Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

October 25, 2019 Slideshows » Arts

25 San Antonio-area parks to spend time at now that it isn't miserably hot outside 

Share on Facebook
Submit to Reddit
With cooler temperatures comes the temptation to actually spend time outside — yes, by choice. Take advantage of the more comfortable weather by hitting up some local and regional nature spots to take in the beauty of the great outdoors.
OF 25
Stone Oak Park
20395 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 207-7275,
More like a hike-and-bike park, Stone Oak Park has paved and unpaved trails totaling to about three miles. While it’s perfect for moving around and staying active, it also has pavilions, playgrounds and open areas to stay and play or rest for a bit. Located near Canyon Ridge Elementary School, Stone Oak Park is a great place to take your kids and yourself for a walk to unwind in the cooler weather.
Photo via Instagram / psychadelic_bee
Friedrich Wilderness Park
21395 Milsa Dr, (210) 207-3781,
A favorite for bird-watchers, Friedrich Wilderness Park is an internationally-known bird watching destination, and is home to two endangered species: the black-capped vireo and the golden cheeked warbler. It also has about ten miles of hiking trails of varying difficulties, and includes steep hills and deep canyons.
Photo via Instagram / ldubb41
River Bend Park
118 River Bend Road, Comfort, (830) 249-9343,
A straight shot north on IH-10 for about an hour, River Bend Park is located in Comfort, an adorable little town where you can get pizza, ice cream and antiques. Now that it the pavement won’t melt the soles of your shoes, you can comfortably stroll along the river and explore the riverbanks as well as visit downtown Comfort.
Photo via Instagram / chaseschippers
Enchanted Rock Natural Area
16710 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, (830) 685-3636,
It’s pretty much necessary to reserve your spot to visit Enchanted Rock, but it’s so worth making accommodations. “What makes Enchanted Rock so special?” you may ask? It’s a pink granite mountain, that’s what, and it’s the biggest one in the United States. Consequently, you need to reserve your spot to get in since there are only a certain amount of visitors allowed inside the park.
Photo via Instagram / danielmillering
Brackenridge Park
3700 N St Mary's St, (210) 207-7275,
Brackenridge Park is located near Alamo Heights, the Witte Museum and the San Antonio Zoo. It’s also home to the Sunken Gardens Theater and the Japanese Tea Gardens, as well as some of the thiccest (hehe) trees you’ve ever seen. It’s a shady spot — in a good way. Brackenridge Park is named so from being donated in 1899 by a philanthropist named George Washington Brackenridge, who was an advocate of women’s suffrage and education for minorities. Hell yeah.
Photo via Instagram / peterbnyrenphoto
Hill Country State Natural Area
10600 Bandera Creek Road, Bandera, (830) 796-4413,
If you’re into rugged terrain, Hill Country State Natural Area is gonna be your jam all autumn long, especially if you’re a cowboy or something. It offers primitive camping — so like, without plumbing — as well as horseback trails. The 5,000-acre area has beautiful landscape, including tranquil creeks and rugged terrain where you can literally forget that you have a job to go back to at some point. Treat yo’ self.
Photo via Instagram / brady_kunkel
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, Concan, (830) 232-6132,
Just about two hours west of San Antonio, Garner State Park lies in Concan, which is near literally not a whole lot else. Part of the beauty of Garner is its distance from large cities. It’s a place for you to camp with less light pollution and less reminders of back home. Plus, it’s gigantic and located right along the Frio River.
Photo via Instagram / hiking_yessie
San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Pl, (210) 536-1400,
More like a carefully curated living museum than a natural area, the San Antonio Botanical Garden is a gorgeous place to take some pictures for Insta — and during this time of year it can be without your full face of makeup melting off. Fair warning — even though the weather has cooled off, some of the indoor topiaries have artificially enhanced humidity that might, so be generous with that setting spray.
Photo via Instagram / momjortz
O.P. Schnabel Park
9606 Bandera Road, (210) 207-7275,
Once dubbed “the cleanest little park in Texas,” O.P. Schnabel Park was originally named Bandera Road Park, but the name was changed in honor of, oddly enough, an insurance salesman by the name of Otto Phillip Schnabel, who dedicated his life to raising awareness for making San Antonio a beautiful city by encouraging people to clean up trash and not to litter. So...the more you know. The park itself features abundant natural vegetation and woods, you’ll be surprised how untouched this section of San Antonio is.
Photo via Instagram / stephanieb324
Denman Estate Park
7735 Mockingbird Ln,
Denman Estate Park may very well have one of the most unique features on this list. It features a traditional South Korean pavilion, styled similarly to the Gwangju Democracy Bell in South Korea. Gwangju, South Korea and San Antonio, you may be surprised to know, are sister cities. Denman Estate Park is a beautiful place to visit, not only for the pavilion, but for the pond and garden as well, now that it isn’t so damn hot outside.
Photo via Instagram / lilladyfromtexas
Skip ad in
Tobin Park
2020 NE Interstate 410 Loop,
Tobin Park is located near — you guessed it — the Tobin Center. Sike! They’re so far from each other that they’re basically unrelated in everything but name. With winding trails and wildlife, be sure to take it a little bit slow on your bike until you find an open area to get your speed on.
Photo via Instagram / dpi3_
Comanche Lookout Park
15551 Nacogdoches Road, (210) 207-7275,
Comanche Lookout Park is located not far off from where Loop 1604 and Nacogdoches intersect. It was used by early Native Americans as a lookout point, hence the name. The coolest thing about it is that it is home to the fourth-highest natural point in Bexar County — 1,340 feet. Just kidding — the coolest thing about it is that it’s haunted...possibly.
Photo via Instagram / camaron_griffith
Eisenhower Park
19399 NW Military Hwy, (210) 207-7275,
