The River Walk and the Alamo are top attractions for a purpose, however hiking in San Antonio provides a stunning escape from the crowds and a unique view of central Texas that is properly value exploring.
These San Antonio trails don’t make it onto vacationer itineraries practically as usually as a few of the city’s different locations, so we’re letting you in on the natural secrets tucked away not too removed from downtown.
With 14 unbelievable hikes on this list, there’s a little one thing for everyone so as to discover a trek appropriate for any age or capability. Local species, wildflowers, and sweeping vistas are all on the agenda.
Keep studying for need-to-know information on how to get to each spot, trail lengths and difficulties, unmissable lookouts, wildlife to watch out for, and more!
Tips and Advice for Hiking in San Antonio
Trash your trash: People leaving trash, dog poop, and different paraphernalia on trails across the USA is changing into an increasing problem. Leave no trace.
Watch out for wildlife: Some animals may feel or be unsafe near people. Never startle, disturb, approach, or feed wild animals.
Don’t pocket the previous: Help preserve the good American heritage. Leave all artifacts exactly the place you find them and report their location to a ranger.
Campfire solely in hearth ring: When allowed, solely have a campfire in fireplace rings to avoid ground scarring and wildfires.
Know your limits: The purpose we include trail data, similar to distance and elevation achieve, is so that you just can plan according to your physical situation. Beyond that, at all times put on sunscreen, insect repellent, and applicable clothing/hiking sneakers. For instance, these trail-runners have the perfect balance of breathability and terrain grip.
Share your plans: Because some trails are more challenging and far out in nature, it’s always higher to let others know the place you’ll be.
Drink loads of water: Last but definitely not least. Pack enough potable water with you. We love this high-quality Camelbak and it matches 70oz of water.
Best San Antonio Hiking Trails
People are inclined to embark on either huge city journeys or extra nature-centric adventures, however what about the wealth of pure areas that are not too removed from urban comforts?
That’s precisely what we’re exploring with this listing, and all revolving round considered one of our favorite cities in the United States–San Antonio!
Easy San Antonio Hikes
Rio Medina Trail
* Length: 12.6 miles | Elevation gain: 459.3 ft | Guide
Located within the Medina River Natural Area, this trail is well-marked, tremendous accessible, and filled with wildlife.
Winding switchbacks and rolling hills make the out-and-back trail difficult sufficient for intermediate hikers, but the largely paved roads hold it beginner-friendly as well.
The sections that meander alongside the river are shady and scenic, while different elements of the trail lead you thru farmland and sunny meadows.
Perhaps the highlight of the Rio Medina Trail is its abundance of natural world. Hikers have reported sightings of untamed boar, deer, armadillos, and different wildlife. A lucky few have even spotted bald eagles overhead.
The greatest time to go to is May-October.
Wilderness and Wildlife Trails
* Length: 1 mile | Elevation achieve: 16.four ft | Guide
The Wilderness and Wildlife Trails at Brackenridge, probably the greatest parks in San Antonio, make for an excellent morning or evening journey simply 10 minutes from Downtown.
This isn’t the spot for hardcore hikers or adrenaline junkies, but household outings, canine walks, and easy jogs can all be enjoyed on the graceful, paved loop.
Much of the trail is shaded, and a few sections run alongside streams and rivers, so you’ll doubtless get extra firm from the ducks and geese than other people.
The park is situated proper subsequent to the gorgeous Japanese Tea Garden. If you’re looking for some zen after your run or walk, check it out!
Library and Comanche Loops Trail
* Length: 1.6 miles | Elevation gain: 114.8 toes | Guide
This quick and candy loop in Comanche Lookout Park (Nacogdoches Road) is suitable for all ability ranges and tremendous accessible from downtown San Antonio.
This is a great option if you’re just looking for some straightforward walking or a lightweight exercise. You can also convey alongside your furry friends so lengthy as they’re on a leash.
However, like other well-liked hiking trails near San Antonio, this one can get quite busy throughout peak times, so plan forward because parking is limited.
Braving the crowds is definitely value it; hike all the best way to the top, and you’ll be greeted by bird’s eye views of the town below.
