Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Nature

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024

The Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) is a species of jay found throughout South Texas including the San Antonio River Watershed.

The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) operates and manages over ten parks and trail systems, including close to sixty miles of paddling trails along the San Antonio River in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. These public parks and trail systems are filled with abundant wildlife, native grasses, wildflowers, and trees. Not only do these natural spaces provide enjoyment for the public, but they also help protect the habitats vital to the health of the River. We invite you to join River Authority staff on the upcoming Spring Nature Walk series and discover the beauty of the San Antonio River Watershed!

Remember: There are and will continue to be risks associated with recreating in the outdoors. Before heading out, check the Current Conditions & Closures for trail closures and information on flow and bacteria conditions updated every Friday.

Upcoming Nature Walks

In preparation for the 2023 City Nature Challenge (April 28-May 1) the River Authority and the San Antonio River Foundation (River Foundation) are organizing immersive nature walks to help the community discover the unique flora and fauna of the riparian areas of the San Antonio River. These walks will be held in Karnes, Wilson, and Goliad counties. Free citizen scientist training on the iNaturalist app will be provided, and all ages are welcome.

Upcoming Nature Walk Dates and Locations:

  • Saturday, February 25 – Escondido Creek Park. 10:00 am – 11:30 am 208 N. Sunset Strip, Kennedy, TX 78119
  • Saturday, March 25 – Branch River Park. 10:00 am – 11:30 am 445 South Commercial Street, Goliad, TX 78216

Virtual/Hybrid iNaturalist Training

  • Thursday, March 23 – Confluence Park. Noon – 1:30 pm 310 W. Mitchell St. San Antonio, TX 78204

Email to sign-up for one or all the opportunities.

Can’t make it out to a nature walk? The River Authority’s Recreation and Park Programming team hosts several free events each month, inviting the community to experience our parks in fun, new ways. Visit our events page to learn more about free upcoming programs and how you can participate.

New Park Master Plans

The River Authority has several new park projects coming to Bexar County soon! These projects will allow surrounding communities to experience nature through interpretive, recreational, and educational opportunities. Check out the projects below.

Hendrick Arnold Nature Park

Hendrick Arnold Nature Park contains seventy-four acres of riparian woodland that fronts the Medina River. Except for the creek bank, the site was extensively mined for gravel. The mining ended in 1940, allowing riparian growth to cover the area, creating one of the few remaining woodland creek properties in Bexar County. The River Authority purchased the property with plans to develop it as a nature interpretive and educational park. River Authority employees recently gave the River Foundation staff a tour of the park: Check out this great footage from the tour!

Mann’s Crossing Bicycle Park

Mann’s Crossing Park contains eighty-eight total acres. Thirty-one acres are nonoperational mining land, and fifty-seven acres are riparian woodland that fronts the Medina River. The park site was the location of Ron Pucek’s Living Waters Catfish Farm, which was closed in 2000 when the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) purchased the property. In 2013 the River Authority acquired the property with plans to develop it as a recreational and educational park.

Riparian woodlands at soon-to-be Mann’s Crossing Bicycle Park.

Riparian woodlands at soon-to-be Mann’s Crossing Bicycle Park.

Trueheart Ranch Nature Park

Trueheart Ranch Nature Park contains 351 acres of pecan orchards, livestock grazing, and riparian woodland that fronts the San Antonio River. The master planning effort is the first step toward a comprehensive long-range visioning process to identify areas for preservation, restoration, interpretation, and recreation, preserving as much of the site as possible.

Trueheart Ranch

The San Antonio River at Trueheart Ranch

Espada Property

The River Authority and Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) announced a joint recreational and environmental collaboration along the historic San Antonio River in November 2022. The property, known as the Espada Tract or Property, is located on 380 acres of land on the South Side of San Antonio. Read more about this announcement and project on the River Authority Blog.

Espada Property

Aerial View of the Espada Tract.

Want more detailed information on these park projects? Head to the Park Master Planning site.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other recreation opportunities along the San Antonio River, including birdwatching, fishing, and kayaking! Learn more about these activities on our YouTube Recreation series. We invite you to take advantage of the mild winter weather and get to know your San Antonio River!

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Acequia Trail Notice

The Acequia trail will have heavy traffic near MROC starting May 22nd until further notice. The SAWS Acequia project will be bringing in crews to work on the lift station site and across the street. There will have flaggers to stop traffic, please use caution. 

SASPAMCO Paddling Trail

The SASPAMCO paddling trail is open from River Crossing Park to Helton Nature Park.
*Please Note: Paddling Trail from Helton Nature Park to HWY 97 is still closed due to blockages. 

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