This is San Antonio's most developed park, and as such it offers amenities not found on many hikes.
These include a miniature train ride, a golf course, an adjoining zoo, playgrounds, and a Japanese tea
garden. These can be enjoyed before or after the hike by both adults and children. All the trails are
color-coded on the map; the trail signage is very good and also color-coded.
Check out the large park trail map mounted on the kiosk next to the Wilderness Trail trailhead. Also
located there is the unique trailhead marker, a cartoon character standing on a 6-foot base made of
rocks, water fountains, and a portable toilet that is within a partially enclosed stone structure. Head
southwest and into the woods. Hardwood trees form a pleasant arch overhead. The edges of the trail
are cleared and mowed.
Birds love this park with its woods and the San Antonio River as habitat. Take along a field guide
on birds to add another dimension to the hike. In the winter watch for goldfinches passing through.
These small yellow birds have a black patch on their forehead. Doves, robins, and white-throated spar-
rows are common.
Continue following the trail, generally southwest, as it passes several well-marked branches. Pass a
large, cleared, circular area that has a display of short sections of tree trunks. In a short distance, and
after passing several yucca plants, reach and cross a flat bridge over some wetlands. Then bear right,
heading northwest, and cross Red Oak Road. Head north after crossing the road. This section runs par-
allel with the San Antonio River.
At this point the San Antonio is about 30 feet wide and varies in depth, depending on the amount of
rainfall. The edge of the river varies from being close to the edge of the trail to being 30 feet away. In
the spring, parts of the river are filled with water lilies. A picnic area complete with tables and grills
extends for nearly 0.25 mile along the river. The area is lighted and has large hardwood trees, includ-
ing live oak, furnishing shade.
Near the end of the picnic area, make a hard right (northeast); for a short distance Tuleta Drive is on
the left. Continue following the Wildlife Trail, and about 1 mile from the trailhead you'll reach a fant-
astic photo op. It is a huge tree trunk that is about 7 feet in diameter and cut off about 8 feet high. The
inside has been hollowed out with a bench carved into it, and several windows have been cut out.
Wildlife Trail heads slightly southeast and then turns, going southwest, where it and Wilderness
Trail are combined. Follow the trail back to the trailhead. This is one of the most relaxing and enjoy-
able hikes in San Antonio.