By:  Jessica Serna | From: My Curly Adventures

The San Antonio area has a variety of hiking opportunities and combines urban charm with natural beauty. So if you’re looking for the best hikes near San Antonio, we’ve put together a list of hiking paths that cross through landscapes, waterfalls, and picturesque vistas.

These trails range from the rocky terrain and steep slopes of national parks to hidden gem sanctuaries. The tranquility of these routes is one of the best ways to unwind, as every step reveals a different combination of plants and animals, providing a rich experience.

This carefully picked list provides the best hiking trails with great views in and around the city no matter if it’s the best time of year – the summer months – or not.

You will notice next to each destination a time estimation from San Antonio, but please bear in mind that depending where you are based,  it can take up to an hour to cross the city, so it’s best to consult your GPS for the most accurate estimate.

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Best Hiking Spots Less Than 30 Minutes from San Antonio

Yanaguana Garden (5mins)

Explore the scenic Yanaguana Garden, a little over a half-mile loop near San Antonio. The trail typically takes around 12 minutes to complete, making it a great place if you’re looking for a quick, but pleasant outdoor escape.

Aside from scenic walks, there’s a historic mission San Juan with captivating exhibits, including a demonstration garden that illustrates the use of acequia for crop irrigation. The initial northern loop, approximately 0.1 miles, is remarkably accessible. In contrast, the southern loop extends beyond 0.1 miles, and motorized equipment may be advisable for traversing it.

Immerse yourself in the natural and historical wonders of Yanaguana Garden, where accessibility meets the allure of outdoor exploration.

Salado Creek Greenway Trail (10mins)

The Salado Creek Greenway Trail is a great choice for a more experienced hiker, offering a challenging trail. It provides a serene escape for hikers, mountain bikers, and runners. It is open year-round and showcases nearly 25 miles of paved pathways along San Antonio’s east side, forming part of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails system.

The trail is divided into two segments. The northernmost segment from Eisenhower Park to John James Park spans 18 miles, leading through landscapes like bluffs, hardwood forests, and the historic Voelcker Farmstead. The southernmost part, from Jack White Park to South Side Lions Park, covers 7.5 miles and guides you through various city parks, each offering unique amenities and natural views.

So whether you want to hike or bike ride these trails are an excellent choice. 

Woodlawn Lake Park (10mins)

This park offers a 1.4-mile loop near San Antonio. It makes for one of the best trails for a scenic and easy hiking experience. It will take 25 minutes to complete the trail, beginning at the new Berta Almaguer Dance Studio and Community Center, with a convenient 700-foot neighborhood trail connection.

This connection links hikers to the Alazán Creek Greenway Trail, a gateway to the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System, with 82 miles of developed multi-use trails accessible from sunrise to sunset.

For an enhanced experience, consider biking through the area.

San Antonio Mission Trail (10mins)

The scenic Hike & Bike Trail tracing the San Antonio River serves as a vital link, seamlessly connecting the city’s five historic missions. It is one of the best hikes near San Antonio. Spanning roughly 2.5 miles between each site, this San Antonio river walk offers a secure and enjoyable avenue to explore these cultural treasures.

Along this route, you can find essential amenities like water sources, restrooms, various trail access points, scenic viewpoints, and more. Specifically designated paved pathways along the riverbanks are strictly reserved for pedestrians, ensuring a safe and serene journey between the missions.

Whether walking or cycling, the Hike & Bike Trail presents an easily navigable path suitable for visitors of all ages, making it a family-friendly adventure. Notably, an entrance pass is not needed for access to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This allows for free exploration and appreciation of these significant historical sites.

Medina River Natural Area (20mins)

The Medina River Natural Area is 23 minutes south of San Antonio, and you can access it via I-35 S and Palo Alto Rd. It expands across 511 acres and includes 7 miles of trails.

If you are seeking an immersive experience, a group camping area with parking, camping facilities, restrooms, and a small covered pavilion are all available by reservation, making it one of the best places for a fun weekend away.

With a different 10 miles of trails accommodating hiking, biking, fishing, and on-leash dog walking, the park offers you and your family a diverse range of outdoor activities.

Friedrich Wilderness Park (20mins)

Just 20 miles from Central  San Antonio, this park has approximately 10 miles of maintained trails which are a great option for all levels of hikers. The trail system features paved and unpaved paths, well-marked with difficulty levels ranging from one to four, ensuring diverse options for outdoor enthusiasts.

One standout trail is the Forest Range Loop, a half-mile paved route with trees, offering shade on warmer days. You will only find essential amenities such as covered picnic areas, drinking fountains, and restrooms near the entrance. Notably, no pets are allowed in the park to safeguard its pristine environment.

Leon Creek Greenway (20mins)

This is a 4-mile paved, family-friendly trail near San Antonio and located within the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails system. The trail begins at Eisenhower Park and extends southward for 20 miles along the serene Leon Creek.

Walking through the path, you will encounter ponds, such as the bird and wildlife-rich Earl Scott Pond near the northern terminus. You will also discover several parks along the trail, such as the O.P. Schnabel Park, with its cliffs and diverse amenities. This trail is guaranteed to be fun for the entire family. 

Stone Oak Park (20mins)

Discover the natural beauty of Stone Oak Park with its 1.2 miles loop trail just outside San Antonio. Perfect for birding, hiking, and running enthusiasts, this easy route is one of the best hikes near San Antonio that takes around 23 minutes to complete.

Visitors using wheelchairs or strollers will find accessible parking and trails at the trailhead, with a designated space and van-accessible spots. Also, get a chance to explore Stone Oak Park’s trails, which ensures an adventurous experience for hikers and families alike.

Phil Hardberger Park – East Entrance (20mins)

You are invited to explore its various trails, fitting for both leisurely family strolls and more challenging hikes. Boasting 330 acres of sustainable urban parkland, Phil Hardberger Park is suitable for nature lovers. It offers amenities such as a nature center, outdoor classrooms, dog parks, play areas, and an extensive network of trails spanning 7.5 miles.

The Land Bridge, a significant addition to the park that will eventually connect the two halves, is currently dividing it by Wurzbach Parkway. You can now access the garden through two main entry points: PHP East on 13203 Blanco Rd and PHP West on 8400 NW Military Hwy.

Trailheads at 1021 Voelcker Lane also provide access to the Salado Creek Greenway trails and the Voelcker Historic Homestead.

Tower Loop Trail (25mins)

This hiking trail stands out as a gem among San Antonio’s outdoor havens, spanning 4.5 miles. Here, you can embark on a customizable hiking experience through rolling hills and woodlands.

Begin your journey at the Semmes Branch Library parking lot, where the 0.1-mile Library Main Trail introduces you to a paved path with pieces of exercise equipment. As you traverse the unpaved Library Loop Trail, spanning 0.6 miles, you’ll venture into a forest with native flora and plenty of wildlife that you could be lucky enough to see.

If you seek a more extensive exploration, the Library Loop seamlessly transitions into the 0.8-mile Comanche Loop. This leads you deeper into the woods and eventually connects to the 0.5-mile Tower Trail.

Please Continue Here to Learn More: 37+ Best Hikes and Trails Near San Antonio