Eisenhower Park features paved trails more suited for strolls, families and even people with physical difficulties as well as with more natural and rugged trails that are more suited for an experienced hiker. The natural surface trails make up a bulk of the trails in Eisenhower Park, so strap on your hiking boots if you’re down for an afternoon of nature.
Photo via Instagram / clintwoosley
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Road, (210) 492-7472,
Phil Hardberger Park is most known for being one of the city’s best and most popular dog parks, but the amenities aren’t just for the pooches (even though it’s got TWO dog parks — one for your fun-sized fur friends and one for colossal canines). It’s shady and clean landscaping and almost eight miles of trails make it human-friendly as well.
Photo via Instagram / heathertakesontexas
Espada Park
1750 SE Military Dr, (210) 207-7275,
Located on the South Side along the river near where SE Military Highway and Mission Pkwy cross, Espada Park is a place you’ve probably driven by a bunch of times without knowing it. Given that its location is so close to many different cemeteries and burial yards as well as historic Missions, it’s a great place to go spend the spooky time of the season.
Photo via Instagram / auridavid54
Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park
12603 West Ave, (210) 207-3000,
Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park is where Panther Springs Creek and Salado Creek converge. Part of its beauty is that it’s located very conveniently, so you don’t have to drive too far. The flipside is that it isn’t a very large park with any steep terrain, so it isn’t for a serious hiker looking for a challenge.
Photo via Instagram / devonmacosta
Japanese Tea Garden
3853 N St Mary's St, (210) 559-3148,
To the out-of-towner, tourist or the rare San Antonian who doesn’t already know, the Japanese Tea Garden is located inside of Brackenridge Park. They are a special section of the park with elaborate pathways and carefully cultivated gardens with a Japanese-style pavilion where you can order food and tea. Also, it’s a beautiful place to take some photos.
Photo via Instagram /
Pearsall Park
4838 Old Pearsall Road, (210) 207-7275,
Pearsall Park is definitely one of the most kid-friendly parks on this list — but in reality, it’s perfect for almost everyone because it basically has it all. With two dog parks (one for big mutts and small pups), a skate park, multiple sports courts, a golf course, open areas, and paved and unpaved trails, you’re basically in outdoor heaven — especially with this weather. Another thing that makes it super cool is that it used to be a landfill, but now it’s one of the Alamo City’s largest parks.
Photo via Instagram / zlara_photography
Lost Maples State Natural Area
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, (830) 966-3413,
If you’ve never been to the East Coast, people will say that you’re missing out. There, they actually have things called “seasons,” where it’s possible to discern fall and winter from spring and summer. It’s cool cause Lost Maples is literally like the East Coast, but it’s in Texas and probably friendlier. Plus, it’s just a little less than 2 hours up the road.
Photo via Instagram / bsbadventures
Panther Springs Park
22635 Wilderness Oaks, (210) 207-8480,
Located near the Parman Library on the North Side, Panther Springs Park is a medium to small park with just less than three miles of trails and the separated large and small dog parks. Its wide trails make it the perfect place to walk your dog, take a stroll with your kids and ride your bike.
Photo via Instagram / awag227
Skip ad in
Government Canyon State Natural Area
12861 Galm Road, (210) 688-9055,
One of the biggest natural areas on this list, Government Canyon State Natural Area covers a gargantuan 12,000-acres and has a whopping 40 miles of trails. To paraphrase their website, yeah, this is an aquifer recharge zone, but you’ll recharge here too, or something like that. Especially if you go camping and forget about everyday life.
Photo via Instagram /
Crownridge Canyon Natural Area
7222 Luskey Blvd, (210) 207-5320,
Crownridge Canyon is a great place to go if you’re interested in Edwards Aquifer since it’s a recharge zone. It is around 200 acres and has a variety of hiking terrain — from level 1 ADA-accessible trails all the way up to level 4 difficulties. If you’re into birding, it’s also a pretty cool spot since the golden cheeked warbler nests there.
Photo via Instagram / heathertakesontexas
Confluence Park
310 W Mitchell St, (210) 224-2694,
Confluence Park is the new kid on the block, and she’s got a mission — to teach you about Texas ecosystems and water. Built as part of the San Antonio River Foundation, its trails wind along the river and are perfect for biking, walking and jogging. Along the riverbanks, you can find various works of art and educational plaques. It also has a sweet, Gram-worthy pavillion.
Photo via Instagram / sa_suenos
Woodlawn Lake Park
1103 Cincinnati Ave, (210) 207-7275,
Picture this: an idyllic park is located close to St. Mary’s University. The sun is shining but there’s a cool breeze. You’re eating a raspa on the lakeshore — who cares what the temperature is. You can hear the sounds of San Antonio in the background, but they feel far off, even though you’re in the middle of the city. Sound perfect? Then go to Woodlawn Lake Park.
Photo via Instagram / laurenbleser
Mud Creek Park
16875 Jones Maltsberger Road, (201) 207-7275,
Yeah, Mud Creek park doesn’t have a sexy name, and it’s definitely ugly at first, but once you get past the first part, you can do down into a beautiful area surrounded by hills. A large part of the park is located at the bottom of a cluster of hills, so be careful if it looks like there might be any flash flooding.
Photo via Instagram / texbits
Stone Oak Park
20395 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 207-7275,
More like a hike-and-bike park, Stone Oak Park has paved and unpaved trails totaling to about three miles. While it’s perfect for moving around and staying active, it also has pavilions, playgrounds and open areas to stay and play or rest for a bit. Located near Canyon Ridge Elementary School, Stone Oak Park is a great place to take your kids and yourself for a walk to unwind in the cooler weather.
Photo via Instagram / psychadelic_bee

Additional Arts Slideshows

Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation