The River Walk and the Alamo are prime points of interest for a reason, but hiking in San Antonio presents a stunning escape from the crowds and a different view of central Texas that’s well worth exploring.
These San Antonio trails don’t make it onto vacationer itineraries almost as usually as some of the city’s other destinations, so we’re letting you in on the pure secrets tucked away not too removed from downtown.
With 14 unbelievable hikes on this listing, there’s a little one thing for everybody so that you simply can find a trek appropriate for any age or ability. Local species, wildflowers, and sweeping vistas are all on the agenda.
Keep reading for need-to-know info on tips on how to get to each spot, trail lengths and difficulties, unmissable lookouts, wildlife to be careful for, and more!
Tips and Advice for Hiking in San Antonio
Trash your trash: People leaving trash, canine poop, and other paraphernalia on trails throughout the USA is turning into an rising problem. Leave no trace.
Watch out for wildlife: Some animals would possibly really feel or be unsafe near people. Never startle, disturb, approach, or feed wild animals.
Don’t pocket the previous: Help preserve the nice American heritage. Leave all artifacts precisely the place you discover 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 reason we embrace trail data, similar to distance and elevation achieve, is to find a way to plan according to your bodily situation. Beyond that, at all times wear sunscreen, insect repellent, and appropriate clothing/hiking sneakers. For instance, these trail-runners have the right balance of breathability and terrain grip.
Share your plans: Because some trails are tougher and much out in nature, it’s all the time better to let others know where you’ll be.
Drink plenty of water: Last but positively not least. Pack enough potable water with you. We love this high-quality Camelbak and it suits 70oz of water.
Best San Antonio Hiking Trails
People tend to embark on either massive city trips or extra nature-centric adventures, however what concerning the wealth of pure areas that are not too far from urban comforts?
That’s exactly what we’re exploring with this listing, and all revolving around certainly one of our favorite cities within the United States–San Antonio!
Easy San Antonio Hikes
Rio Medina Trail
* Length: 12.6 miles | Elevation gain: 459.three ft | Guide
Located throughout the Medina River Natural Area, this trail is well-marked, super accessible, and packed with wildlife.
Winding switchbacks and rolling hills make the out-and-back trail challenging enough for intermediate hikers, however the largely paved roads keep it beginner-friendly as properly.
The sections that meander alongside the river are shady and scenic, whereas different components of the trail lead you thru farmland and sunny meadows.
Perhaps the highlight of the Rio Medina Trail is its abundance of flora and fauna. Hikers have reported sightings of wild boar, deer, armadillos, and other wildlife. A fortunate few have even noticed bald eagles overhead.
The finest time to go to is May-October.
Wilderness and Wildlife Trails
* Length: 1 mile | Elevation acquire: 16.4 toes | Guide
The Wilderness and Wildlife Trails at Brackenridge, one of the best parks in San Antonio, make for an excellent morning or night journey simply 10 minutes from Downtown.
This isn’t the spot for hardcore hikers or adrenaline junkies, however family outings, canine walks, and easy jogs can all be loved 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 more company from the ducks and geese than different people.
The park is located right subsequent to the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden. If you’re on the lookout for some zen after your run or stroll, examine it out!
Library and Comanche Loops Trail
* Length: 1.6 miles | Elevation acquire: 114.8 ft | Guide
This quick and sweet loop in Comanche Lookout Park (Nacogdoches Road) is suitable for all talent levels and tremendous accessible from downtown San Antonio.
This is a great choice if you’re simply looking for some simple walking or a light exercise. You also can bring alongside your furry friends as lengthy as they’re on a leash.
However, like other popular hiking trails near San Antonio, this one can get quite busy during peak instances, so plan ahead as a result of parking is proscribed.
Braving the crowds is certainly price it; hike all the way to the highest, and you’ll be greeted by bird’s eye views of the city below.
Prairie, Painted Bunting, Barred Owl, and Live Oak Trails Loop
Guadalupe River is amongst the greatest state parks near San Antonio for hiking. * Length: 5.1 miles | Elevation gain: 236.2 ft | Guide
For those that don’t love climbing and scrambling over rocky terrain, this loop swaps heart-pumping cardio for leisurely strolls by way of open meadows, prairies, and towering oak trees.
Of course, which means the Texas sun might be out in full pressure, so we propose taking this trek within the morning or evening and stocking up on plenty of water and sunscreen everytime you go.
You’re virtually assured to spot some wildlife alongside the hike. Deer, hawks, armadillos, lizards, and snakes are commonly reported in the area.
The nature in Guadalupe River State Park, the place this trail resides, is some of the most rugged and exquisite 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 gain: 134.5 ft | Guide
This straightforward, wooded loop in Guadalupe River State Park is the Goldilocks of hiking trails–not too short, not too long, and with a variety of each shaded and sunny spots.
Kids and dogs alike will manage the stroll easily, while adults will benefit from the enjoyable scenery.
The hike’s highlight is a piece that runs alongside the oh-so-refreshing Guadalupe River, the place you’ll have the ability to wade in the clear, shallow water or relaxation on the rocks along the financial institution.
The area isn’t terribly busy, but mornings are nonetheless finest if you wish to hit the trails before they get a bit extra crowded.
San Antonio Mission Trail
* Length: 15.1 miles | Elevation acquire: 413.4 toes | Guide
This wouldn’t be a publish about hiking in San Antonio if we didn’t mention the long-lasting Mission Trail.
This is a type of San Antonio must-sees; it will get you up close and personal with one of solely sixteen nationwide parks in Texas and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site within the state.
Explore the history 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 website is separated by about 2.5 miles of trail that wind by way of farmland, small neighborhoods, and metropolis parks, with loads of relaxation stops along the way so you’ll have the ability to seize a bite to eat or refill your water.