Prairie, Painted Bunting, Barred Owl, and Live Oak Trails Loop
Guadalupe River is among the finest state parks near San Antonio for hiking. * Length: 5.1 miles | Elevation gain: 236.2 feet | Guide
For people who don’t love climbing and scrambling over rocky terrain, this loop swaps heart-pumping cardio for leisurely strolls via open meadows, prairies, and towering oak trees.
Of course, meaning the Texas sun shall be out in full pressure, so we suggest taking this trek within the morning or night and stocking up on loads of water and sunscreen everytime you go.
You’re almost assured to spot some wildlife along the hike. Deer, hawks, armadillos, lizards, and snakes are commonly reported within the area.
The nature in Guadalupe River State Park, the place this trail resides, is a few of the most rugged and delightful in the state, and it’s only 45 minutes exterior of San Antonio!
Bamberger Trail, Curry Creek Overlook Trail, and Golden-cheeked Warbler Loop
Guadalupe river state park in Texas * Length: three.5 miles | Elevation acquire: 134.5 ft | Guide
This simple, wooded loop in Guadalupe River State Park is the Goldilocks of hiking trails–not too quick, not too long, and with a broad range of both shaded and sunny spots.
Kids and canines alike will manage the stroll simply, whereas adults will benefit from the relaxing scenery.
The hike’s highlight is a bit that runs alongside the oh-so-refreshing Guadalupe River, the place you can wade in the clear, shallow water or rest on the rocks along the financial institution.
The space isn’t terribly busy, however mornings are still greatest if you would like to hit the trails before they get a bit extra crowded.
San Antonio Mission Trail
* Length: 15.1 miles | Elevation gain: 413.four toes | Guide
This wouldn’t be a publish about hiking in San Antonio if we didn’t point out the long-lasting Mission Trail.
This is one of those San Antonio must-sees; it gets you up close and personal with one of solely 16 nationwide parks in Texas and the one UNESCO World Heritage Site within the state.
Explore the historical past and unimaginable architecture of four of the city’s Spanish colonial missions–Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada.
Each web site is separated by about 2.5 miles of trail that wind through farmland, small neighborhoods, and metropolis parks, with loads of rest stops along the method in which so you possibly can seize a chew to eat or refill your water.
Biking is an excellent choice if strolling the entire method seems a bit too time-consuming.
San Antonio River Walk Mission Reach Trail
San Antonio Riverwalk * Length: 5.7 miles | Elevation gain: 141.1 toes | Guide
Multitaskers, this one’s for you! Anyone who wants to go hiking in San Antonio while sightseeing at the identical time should definitely visit the River Walk Mission Reach Trail.
This is extra of a leisurely stroll than a real trek, but it’s the proper method to explore plenty of San Antonio on foot. The trail takes you thru the heart of town, with the option to stop at some of its top sights as you go.
Check out the bold structure of the historic Bexar County Courthouse, the ultra-artsy La Villita neighborhood, and (for further walking fuel) some of the delicious restaurants that line the financial institution of the river.
Moderate San Antonio Hikes
Hillview Nature Trail Loop
Eisenhower Park is one of the best places to go hiking in San Antonio, Texas * Length: 2.9 miles | Elevation gain: 282.2 ft | Guide
This moderately challenging hike is positioned in Eisenhower Park, just 25 minutes from downtown San Antonio, and offers a respite from the concrete trails found closer to the city middle with its rocky terrain and steep climbs.
Some of the trek highlights are the wildflowers that color the hills each spring and an observatory that boasts a sprawling bird’s eye view over the trees.
Keep in mind that it is a well-liked hiking spot for locals and vacationers alike, so the paths are often moderately crowded.
To turn it into a full-day journey exterior of downtown, stop by Six Flags Fiesta Texas on your method there or back; it’s proper subsequent door to the park.
Pssst: The Joe Johnston Route Trail in Government Canyon State Natural Area is a reasonable however unbelievable hiking trail. Reservation wanted.
Main Loop to Vista Loop to Fern Del Trail
* Length: 2.four miles | Elevation achieve: 360.9 ft | Guide
The Friedrich Wilderness Park is home to 10 miles of trails and a number of the country’s best bird-watching.
This specific loop is considered one of the most lovely places to hike in San Antonio, with drop-offs and dramatic canyons that offer spectacular views of the Hill Country.
