John William Helton-San Antonio River Nature Park

The towering pecan trees, flowing river, and welcoming pavilion at this 98-acre nature park, owned by the River Authority, create an ideal destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, nature-lovers, and athletes alike. Whether you bring your family to the park for a reunion under the 5,000 square foot pavilion, tackle the trails on your mountain bike, camp with a club or organization, or meet up with friends for a day of soccer and basketball, you’ll find John William Helton Nature Park to be a true natural treasure. The River Authority Parks Staff proudly maintain the miles of trails, campgrounds, and other amenities.

Hiking and Biking

With over three miles of trails, Helton Nature Park is a great place to exercise without having to worry about vehicle traffic. The trails are natural surfaces, so proper footwear is suggested. Bicycles with wide tires, like BMX and mountain bikes, are recommended. Road bikes are discouraged due to rough, natural terrain.


Historically, Helton Nature Park was the final takeout point on the SASPAMCO paddling trail. Recently, the paddling trail has been extended and now continues south to Floresville River Park with take-out points at County Road 117 (nine miles downstream of Helton Nature Park) and US 97 (eight miles downstream of County Road 117 and 17 miles from Helton Nature Park). This extension makes Helton Nature Park a perfect picnic lunch destination in the middle of a paddling journey or a nice starting point on a paddling journey to Floresville.

Parties and Events

Some of the newest amenities added to the park are up and away from the river, including a basketball court, playground, restroom, and a 5,000-square-foot pavilion. The basketball court and pavilion are available for reservations up to one year in advance.

Field Trips and Homeschool Programs

Within a 30-minute drive from Floresville, La Vernia, Stockdale, and downtown San Antonio, Helton Nature Park is not too far to travel for a special outing. Groups can utilize their own educational course content or the River Authority can provide field trip programming. Request a field trip program.

All-City Youth Program Soccer

During the spring and fall, organized soccer leagues play in the Special Use Area of the park (entrance off of CR 128). To register for those programs, visit the All City Youth Program Website.

Park Amenities:

Park Gallery:

Park Map:

Park Details:

Downloadable Resources:

San Antonio River Basin Guide

A collection of parks, trails, and historic destinations throughout the San Antonio River Basin, including Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties as well as the San Antonio River Walk (Downtown, Museum Reach and Mission Reach).




Trail Closure Notice: San Pedro Creek Culture Park

The west bank of the San Pedro Creek trail will be closed from the access point at Commerce St south to Dolorosa until further notice due to maintenance work. Alternate route w/ ADA access is on the east bank trail that can be accessed either from the Commerce or Dolorosa crossing.

SASPAMCO Paddling Trail

The SASPAMCO paddling trail is now 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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