February 24, 2017 Slideshows » Arts

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25 Ways to Get Outdoors In and Around SA this Spring 

Now that it's warming up and and our sunny skies don't look like they're going anywhere, it's time to get outside while we can. Summer will be here no time, so get outdoors and soak up the nice weather while you can.
Friedrich Wilderness Park
21395 Milsa Dr.,
Located at the southern tip of the Hill Country, Friedrich Park blends rocky outcrops with flat, forested trails. Although you can’t bring your pets on this hike, you may be able to see one of the two endangered songbirds who call this 600-acre natural area home.
Photo via Instagram, divulgehisglory
Blue Hole in Wimberley, Texas
100 Blue Hole Road, Wimberley, Texas 78676
You can take a dip or just bask in the shade of the old trees at this lovely swimming spot. The park even features rope swings for daring swimmers.
Photo via Instagram, kimdearaujo
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg
For a hike that comes with both a challenge and an incredible view, Enchanted Rock is a must. The natural area is located an hour and a half outside of town and boasts 11 miles of hiking trails. Rock climbers can also get their kicks and four legged friends are welcome.
Photo via Instagram, andrewglenn_
San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Pl.,
The botanical garden manages to fit all of Texas’ diverse ecosystems (and beyond) into a mere 33 acres. From the East Texas piney woods to Southwest deserts, visitors can take in all of the state’s wild and beautiful plant life. And it’s not just easy on the eyes. The garden’s Watersaver Trail, Herb Garden, Biblical Garden and others all offer educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
Photo via Instagram, beegab_
Brackenridge Park
3853 N St Mary’s St.,
Built on top of a limestone quarry in the late 1800s, the 343-acre Brackenridge Park is now home to the San Antonio Zoo, a tiny train, golf course, playgrounds, gardens, fishing spots, birdwatching, and a wild vaiety of scenic picnic spots. Pedal along the San Antonio River (which begins just north of the park), set up an all-day picnic, or set the kids loose in the expansive playground.
Photo via Instagram, normajeanmor
Chris Park
111 Camp St.,
This small private park, created in memory of its founder’s son, opens its gates to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. While only one acre, there’s plenty of space for an afternoon picnic, sustained silent reading, or a peaceful, zen-like stroll.
Photo via Instagram, amyright_
Eisenhower Park
19399 NW Military Hwy.,
This San Antonio favorite offers the best of both trails: Paved, flat paths for an afternoon stroll and natural, rocky paths for a hiker’s workout. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Photo via Instagram, sillyyhillyy
Government Canyon Natural Area
12861 Galm Rd.,
San Antonio’s own state park offers 40 miles of trails (great for hiking and mountain biking) winding through grassy plains and rocky hills with breathtaking views. Don’t miss the recently-discovered 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks running through a dry creekbed!
Photo via Instagram, tesla.mirai
Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Rd 31
The park comprises 13 miles of hiking trails, as well as a few paths designated for horseback riding. About an hour outside of San Antonio, Guadalupe River State Park is ideal for a day trip, though campers are welcome. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! The park provides access to four miles of river.
Photo via Instagram, guadaluperiverstatepark
Jacob’s Well Natural Area
1699 Mt Sharp Rd, Wimberley
Located just over an hour northwest of San Antonio, Jacob’s Well is a great destination for summer days and is one of our favorite places to cool off on a hot afternoon. Be sure to book your spot in advance — the watering hole is by reservation only.
Photo via Instagram, hal3yharman
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Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N St Mary’s St.,
Sure, this isn’t a traditional park, but the tea gardens offer just as much outdoor splendor than the city’s other grassy spots. The tea gardens invite visitors with peaceful paths winding through calm ponds and delicate greenery. Bring a book to read over a cup of tea or under a pagoda.
Photo via Instagram, demiroda
Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Kickapoo Cavern is best known as a solid place for bat flight viewing (yes, that’s a thing), and visitors are also invited to tour the park’s caves for $10 a head by reservation. The park is almost three hours away, but campsites with water and electricity, as well as picnic spots are available.
Photo via Instagram, atxjax
Krause Springs
404 Krause Spring Rd, Spicewood
The swimming hole is situated a little over 100 miles away from San Antonio, or just over two hours, but there’s no doubt that the drive is well worth it. This shaded area in Spicewood is privately owned by the Krause Family and is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites. And if you’re looking for something longer than a day-trip, campers and RVs are welcome.