It has a mixture of terrain, with some spots that can undoubtedly have you breathing onerous and others that are nice for all skills.
Keep an eye fixed out for wildflowers and uncommon fowl species just like the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler.
Some trails are closed through the rainier seasons, so check the climate circumstances before you go.
Mount Ol’ Baldy
* Length: 1 mile | Elevation achieve: 436.four ft | Guide
If you need to transfer a bit past hiking in San Antonio itself and are hoping to see more of Texas Hill Country, Mount Ol’ Baldy is the place to be.
The drive from downtown to Garner State Park (one of probably the most lovely state parks near San Antonio, especially for fall foliage—yes, there’s fall in Texas) takes 1.5-2 hours but presents scenic views of charming small towns and rolling hills along the way. Plus, it’s a superb alternative to rest your legs earlier than and after the trek.
This out-and-back hike comes full with rock scrambles to keep your adrenaline pumping and completely stunning panoramic views when you attain the highest.
It’s doable for young kids, but the entire family will definitely be sweating it out by the end.
Cougar Canyon to Hermit’s Trace Loop
* Length: 7.2 miles | Elevation acquire: 669.3 toes | Guide
This loop in the beautiful Hill Country State Natural Area is one of the lesser-known hikes near San Antonio, which suggests you’ll likely have the trail to your self for most of the time.
To escape the crowds, you could have to drive about 1.5 hours outdoors of downtown, but there are locations to camp within the park if you need to keep overnight.
The trail features a broad variety of terrains, every little thing from steep climbs and descents to flat, shady stretches. The views stretch all the method in which to the horizon as you climb, so you’ll really feel immersed in the wilderness on this Texas hiking trail.
Keep an eye out for native vegetation and animals like deer, armadillos, and heaps of wildflowers, in addition to the horses that commonly carry riders along the route.
Your personal animals are additionally allowed, as long as they’re on a leash.
Crystal Cave by way of Horseshoe Canyon and Bridges Trail Loop
Beautiful Fall Foliage Surrounding the Clear Frio River, Texas. * Length: 1.5 miles | Elevation acquire: 403.5 toes | Guide
Garner State Park holds plenty of gems, and this loop is only one of them. Hikers will love soaking in its panoramic views of the Hill Country’s rugged greenery and crystal clear rivers.
Parts of the trail may be challenging at instances; there are sections with unfastened rocks and uphill scrambles. Overall, nevertheless, it’s a very family-friendly activity with an abundance of natural scenery.
The Painted Rock Overlook is breathtaking at sunset and Crystal Cave is a fun stop alongside the way in which. You may even climb via the cave and seek for the bats that call it home–just don’t overlook your flashlight!
McAllister Park Blue Loop Trail
* Length: 6.7 miles | Elevation gain: 236.2 toes | Guide
This well-liked loop is about 30 minutes outside of downtown but feels a world away.
You can doubtless get quite close to a pleasant few deer and armadillos when you hike, and the large Texas oaks and fields of wildflowers are nicely price admiring.
If you’re traveling with a canine companion, you’re in luck. As although the paths weren’t sufficient to tire your pup out, McAllister Park also boasts a 1.5-acre, fenced canine park.
The Blue Loop Trail tends to be dominated by mountain bikers, so bear in mind to concentrate to your environment, particularly whereas walking the narrower components of the hike/bike trails.
There isn’t much shade on this stroll, so it’s finest to not hike during the summer months and to at least come prepared with lots of water.
Challenging San Antonio Trail
Flat Rock Ranch Mountain Biking Trails Loop
* Length: 25.8 miles | Elevation achieve: 2135.eighty three feet | Guide
Welcome to the more extreme facet of hiking in San Antonio. In reality, this spot is off limits for hikers and runners most of the yr.
Boasting by far the most challenging terrain of any place on this listing, the Flat Rock Ranch loop is designated primarily for serious mountain bikers, with particular exceptions made for trail running occasions.
There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, there’s a $10 payment per particular person per day to use the Flat Rock Ranch trails, and the entire route is closed for searching season each October-December.
With jumps, steep downhills, and rocky slopes, the driving here can get quite technical, so solely go if you’re assured in your abilities.
Which of the most effective hikes in San Antonio are you most excited to tackle? Drop us a comment!