The Greenway Trails of San Antonio - Part II
By Rob Tillman, author of Vapors Rising
|Leon Creek bike/hike crossing|
|Red paved entrance to Hardberger Park|
|Navigating a narrow path on River Walk|
San Antonio constructed over 85 miles of greenway trails that run along major streams of the city—the San Antonio River, Salado Creek, and Leon Creek. Since the beginning of 2014, Solid Rock Riders captured many of these trails on video. You can view these at our YouTube link
Leon Creek North (Valero Park to Ingram Park Mall segment)
This 12-mile segment connects Valero Park to Ingram Park. This is one of San Antonio's most popular trails that snakes it way back and forth across Leon Creek, a stream that eventually flows into the Medina River south of town. The trail is routed through Bamberger Nature Park and O. P. Schnabel Park. Named after a beautification activist, the Schnabel is a 202-acre park located next to Bandera Road. Natural beauty is a forte of these two parks; Schnabel also offers one of the most challenging mountain bike trails in the city.
A master plan calls for extending this trail to Levi Strauss Park, located on W. Old U.S. 90. On its northern end, plans call for connecting the extension of the Salado Creek greenway.
Salado Creek West (Walker Ranch Park to Huebner Road segment)
This segment runs from Coker Park to Huebner via Walker Ranch Historic Landmark and Phil Hardberger Park. Bluffs and mountain trails at Hardberger make it a picturesque destination for mountain bikers. Once that construction is completed on the Wurzbach Parkway, the greenway will be connected to the path that will take riders to McAllister Park, Lady Bird Johnson Park, and Robert Tobin Park.
As a highlight, this trail connects two barbeque houses: Two Bros on West Avenue and Blanco Barbeque next to Hardberger. At the moment, this short path makes it an excellent quick ride that is fairly shaded on most routes. The only drawback is the number of walkers who will take up the entire width; cyclists must cry out "On your left" often.
River Walk (Zoo to Blue Star)
The ride to the San Antonio Zoo from the Blue Star Arts Complex located on S. Alamo is a nice, shaded picturesque ride through parts of well-manicured lawns in the historic King William District and downtown. According to the San Antonio River Authority, riders must ride street level from Nueva to Navarro northbound, then to St. Mary's, and finally Brooklyn Ave. where they will find the trailhead for the river's east side. Click here for details. Due to construction, parts of the path were closed in March 2014 at the Pearl complex. Riders must exit at Camden St. at Newell. Ave. and bypass the construction to the trailhead at Josephine. The ride continues smoothly until it reaches another construction zone just east of the Brackenridge Park Golf Course.
Riding on the Riverwalk is not recommended since that walkers are not congenial toward cyclists. Riders were having to announce "On your left" often; it was not well received. Overall, we cannot recommend the Riverwalk beyond Nueva at this time.
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