west of the park office. Start at the park office, pick up a map, and head west to the
trailhead. DeLorme: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 77 D11. GPS: N 29 15.300' / W 98
Medina River Park is the city's first natural area park in south Bexar County. In spring brightly colored
birds, including painted buntings, indigo buntings, and cedar waxwings, may be observed in the wild-
flower area near the office.
From the trailhead, follow the twisting and turning El Camino Trail. A low stone fence is on the left
where the trail makes a gradual bend going right. Pass a large open-sided pavilion that has picnic
tables, grills, and a water fountain. The Medina River is on the right. The El Camino Trail ends at a
cleared area that overlooks the river. Benches are placed at intervals along the trail.
The trail branches right (south) to the gravel-surfaced Rio Medina Trail. Poison ivy, some bushy and
some climbing up trees, is on both the right and left. Underbrush and pecan trees, the state tree, are on
a hill to the left. The bald cypress trees lining the riverbank are unusual in that they have no exposed
“knees” jutting up from the water. The rangers have no explanation for this.
Farther on, a steep footpath goes about 125 feet down to the river, giving hikers an opportunity to
explore the river's edge. Pecan trees at the trail's edge keep getting larger, while cottonwoods and
hackberries line the river's edge. Keep going straight on the Rio Medina Trail, which turns to dirt, with
the forest and undergrowth getting denser.
There is a shallow gully on the right. Wild mustang grapevines are abundant, and many Texans
make jelly from the grapes; these are very bitter and acidic, not to be eaten raw. In the spring, wild-
flowers such as gaillardia, winecup, and verbena are in bloom, inviting numerous butterflies, including
gulf fritillaries and swallowtails, to gather their nectar. Watch for green kingfishers sitting in tree
branches along the river, waiting for an opportunity to have a fish dinner. Follow the trail left and head
up a steep grade.
As the trail continues to bear left, heading west, the river makes a right turn, going east, and disap-
pears. The Rio Medina Trail, which is wide and grassy at this point, continues straight (west). Wild
hogs are prevalent; watch for tracks and places where the ground has been rooted up.
Come to a T; the right leg is the Olmos Trail. Stay left and shortly reach the interpretive path that
was passed early in the hike. Bear right (north) at this juncture, retrace the Rio Medina Trail to where
it joins the concrete El Camino Trail, and return to the trailhead.