The purpose of this topic is to offer more than the typical hiking guide, in which most trail descriptions
are generally point-to-point guides, getting you from the trailhead to the trail's end. This topic provides
details about flora, fauna, history, and geology to appeal to a broad spectrum of hikers, including famil-
ies with young children. I spent nine months researching, talking with rangers and other folks, hiking,
and sometimes rehiking a trail, studying the area and looking for interesting facts, scenery, history, geo-
logy, and topography. I talked with a variety of hikers, asking them what they wanted a hike to cover
and what made a “best hike.” I had the best overall hiking region in Texas to choose from—central
Texas, which includes the Edwards Plateau and the Hill Country.
I used the following criteria to come up with the best hikes included in this guide: accessibility, fun,
exercise, family experience, scenery, history, rivers and lakes, experience of the hiker, moderate length
(approximately 2 to 4 miles), dog friendliness, and wheelchair accessibility. Loops and preferably inter-
connecting loop trails were selected where possible, so a “best” hike within a park could be fashioned
by combining the best of several trails.
Determining the “best” hikes in the area was a combination of personal judgment about who the hike
would appeal to and information from park staff and other hikers. Four of my favorite hikes are in the
following parks: Friedrich Wilderness Park, Palmetto State Park, Comanche Lookout, and Government
Canyon State Natural Area.
Trails are no longer the exclusive domain of the solitude-loving wilderness seeker or the dedicated
fitness enthusiast. Whether providing recreational and educational opportunities, encouraging well-be-
ing, exploring history and geology, or bringing together people of all ages, hiking has become an im-
portant factor in many people's lives. I hope that at least some of these hikes will become your best
hikes and that the topic will be informative and interesting reading, as well as an excellent guide.
San Antonio Weather
The San Antonio climate is subtropical, with an average low temperature in January of 39°F and an av-
erage high in July and August of 95°F. The average yearly rainfall is 30 inches. The wettest month is
May, averaging 4.2 inches. The driest month is March with 1.6 inches of rain, followed closely by Janu-
ary and December with 1.7 inches. The city generally has mild temperatures with 300 days of sunshine
State Parks Pass
For the best deal around, take advantage of the Texas State Parks Pass instead of paying on a per-per-
son/per-visit basis. The pass provides entry to all ninety-three state parks for the member and all occu-
pants of his or her vehicle. It's good for one year from time of purchase. Purchase at the park or order
by phone: (512) 389-8900.
Flora and Fauna