Be River Proud

Parks & Trails

Hiking, Biking & Paddling Safety

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Proper hike, bike, and paddling trail etiquette will help ensure that everyone safely enjoys the hike and bike trails. Be prepared, safe and courteous and observe posted hours for trail use.

Remember: Share the Trail and the River. Respect Other Users. Expect Other Users.

Current Conditions

Pedestrian Safety

  • Stay to your right on the trail leaving room for others to pass you on your left
  • Be aware of your surroundings; if listening to music, keep the volume low enough to hear external voices and sounds
  • If there are small children in your group, make sure they stay by your side and safe from other traffic on the trail
  • Keep your pets on short leashes; leashes going across the trail can be hazardous to others, and please pick up after your pets
  • Come prepared to enjoy the trail by wearing proper shoes and by bringing water and sunscreen.

Bicyclist Safety

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Pass on the left; let all others on the trail know you are approaching by calling out “rider(s) up on your left” and thank them after passing
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • If listening to a device, keep the volume low
  • Slow down when sight lines are poor and when approaching pedestrians
  • Ride at a casual speed
  • Bring ample water, sunscreen and an extra tube with tools
  • Come prepared to enjoy the trail by making sure your equipment is in proper working order.

For riders of San Antonio SWell Cycles on the Mission Reach trail system: Remember to dock at Mission Espada. It’s the last stop.

All hike and bike trail users:

  • If you are traveling in a group, do not block the entire trail; during times of heavy traffic, travel in single file
  • When approaching maintenance workers, take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of the maintenance staff
  • Contact 911 for all emergencies and 311 for all non-emergencies
  • Dispose of trash properly
  • Please pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly
  • Please do not feed the wildlife

Paddling Safety

Have fun. But be prepared!

If paddling within the San Antonio City Limits and along the Mission Reach, the river is relatively calm and occasional paddling chutes through restored riffles.

Outside the San Antonio City Limits, prepare for a river in a natural, unpredictable, rural condition with limited access points.

At all times, please use the designated access points and respect private property.

Rivers are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers, so please remember the following safety tips:

  • Proceed at your own risk. Plan your trip so that your paddling skills are equal to the water conditions.
  • No inflatable boats or water craft.
  • Never paddle alone. Tell someone who’s not going with you of your paddling plan.
  • Make sure your equipment (canoe or kayak) is in proper working order.
  • Check weather and river conditions prior to paddling to ensure trails are safe to use.
  • Always use personal flotation devices.
  • Bring a whistle or other sound producing device for use in emergency situations.
  • Wear protective foot gear.
  • Carry drinking water, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • No glass or Styrofoam containers.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife.
  • Keep your pets on a leash.
  • Please pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
  • Pack out your trash to help preserve the river.
  • Contact 911 for all emergencies and 311 for all non-emergencies.

For more river safety tips, please visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Share the Trail with Wildlife

As more people enjoy our public parks and trail systems, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is encouraging the public to consider the following information when recreating along the project. The wildlife along the San Antonio River is to be enjoyed, from a distance.

  • Please remember while recreating along our public parks and trail systems, animals will naturally want to avoid direct human interaction and contact, so please give proper space to all animals. If you are respectful of their space, animals will be respectful of your space.
  • Please take only memories and photographs away from the public parks and trail systems. The wildlife, including the native grasses, wildflowers and trees, are there for all to enjoy, and equally important, they are there for the health of the habitat. Please do not take any species, be it plant, animal, bird, insect, amphibian or reptile, from the project.
  • The River Authority encourages fishing to be done by catch and release, and all Texas Parks and Wildlife and City of San Antonio regulations for fishing and wildlife protection apply. This includes a prohibition on feeding free-ranging alligators and other protected species.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife. The wildlife that live in and along the river do not need support from human sources. Feeding human food to animals not only can hurt the animals, because their digestion system cannot properly process the food, but it can also bring more animals into the habitat than the habitat can naturally support. This in turn brings more animal waste into the river, which adds bacteria to the water making it unsafe for human contact recreation, such as swimming or wading. Additionally, feeding the animals can make them dependent upon human food, which may lead some species to search for food in trash cans and picnic sites instead of in their natural habitat.
  • Please keep your pets on a leash when visiting our public parks and trail systems, and please pick up after your pet as well. Pet waste along the trail systems is not only unsightly for other visitors, during rain events, it can be washed into the river and therefore, add bacteria to the river.
  • Parents and child guardians, please monitor your children to keep them safe on the hike and bike trails, paddling trails and while exploring the shoreline of the river. For the safety of both the public and the wildlife, recreational visitors to our public parks are encouraged to stay on the hike and bike trails to avoid unexpected encounters with wildlife that live and forage in the tall native grasses and along the shoreline of the river.
  • Please report stray dogs and cats to 311.
  • Please report sightings of snakes, alligators, nutria or feral hogs to the River Authority. This can be done by contacting (210) 227-1373 or click here.

Please remember that certain species, such as snakes and alligators are native to the San Antonio River Watershed, and they are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. As mentioned above, please respect their space, and they will respect your space. However, it should be known that the River Authority is monitoring these and other species and will consult with local, state and federal agencies as necessary to determine the best management practices related to managing these species. The River Authority will take action to remove certain species when the need arises. The River Authority encourages all who recreate along our public parks and trail systems to enjoy these safely. “Sharing the trail” means more than just having pedestrians and bicyclists giving each other enough space to recreate safely; “sharing the trail” also means for humans to respect the space of the other species which live in and along the river so that they, too, may once again safely thrive along the San Antonio River.