Photo via Instagram, lorenzo961
Lost Maples State Natural Area
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool
A little less than two hours away, Lost Maples should be on everyone’s list to visit during the fall, when leaves are turning and the air is finally cooling down. The state natural area has a steep and rugged terrain (perfect for hikers looking for a challenge), with over 10 miles to explore. Though you can take a day-trip to the park from San Antonio, we recommend you camp out and soak in Lost Maples’ excellent spots for stargazing.
Photo via Instagram, jamiem5
Madison Square Park
400 Lexington If you live or find yourself around downtown with the pup, this is the perfect little park for a midday romp with plenty of trees for shade on a hot day.
Photo via Instagram, sssssinclair
McAllister Park
13102 Jones Maltsberger Rd.,
McAllister Park is the gateway to some 25 miles of trails along the upper Salado Creek Greenway. It’s easy to get (intentionally) lost in the park’s forest trails or along the wooden boardwalk through the region’s natural wetlands. Be sure to take your pup to the neighboring dog park — there’s trails there, too!
Photo via Instagram, hiediamber
Medina River Natural Area
15890 Hwy 16
Come for the waterfall views, stay for the native plants and wildlife. Medina River is known for it’s uncrowded trails (of varying inclines) winding along the small, peaceful river. Stop and catch a fish in the stream or take a closer look at the wildflowers blooming along its banks.
Photo via Instagram, dr.klaxon
Mission Reach
807 Mission Rd.
Wanting a more natural river walk? Look no further than the newly-completed Mission Reach, 8 miles of paved trail along the revitalized San Antonio River ecosystem. This scenic path comes with thoughtful art installations, peaceful resting areas, and easy access to four of the city’s historic missions. Begin at Mission Concepción and head south (but there are many access points along the winding trail).
Photo via Instagram, Mission Reach Trail
O.P. Schnable
9606 Bandera Rd.,
Part of the Leon Spring greenway system, Schnabel Park pairs natural, unchallenging trails with athletic fields, playgrounds, and BBQ pits, making it hard not to spend the entire day there. Come at dusk, and you’re sure to see some wildlife rustling along the path.
Photo via Instagram, katie_reyes23
Panther Springs Park
111 Camp St.,
This hangout on the far Northside has a combined area for big and small dogs – so make sure your pooch is cool hanging with differently-sized pals. Oh, and it’s a great spot for humans, too.
Photo via Instagram, ryanjober
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Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City,
Pedernales Falls is a quick getaway spot — about 90 minutes outside of SA — that offers trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. During the summer months, visitors can swim and paddle around in the Pedernales River.
Photo via Instagram, alex_corinne
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Rd.,
Named after a recent San Antonio mayor, Phil Hardberger Park has set the bar exceptionally high for the city’s public parks. Tucked within the Shavano Park neighborhood, this urban green space is home to meandering paved trails, BBQ spots, native wildlife, a colorful playground, and an extremely popular dog park.
Photo via Instagram, mariimalagayo
San Pedro Springs
1315 San Pedro Ave.,
San Pedro Springs is the second oldest public park in the country — and, of course, the oldest park in San Antonio. The natural spring-fed pond, once the center of a Payaya Indian village, now serves as a shallow and refreshing swimming pool for the Tobin Hill neighborhood. Not wanting to swim? Visit the neighboring tennis courts, skateboard park, library, or theatre.
Photo via Instagram, placesandpizza
Slick Park
7400 Highway 151
This one is basically San Antonio’s dog-park heaven, with separate areas for large and small dogs that abut the nearby river. There are also benches, picnic tables, a fountain for people and pets, and a special doggie shower for the mud-prone pooches.
Photo via Instagram, le7decembre
Yanaguana Garden
434 S Alamo St.,
Visit Yanaguana garden on a sunny day, and you’ll find friends playing ping-pong on the permanent outside tables, kids tangled in the massive playground’s web system, and families sharing popsicles under the shady trellis arches. With mosaic benches straight from Barcelona sidewalks and a hands-on water park for inventive kids, it’s hard to avoid this central San Antonio spot.
Photo via Instagram, joerisgc
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Friedrich Wilderness Park
21395 Milsa Dr.,
Located at the southern tip of the Hill Country, Friedrich Park blends rocky outcrops with flat, forested trails. Although you can’t bring your pets on this hike, you may be able to see one of the two endangered songbirds who call this 600-acre natural area home.
Photo via Instagram, divulgehisglory
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