Perhaps one of the greatest things that the United States has to offer is the huge, open lands that are just there asking to be explored. And of course, among some of the largest places in the States is Texas.
But when you’re heading to Texas, you’ll have to consider where you’ll be exploring due to its size, so you might turn your attention to San Antonio. The thing is, San Antonio is huge on its own!
Therefore, you might be questioning where exactly you should look for when it comes to hiking trails as there are so many. Luckily though, we’ve done all the hard work for you and we’ve got you covered.
Today’s guide will show you 14 of the best hiking trails that San Antonio has to offer along with some other very helpful tips.
So, if you’re heading to San Antonio – read on and learn more.
1. Wilderness And Wildlife Trails, Brackenridge
Perhaps of the most leisurely strolls you could take part in is this one mile long trail in one of the greatest parks located in San Antonio. It’s perfect for any stroll – first thing in the morning, or last thing at night.
However, as you can imagine by the short length – this isn’t a hiking trail for those who are looking for a huge challenge.
It’s more for those looking to keep it calm and collected. Most of the trail is covered, providing very handy shade from the hot Texas sun.
Some of the areas are paired with glorious rivers and streams. In fact, due to its size, you’re much more likely to encounter wildlife such as ducks rather than other walkers.
If you decide on this trail though, be sure you check out the friendly Japanese Tea Garden for a moment to yourself!
2. Rio Medina Trail
At just over 12 and a half miles long, this trail has quite a bit more to offer than our previous addition to the list. Situated in the Medina River Natural Area, it is massively accessible and it’s teeming with wildlife.
This is one of the best hiking trails for people of all abilities, but perhaps best for people who want to move up from beginner walks to intermediate levels.
You will cut through areas that are covered from the beaming Texas sun, and move onto glorious meadows that are open and just a joy to look at.
At the same time, you will enjoy the views of the local wildlife and flowers. Indeed, plenty of previous hikers have reported spotting armadillos, deer, bald eagles, wild boars and much more!
If you are looking for the best time to head here though, you should think about any time from May to October.
3. Library And Comanche Loops
With a distance of just over a mile and a half long, you will enjoy a trail that is short and sweet, but totally packed at the same time. It doesn’t matter what ability level you are, anybody can enjoy this trail.
Perhaps the people that it best suits though are those who want a light, simple workout and want to walk their dogs at the same time.
This trail is much more open that our previous choices in this list, so you gotta make sure your dog is on a leash if you bring them!
On top of this point, it’s important that we mention that this trail tends to get a little more populated than others we’ve selected too.
So, if you’re looking for a quiet walk – it might not always be the case.
4. San Antonio Mission Trail
You may have already heard of this trail – it’s pretty famous! It’s about 15 miles long and has some of the most iconic sights of any trail you could hope to be a part of.
By exploring this trail, you’ll be nose to nose with one of sixteen National Parks in the state and you can enjoy the glorious architecture of the Spanish missions – in fact, you can enjoy all four of them!
If you’re going to do this though, you’ll need to travel through two and a half miles of farmland and city parks for each separate mission – but luckily, this also means that there’s a fair few places for you to grab a bite to eat or a drink of water.
If you don’t have this sort of time to dedicate to the trail though, you might want to consider bringing along your bicycle!
5. Hillview Nature Trail Loop
This hiking trail is located at Eisenhower Park and while it is only slightly shy of three miles in length, this does not mean it’s a walk in the park… despite being a walk in the park!
There’s a lot of difficult terrain around and there’s some climbs that can get a little steep – and this makes sense considering that it’s not too far from downtown San Antonio(see also: 17 Best Beaches In And Around San Antonio).
The best thing that this hiking trail offers is some of the most beautiful wildlife and flowers in the state.
So, if you choose to go on this nature trail hike, then be sure that you keep your eyes peeled for incredibly unique wildflowers and look towards the trees for the birds!
6. San Antonio River Walk Mission Trail
If you’re looking for a nice leisurely walk, then this hiking trail is probably one of the best choices you could make on this list.
It’s not especially long, clocking at just over five and a half miles long – so it’s an ideal trail for intermediate abilities.
This is the type of trail that can be enjoyed by people who want to sightsee whilst also getting a decent enough workout, and luckily you can even stop at some tourist attractions along the way.
Because the trail sends you right into the center of the city, you may even want to sit and relax for a while in one of the many restaurants or cafes – just to get your bearings back!
7. Main Loop To Fern Del
This is one of the most interesting hiking trails on the list. While at 2.5 miles in length it’s not particularly a long trail, it does not mean that it is short on sights and attractions.
Going through the Friedrich Wilderness Park, you will enjoy plenty of opportunities to get your binoculars out and take a look for some of the most beautiful birds in the state.
It’s important to note though that whilst this trail is short, it can get a little challenging. The terrain can get a little unforgiving and the mix of terrains can include drops like canyons.
Although this does give you a fantastic chance to see the sights of Hill Country and maybe even catch a glimpse of rare animals like the Golden Cheeked Warbler.
The only problem you could encounter on this trail is the fact that it can be closed off to the public if there’s been particularly bad weather – so be sure you get a report before you head out.
