February 14, 2020 Slideshows » Arts

The Best Bike Rides and Trails in San Antonio 

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Sometimes you just need some fresh air. And sometimes you just want to get some air via a bike ride. Here's some of the best bike rides you can explore across the Alamo City.
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Medina River Greenway
sanantonio.gov
The Medina River Greenway is about a 3.5-mile trail connecting the Pleasanton Trailhead to Mattox Park, which is located along McAllister Freeway outside of Loop 410 on the South Side. Because it hugs the edge of Mitchell Lake, you can expect to see some cool sights. When the weather is nice, you’ll see seasonal birds, lakeside wildlife and healthy vegetation. This greenway has paved areas, so it’s perfect for someone who prefers paved rides to rough terrain rides. If you're intrigued by this shot, head to the greenway near the Palo Alto trailhead.
Photo via Instagram / texasbyair
Pearsall Park
4838 Old Pearsall Road, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Pearsall Park is like the city’s catch-all park. There are wide, open fields to run with your pup or play frisbee in, sports fields for getting in a little extra practice, walking and biking trails and even a skate park for when you want to hit the half pipe. Biking in Peasall Park is a treat to the heart because you get to enjoy the view of all the other happy people also using the park. Plus, it’s over 500 acres of space to ride, especially if you’re comfortable with off-roading a little bit.
Photo via Instagram / zlara_photography
Cathedral Rock Park
8002 Grissom Road, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Cathedral Rock Park — not to be confused with Cathedral Rock in Arizona — lies on the west end of the Leon Creek Greenway. While it had a bad reputation from before the renovations a few years ago (circa mid-2010s), the trails have greatly improved. The areas are well-lit and the trails are paved and marked, making this a great place to bike. Because it is less popular than its nearby cousin, Leon Creek Greenway, it’s the perfect place for the biker who prefers paved trails but a ride in relative peace from other trail users.
Photo via Instagram / nic_is_nicole
O. P. Schnabel Park
9606 Bandera Road, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
O.P. Schnabel Park, formerly known as Bandera Road Park and occasionally still known as “the cleanest little park in Texas,” is a gorgeous place to bike ride if you find solace in nature. A trademark of the park is the natural and native vegetation that grows plentifully within. Though O. P. Schnabel Park is quite a popular destination for San Antonians, the park isn’t any less beautiful because of it. Still, you will definitely have to dodge the occasional slow pedestrian on your rides.
Photo via Instagram / howdydoodietx
King William Historic District/Southtown
sanantonio.gov
Biking around Southtown and the King William Historic District will open your eyes to a lot of sights – just keep in mind that bikes are largely only permitted south of the Blue Star Arts Complex. On one hand, you’ll see a ton of restaurants that you want to try (and a ton that we’ve already tried for you — there’s no shame in a self plug). On the other hand, you’ll see a lot of beautiful homes to admire on your ride. Because this entry is a part of SA and on roads frequented by cars, bikers are advised to have some street experience while riding.
Photo via Instagram / xrays_in_use
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Road, (210) 492-7472, philhardbergerpark.org
For those who don’t know, or who have never realized it while they were visiting, Phil Hardberger Park is divided into two sections, East and West, by Wurzbach Road. For bikers (and pedestrians!), the East section has almost three miles of paved trails, and the West section has more than four miles of trails. The trails on the east side of the park connect to the Salado Creek Greenway, which is also on this list. Biker beware — the trails do not have amenities such as water fountains or trash cans, so the park recommends that you bring water and implores you not to litter.
Photo via Instagram / john.a.dickinson.6.8
Mission Reach
thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Mission Reach is a popular destination for kayakers, pedestrians and bikers alike. Because a lot of the trail is located a fair distance from the road, it’s a good place for people who aren’t experienced with riding near or on the street. The route is more scenic than challenging anyway, so if you’re into rough and tough terrain and heart-pumping inclines on an isolated path in nature, Mission Reach probably isn’t for you. If you’re into paved paths and mostly gentle slopes with a beautiful view of the historic missions, you’ll love Mission Reach.
Photo via Instagram / ryanibarra24
Stone Oak Park
20395 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Stone Oak Park is located off of Loop 1604 and can be accessed using the Stone Oak Parkway exit, though there are many ways to get there. The park itself has areas for adults to exercise and for children to play, but for bikers and runners, there are almost three miles of paved trails. The trails are split up into a few main parts, most of which are suitable for almost all types of bikes.
Photo via Instagram / psychadelic_bee
Hays Street Bridge/East Side
803 N Cherry St, (210) 207-0970
Doesn’t everyone know where Hays Street Bridge is? It’s been there basically since before any of us can remember, although renovations were completed on it in the past decade or so to transform it into an attraction. It’s great for photo opportunities and sometimes even proposals, yoga events, walking, jogging, and of course, biking. Using the bridge will get you downtown in minutes, which can be useful if you’re biking for a commute and not just exercise.
Photo via Instagram / trickzillla
Salado Creek Greenway
sanantonio.gov
