart of an urban area, making it the perfect place to demonstrate how the two can work together for the benefit of both.” How cool is that?
Photo via Instagram / phil_hardberger_park
McAllister Park
13102 Jones Maltsberger Rd, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Located on Jones-Maltsberger Road, McAllister Park is a rather large park for being in such an urban area. It’s known for a few things – one of which is being dog-friendly. Other than that, it’s got a large playground suitable even for older kids and abundant wildflowers in the spring.
Photo via Instagram / mcalisterpark
O.P. Schnabel Park
9606 Bandera Rd, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
One of the best things about O.P. Schnabel Park is that there is a large tree canopy covering much of its many trails. So, even though we recommend going in the spring before it gets too hot, you might be able to go in the summer, too.
Photo via Instagram / steph.theforce
Mud Creek Park
16875 Jones Maltsberger Rd, sanantonio.gov
Mud Creek Park is another park located on Jones-Maltsberger, this one between Thousand Oaks and Redland Road. While the first bit of trail is quite unremarkable, if you stick with it, you’ll eventually come upon a hill with a nice view and populated by small wildlife with areas for climbing. If you’re a loner, this trail is for you.
Photo via Instagram / central_texas_climbing
Prospect Park & Purgatory Creek Greenspace
2101 Hunter Rd, (510) 393-8400, smgreenbelt.org
Bring some strong and sturdy hiking shoes to the Purgatory Creek Greenspace, because you might just walk along the edge of a 40-foot bluff or juniper thickets. Or, just hike along the trails that wind about and don’t worry too much about falling to your death. Not that anyone ever has.
Photo via Instagram / dangerd8448
Cibolo Nature Center
140 City Park Rd, (830) 249-4616, cibolo.org
Described as a community that “passionately believes that our brightest future is one lived in harmony with nature,” the Cibolo Nature Center (and farm!) focuses on conservation, which is one of the many fabulous reasons to visit a park in the first place. Part of why this park is so worth visiting is because it protects a valuable stretch of the aquifer recharge zone, which is pretty important. Plus, in April, you can attend a Peach Blossoms Brunch and taste a little bubbly while you’re there.
Photo via Instagram / cibolonaturecenterandfarm
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
24518 Farm to Market Road 1431, (512) 339-9432, fws.gov
Did you know that the Golden-Cheeked warbler is the only bird to nest exclusively in Texas? Ok, we’ll be honest, neither did we. But now we do thanks to Balcones Canyonlands! This park and its three most popular trails are free to visit any day of the week as long as there’s daylight, if you don’t mind the drive to a little north west of Austin. We sure don’t.
Photo via Instagram / bcp_traviscounty
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Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
24814 Hamilton Pool Rd, (830) 825-3442, westcave.org
Located conveniently near Austin, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center can’t be contained to the moniker of “park.” With guided hikes to different incredible locations such as “The Grotto,” or self-guided hikes through the Uplands, or even events like Star Parties, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center has a lot of education to offer to the public.
Photo via Instagram / westcave
Enchanted Rock Natural Area
16710 Ranch Rd 965, (830) 685-3636, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’ve never been to Enchanted Rock, shame on you! Located near Fredericksburg (yes, where the peaches come from), Enchanted Rock Natural Area has so many things to do other than explore its 11 miles of trails, including enjoying the ethereal beauty of the pink granite stone.
Photo via Instagram / enchantedrockstatenaturalarea
Old Tunnel State Park
10619 Old San Antonio Rd, (866) 978-2287, tpwd.texas.gov
If you want to silently cheer on a bunch of mosquito-eating bats as they descend upon the night, then we highly recommend going to Old Tunnel State Park on weekends from May to October so you can do just that (just be sure to check the temps first). Hike the half mile trail in the evening and then watch the bats fly from the tunnel en masse once twilight comes around.
Photo via Instagram / tamaralinshaffer
Bastrop State Park
100 Park Road 1A, tpwd.texas.gov
Enjoy a trip up to the beautiful piney woods region of Texas when you visit Bastrop State Park. Available for rent are fourteen cabins, each with differing amenities, so maybe even bring your boo and have a romantic nature getaway for a weekend. Valentine’s Day is coming up….*wink wink*
Photo via Instagram / drpeppermademe
Stone Oak Park
20395 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Another quite popular trail on this list, Stone Oak Park is located in...you guessed it...Stone Oak. More of a hike and bike park than anything, it’s got trails ranging from 1.2 miles to 3.2 miles. Once you’re at the top of one of the many hills, you’ll have a view of Texas urbanized hill country.
Photo via Instagram / ajdavila82
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Crownridge Canyon Natural Area
7222 Luskey Blvd, (210) 207-5320, sanantonio.gov
What was once a dumping ground is now a beautiful San Antonio park with plaques scattered throughout to detail the importance of the park to nature and history. Not only that, but this park isn’t terribly far from La Cantera, so maybe ease yourself into the outdoors by shopping in an outdoor mall before venturing into nature.
Photo via Instagram / mjmlawsatx