Whether it’s walking the dog at a neighborhood park, flying a kite in an open field, or mountain biking on a trail, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in San Antonio. Green spaces are essential to the health and well-being of our community. During the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, parks and trails have consistently remained open and accessible. For many, the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails system is a favorite destination for hiking, biking, and nature discovery. With the recent completion of two new trail extensions this summer, there are now 80 miles of Greenway Trails in the city.
For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.
Background of the Greenway Trails
The idea to build the Greenway Trails was spearheaded by former Mayor Howard. W. Peak. His dream was to build a “ring” of hike and bike trails along creeks around San Antonio. The Greenway Trails connect dozens of local parks and consist of approximately 1500 acres of creek-side open space and natural areas. The trails are located by, and named after, the following waterways:
Westside Creeks (Apache, Alazan, Martinez, San Pedro, and Zarzamora)
Tributary Creeks (such as Huesta Creek and Culebra Creek)
Adventures for All Ages
Connecting children with nature nurtures their curiosity of the natural world. One is never too young to enjoy the benefits of outdoor activity. Just 15–20 minutes of fresh air can uplift the mood of a fussy toddler (or their parents) or get the wiggles out of an energetic child.
For young children who may not have the endurance for an extended hike or bike ride, take it slow. Engage the sights, sounds, and textures of nature. Listen for different bird calls, look for butterflies, touch a smooth rock and compare it with the rough texture of tree bark. For children learning their colors, go on a color hike. How many things can you find that are the color red? A ladybug, a cardinal, a leaf, or a red flower?
Each trail highlights the beauty and diversity of the south Texas landscape and is a wonderful way to connect with nature. For families with older children, there are many trails and trailheads to explore whether on a hike or riding a bike. Plan your adventure and discover a new trail.
Budding biologists can turn their outdoor adventures on the trails into a citizen science field excursion with a mobile phone and a free app from iNaturalist. It’s as simple as taking a photo!
How to Share the Greenway Trails
Visiting parks and trails are great ways to have fun, exercise with the family, and reduce stress. During COVID-19, it’s especially important to remember a few trail rules. That way, everyone can enjoy their time outside responsibly.
Social distancing on the trails helps keep everyone safe.
Explore from Home
Keep the curiosity going by exploring San Antonio Parks and Recreation’s at-home video series featuring topics like science, crafts, fitness and nature. Adventure and fun await!
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Brandon Ross’s interview with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats.
For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning. We have several posts about plants and nature, including Fairy Gardening and Stay Green at Home.
About the Author
Brandon Ross is a Parks and Recreation Manager for the City of San Antonio. He is currently managing the planning, land acquisitions, design, and construction of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System, a growing network of multi-use hike and bike trails along San Antonio waterways. His previous experience includes initiatives and projects related to community planning, land use, and residential development. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Urban Planning from Texas A&M University, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).