The Salado Creek Greenway runs between Jack White Park and Southside Lions Park. At a distance of 7.2 miles, this trail is perfect for a biker who loves long … looooong rides through nature. As you pass, you’ll see several species of trees, like pecan trees, and at the points where it hugs the Salado Creek more tightly, you’ll get views of creatures that make water sources their homes. While Salado Creek Greenway isn’t the most popular site on this list for bikers, it’s still perfect to hit on a hot summer day where you can be shaded by the towering trees on either side of the path.
Photo via Instagram / _._snap
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Southside Lions Park
3100 Hiawatha St, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
Southside Lions Park, also known as Hi-Lions Park because it’s near Highlands High School, is a 600-acre plot of land that was actually originally going to be used in part as a landfill. Since the ‘90s, the park has had paved trails and lighting through a push for quality of life improvements. These improvements include miles of paved and unpaved trails that can be used by bikers to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Southside Lions Park has to offer.
Photo via Instagram / alyssa_johnson
Brackenridge Park
3700 N St Mary's St, (210) 207-7275, brackenridgepark.org
The one and the only Brackenridge Park features tons of paved roads to bike down if you’re more of a beginner, and plenty of off-road opportunities as well for those bikers a bit more experienced. The beauty of Brackenridge Park lies in its rich history, ancient trees and the colony of (somewhat) feral cats. No matter what day or time you go, you’ll see plenty of other bikers and other park-enjoyers on your trip, so don’t expect too much privacy. If you pack a picnic, there are plenty of places to sit down and eat it, if they aren’t already taken.
Photo via Instagram / peterbnyrenphoto
Huebner Creek Greenway
sanantonio.gov
Huebner Creek Greenway runs along Huebner Creek (duh!). It extends for about one and a half miles between two other trails, Crystal Hills Trailhead and Leon Creek Greenway. If you’re into a more private ride, Huebner Creek Greenway is probably the way to go since it’s much less known than the Leon Creek Greenway that it connects to, but you’ll probably still run into some people. Just make sure that you’re ready and geared up for some rough terrain.
Photo via Instagram / ramonhg81
The Historic Pearl
303 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 212-7260, atpearl.com
The Historic Pearl isn’t as much of a park as it is a bike-safe and bike-friendly area — just look out for the loads of people if you’re in the thick of the complex. Ride around the outskirts and enjoy the fresh air. There are plenty of places to ride and park too. Once you park, there are plenty of places to eat and get a little tipsy. *hiccup* You might end up having to Uber home.
Photo via Instagram / lcsschwnts
Leon Vista
8561 Rochelle Road, (210) 207-8480, sanantonio.gov
Just because alcohol is prohibited at Leon Vista Park (like most other parks in SA) doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. This park is more of a hike-and-bike park than a sit-and-picnic park, which makes it perfect for the biker in you. The trails aren’t super well-known, so if you want to spend some time alone in nature, this is probably the park/trailhead for you to hit.
Photo via Instagram / coldpizzatx
Leon Creek South Greenway
sanantonio.gov
Leon Creek South Greenway, not to be confused with the Leon Creek Greenway, runs near Pearsall Park on the city’s South Side. It is located near Quintana Road, and is multi-use friendly, meaning that it is mostly paved and safe for joggers, walkers, bikers and maybe even roller bladers, so be aware that you might encounter a variety of other people using this trail. There are also seating areas for when you get tired or need a break, but that also means that there are some spectators if you do something wrong and fall off your bike. We’ve all been there.
Photo via Instagram / epicmtbsatx
Olmos Basin Greenway
sanantonio.gov
The Olmos Basin Greenway Trail runs between Jones-Maltsberger Road and Devine Road and is about a mile or so long. Because of the mature trees in Olmos Basin Park, the greenway trails are almost entirely shaded, offering relief from the hot Texas sun on sweltering days. If you decide to go during the summer, or let’s be real, any other season in Texas, the shade doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be cool. Luckily, it runs along Olmos Creek.
Photo via Instagram / cmcpuma
McClain Park
15700 O'Connor Road, (210) 207-3000, sanantonio.gov
Brian McClain Park, named for a student who was killed in the Texas A&M bonfire collapse of 1999, is one of the lesser-known parks in SA. What it’s most known for, actually, is the 18-hole disc golf course. Even still, it boasts paved trails for biking. Because it’s known mostly for the course, you might not encounter too many other people enjoying the trails by bike. In the distance, on your journey, you might hear a disc golf player screaming at their frisbee.
Photo via Instagram / kathrynrose
McAllister Park
13102 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 207-7275, sanantonio.gov
McAllister Park has a lot to offer: pavilions, picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, ample parking and dog parks, but the reason it made it on this list is the trails. The park has around five miles of paved trails, perfect for biking. As far as unpaved trails go, you’ll find about 10 miles of them winding through the 976 acres of McAllister Park between Jones-Maltsberger and Wetmore roads. Because McAllister Park has so much to offer and so much parking, don’t expect to be alone too much.
Photo via Instagram / mcallisterpark
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Medina River Greenway
sanantonio.gov
The Medina River Greenway is about a 3.5-mile trail connecting the Pleasanton Trailhead to Mattox Park, which is located along McAllister Freeway outside of Loop 410 on the South Side. Because it hugs the edge of Mitchell Lake, you can expect to see some cool sights. When the weather is nice, you’ll see seasonal birds, lakeside wildlife and healthy vegetation. This greenway has paved areas, so it’s perfect for someone who prefers paved rides to rough terrain rides. If you're intrigued by this shot, head to the greenway near the Palo Alto trailhead.
Photo via Instagram / texasbyair

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