8. Cougar Canyon To Hermit’s Trace
Okay, so this trail is a little longer than some of the previous ones on this list with a distance of over seven miles.
Bizarrely, this is one of the least known hiking trails in San Antonio, but yet it has so much to offer – it’s a little confusing!
Because of its hidden identity status, if you choose to go to this trail, you will more than likely be alone for the vast majority of it.
However, around an hour or so by car from here – you can start the trail from an excellent camping spot.
In fact, this is one of the best ways to enjoy this hiking trail and get a full experience. Set your camping equipment and tent down, settle under the glorious night sky and prepare yourself for the unique day ahead!
Oh and what’s more? This trail allows dogs to come along with you – so why not take your most favorite furry friend along for an amazing hike too?
9. Mount Ol’ Baldy
One of the shortest hikes, but certainly one of the most striking in terms of its views, is Mount Ol’ Baldy. It allows you to see a little more of Texas Hill Country, despite the trail only being a mile long.
It’s a short drive from downtown and you head to Garner State Park which is one of the greatest of any park in San Antonio for the glorious sights of things like fall foliage.
All in all, this hike will take you about an hour and a half, but this does mean that you have lots more time to chill out later – if you decide to camp or visit a local hotel.
10. Bamberger Trail
Despite being nearly four miles in length, this trail is actually very leisurely. The elevation is not anything too challenging and you will have plenty of time to relax on the journey.
The trail has a healthy balance of shaded areas and open areas, so you can cool off at times that most require it. On top of this balance for you, it’s one of the favored trails that people who have dogs like to take part in.
The scenery is as relaxing as the gradient – and if you want to chill a little more, then why not take a frolic in the Guadalupe River! It’s incredibly refreshing and really cooling, especially when the hot San Antonio sun is beaming down hard!
11. Horseshoe Canyon & Bridges Trail
Located in Garner State Park, this trail is an absolute diamond when it comes to choosing a hiking spot. Just take a look around while you’re walking and you’ll absorb the scenery, including the clear, rippling rivers and the greenery of the open land.
Now, whilst this is one of the most beautiful trails on this list – it’s critical to note that it’s really not for the faint of heart. So, if you’re an experienced hiker, then you’ll love this trail. However, beginners might want to think twice!
12. Flat Rock Ranch Trail
Okay, so this trail is technically more designed for those who are going to take their bikes but if you are a hardcore hiker, then you’ll definitely enjoy this at just over 25 miles long!
Unlike some of the other choices on this list, this won’t be a straightforward “turn up and hike” situation. No, in fact – you will have to remember that there are some trails on this hiking route that require a ten bucks fee to use it.
However, this is merely a tiny fee when you recognize what you will be experiencing for that money. Some of the most unique, beautifully set landscapes and definitely some of the most challenging terrains you could hope to see.
13. Mcallister Park Blue Loop Trail
At just over six and a half miles long, this is one of the most diverse trails that you can experience when it comes to hiking spots in San Antonio. It’s actually a little crazy because although it’s a 30 minute drive away from downtown, you feel as though it’s hours!
Indeed, after you’ve sort of got your bearings back, you’ll realize that you’re in the beautiful wilderness areas of San Antonio, and you can notice the wildlife like armadillos, deer and wild birds – all enjoying the gorgeous wild flowers in the area.
This is yet another hiking trail where you are welcome to bring your dog too – in fact, in some ways it’s encouraged! There’s a dog park nearby and it’s not a massive walk to get there, so you can be sure your little friend won’t be too tired from the journey.
Be aware though that this particular trail is a very popular one among mountain bikers, so you need to keep your wits about you when it comes to strolling through the trail. Therefore consideration about your headphones should be high (if that’s your sort of thing!).
14. Live Oak Trail Loop
Despite being surrounded by towering oak trees, the hot Texas sun can still get through the shaded areas, and if anything – it can make this trail a little warmer than you might have thought.
As a result, you’re really much better off taking this hike around the early morning or late evening times, and even then – you need to remember to take plenty of water and a lot of breaks.
Not only will this be good for you to catch your breath and cool off a little, but it also gives you a chance to spot some of the best wildlife that the trail has to offer. You can notice some unique lizards, hawks, armadillos, deer and even eagles.
This truly is one of the best trails for a San Antonio hike – so be sure to check this one out if you’re going through the area.
If you’re going to hike in San Antonio, (see also: 16 Fantastic Restaurants On The San Antonio Riverwalk)there are some things you should try to bear in mind. These pointers will help you out and make things a little more comfortable.
- Beware of some of the wildlife: While it might be tempting, you should look and do not touch! Also be aware that some of the wildlife might want to get a little closer to you, so be sure you’re prepared.
- Be clean: If you’ve got things to throw in the trash, be sure that you’re not just littering all over the place.
It’s not nice for the environment and it can really harm the wildlife. Not to mention, in some areas, you could face criminal charges, such as National Parks.
- Be prepared: Some of these trails can get very challenging. You’ll need to remember to bring your food, water and anything else you might need.
And don’t forget about your furry friends!
And that was our pick for the 14 best hiking trails in San Antonio. These are glorious and stunning to be a part of, so make sure that you treat the areas with respect and always remember to be safe!
We hope you have enjoyed our list and you’ve chosen your favorite trail!
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