Biking is an excellent option if strolling the entire means seems a bit too time-consuming.
San Antonio River Walk Mission Reach Trail
San Antonio Riverwalk * Length: 5.7 miles | Elevation achieve: 141.1 ft | Guide
Multitaskers, this one’s for you! Anyone who wants to go hiking in San Antonio while sightseeing at the identical time ought to undoubtedly go to the River Walk Mission Reach Trail.
This is extra of a leisurely stroll than a true trek, but it’s the right approach to discover plenty of San Antonio on foot. The trail takes you through the guts of the city, with the choice to cease at some of its top sights as you go.
Check out the daring architecture of the historic Bexar County Courthouse, the ultra-artsy La Villita neighborhood, and (for extra walking fuel) a few of the delicious restaurants that line the bank of the river.
Moderate San Antonio Hikes
Hillview Nature Trail Loop
Eisenhower Park is likely certainly one of the best locations to go hiking in San Antonio, Texas * Length: 2.9 miles | Elevation achieve: 282.2 ft | Guide
This reasonably challenging hike is situated in Eisenhower Park, simply 25 minutes from downtown San Antonio, and provides a respite from the concrete trails discovered closer to town heart with its rocky terrain and steep climbs.
Some of the trek highlights are the wildflowers that colour the hills each spring and an observatory that boasts a sprawling bird’s eye view over the timber.
Keep in mind that this is a well-liked hiking spot for locals and tourists alike, so the paths are often moderately crowded.
To flip it into a full-day trip outdoors of downtown, stop by Six Flags Fiesta Texas on your means there or back; it’s proper next door to the park.
Pssst: The Joe Johnston Route Trail in Government Canyon State Natural Area is a reasonable but incredible hiking trail. Reservation needed.
Main Loop to Vista Loop to Fern Del Trail
* Length: 2.4 miles | Elevation acquire: 360.9 feet | Guide
The Friedrich Wilderness Park is home to 10 miles of trails and some of the country’s best bird-watching.
This specific loop is certainly one of the most beautiful places to hike in San Antonio, with drop-offs and dramatic canyons that offer spectacular views of the Hill Country.
It has a combination of terrain, with some spots that can undoubtedly have you breathing exhausting and others which may be nice for all abilities.
Keep an eye out for wildflowers and rare bird species just like the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler.
Some trails are closed through the rainier seasons, so check the weather situations earlier than you go.
Mount Ol’ Baldy
* Length: 1 mile | Elevation gain: 436.4 ft | Guide
If you need to transfer a bit beyond 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 essentially the most stunning state parks near San Antonio, especially for fall foliage—yes, there’s fall in Texas) takes 1.5-2 hours but offers scenic views of charming small towns and rolling hills alongside the greatest way. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to rest your legs before and after the trek.
This out-and-back hike comes complete with rock scrambles to keep your adrenaline pumping and completely gorgeous panoramic views when you reach the highest.
It’s doable for young youngsters, but the whole family will definitely be sweating it out by the top.
Cougar Canyon to Hermit’s Trace Loop
* Length: 7.2 miles | Elevation gain: 669.three feet | Guide
This loop in the beautiful Hill Country State Natural Area is amongst the lesser-known hikes near San Antonio, which implies you’ll likely have the trail to your self for more often than not.
To escape the crowds, you’ll have to drive about 1.5 hours outside of downtown, however there are locations to camp within the park if you wish to stay overnight.
The trail options all kinds of terrains, every thing from steep climbs and descents to flat, shady stretches. The views stretch all the way to the horizon as you climb, so you’ll really feel immersed in the wilderness on this Texas hiking trail.
Keep a watch out for native plants and animals like deer, armadillos, and many wildflowers, as properly as the horses that generally carry riders alongside the route.
Your own animals are additionally allowed, so 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 feet | Guide
Garner State Park holds a lot of gems, and this loop is solely 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 can be challenging at occasions; there are sections with unfastened rocks and uphill scrambles. Overall, nonetheless, it’s a really family-friendly activity with an abundance of pure scenery.
The Painted Rock Overlook is breathtaking at sunset and Crystal Cave is a fun stop along the method in which. You can 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 acquire: 236.2 feet | Guide
This popular loop is about 30 minutes exterior of downtown however feels a world away.
You can probably get quite close to a pleasant few deer and armadillos while you hike, and the large Texas oaks and fields of wildflowers are nicely worth admiring.
If you’re traveling with a canine companion, you’re in luck. As though the paths weren’t sufficient to tire your pup out, McAllister Park additionally boasts a 1.5-acre, fenced canine park.
The Blue Loop Trail tends to be dominated by mountain bikers, so remember to concentrate on your surroundings, particularly while walking the narrower components of the hike/bike trails.
There isn’t much shade on this walk, so it’s greatest not to hike during the summer time months and to at least come ready with a lot of water.
Challenging San Antonio Trail
Flat Rock Ranch Mountain Biking Trails Loop
* Length: 25.8 miles | Elevation acquire: 2135.83 ft | Guide
Welcome to the more excessive facet of hiking in San Antonio. In fact, this spot is off limits for hikers and runners many of the 12 months.
Boasting by far probably the most difficult terrain of anywhere on this listing, the Flat Rock Ranch loop is designated primarily for critical mountain bikers, with particular exceptions made for trail working events.
There are a quantity of things you’ll want to remember. First, there’s a $10 charge per person per day to use the Flat Rock Ranch trails, and the whole route is closed for hunting season every October-December.
With jumps, steep downhills, and rocky slopes, the riding here can get fairly technical, so solely go if you’re confident in your skills.
Which of the most effective hikes in San Antonio are you most excited to tackle? Drop us a comment!