Put on your hiking shoes, grab your binoculars and get out! Carry water and don't forget your camera. San Antonio Ecotourism offers information about outdoor locations for fun things to do in San Antonio such as birding, hiking, biking, kayaking and more. You can download the printable bird checklists for each location.
Please check the website for your destination to verify hours of operation and fees. Also, note that some sites do not allow pets or bicycles.
Brackenridge Park: The San Antonio River runs through this historic park that dates to the late 1800s. Birders frequent Avenue A along the park's western boundary. View bird checklist. Dogs allowed on leash.
Crescent Bend Nature Park: Located in Schertz along Cibolo Creek, the park offers trails and bird blind. View bird checklist. Dogs allowed on leash.
Crownridge Canyon Natural Area: The 200-acre preserve features grasslands, forested canyon bottoms and hillside vistas. View bird checklist. No dogs or bicycles allowed.
Eisenhower Park: Six miles of paved and unpaved trails range from level landscapes to rocky and rugged hillsides. View bird checklist. Dogs allowed on leash. Bike-riding not permitted.
Friedrich Wilderness Park: Golden-cheeked Warblers arrive here in early March, singing from tree tops. View bird checklist. No dogs or bicycles allowed.
Government Canyon State Natural Area: Hike and bike over 40 miles of trails. Home to 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks. Great place to see Painted Buntings and Golden-cheeked Warblers. View bird checklist. Dogs on leash allowed in "Frontcountry" areas only.
Phil Hardberger Park East: Two miles of trails cover flat surfaces for easy walking and biking. Intersects Salado Creek Greenway, a paved path. Dog park. Bird blind and water feature. View bird checklist.
Phil Hardberger Park West: Close to three miles of flat trails through savanna and woodland. Dog park. The newly opened Robert L. B. Tobin Land Bridge across Wurzbach Parkway connects the two sides of the park and features two wildlife viewing blinds and two water features. The bridge provides a way for both humans and wildlife to cross over Wurzbach Parkway. View bird checklist.
McAllister Park: This urban 976-acre park has 5 miles of asphalt trails, 10 miles of unpaved bike trails and a dog park. View bird checklist.
Medina River Natural Area: On the city's southside, the park's 500 acres feature pecan and bald cypress trees near the river, with cactus and honey mesquite dotting the upland trails. View bird checklist.
San Antonio Mission Reach: Explore 8 miles of River Walk south of downtown, where canoes, kayaks and bicycles take their place alongside runners and walkers. View bird checklist.
Stone Oak Park: With 2.7 miles of easy-to-walk paved trails, the park also features fitness stations along the way. Dogs allowed on leash. Stone Oak Parkway divides the park and most birders go to the north side of the park. View bird checklist.
Prime Birdwatching Sites
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center: Pelicans, pintails and plovers are among the species you may find at the lake and ponds (polders). Weekly tours are scheduled. Dogs not allowed. View bird checklist.
San Antonio Botanical Garden: Migratory songbirds stop here in spring and fall. East Texas Pineywoods area features pond where you'll find ducks and herons. South Texas Trail has bird blind. Dogs allowed on leash only during a few special weekends throughout the year. View bird checklist.
Warbler Woods: Privately owned bird sanctuary you can visit by appointment. Over 282 bird species have been recorded here. Dogs not allowed. View bird checklist.
A Bit Beyond
Cibolo Center for Conservation: Located in Boerne, Texas, the park has 3 miles of trails through a variety of ecosystems—marshland, woodlands, native Texas prairie and creekside. Horseback riding permitted. Dogs allowed on leash. No bicycles. View bird checklist.
Guadalupe River State Park: Just 30 miles north of downtown San Antonio, explore 13 miles of hike and bike trails ranging from the 2.86-mile Painted Bunting Trail to the .26-mile Barred Owl Trail, leading to a scenic river overlook. Some park trails are open to horseback riders. Canoe, fish, swim, geocache and camp. Dogs allowed on leash. View bird checklist.
Jacob's Well: Natural area near Wimberley, about 1.5 hours northeast of San Antonio, features an artesian spring for swimming (make reservations online), hiking trails and a bird blind. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted. View bird checklist.