Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Alamo Loop

Alamo Loop map

Alamo Loop mapWalker Ranch Historical Landmark ParkMcAllister ParkO.P. Schnabel ParkRaymond Rimkus ParkWoodlawn LakeSan Pedro Springs ParkBrackenridge ParkSan Antonio Botanical GardensOlmos Basin Park EastJack Judson Nature Trails

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More information:

  • San Antonio CVB
    210-207-6700, 800-447-3372, www.sanantoniocvb.com
  • City of Leon Valley Development Department
    210-684-1391, Ext. 226

089.gif HOTE 089 Walker Ranch Historical Landmark Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

At the intersection of Loop 1604 and Bitters St. in San Antonio, go east on Bitters for 4.3 miles to West Avenue. Turn right on West Avenue and follow 1.1 miles to the park on the right.

Located on the confluence of Panther Springs Creek and Salado Creek, this 80-acre tract of land once attracted hunting and gathering societies to resources such as water, plants, animals, and stone material. Today, it is still a site of archaeological significance. The creeks divide the park into an oak motte on one side and a wildflower-grassland on the other. Birds to look for include Painted and Indigo Buntings, White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Scrub Jay, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, and White-winged and Inca Doves. The grassy areas provide shelter for wintering sparrows. Summers offer a variety of nectar and larval food plants for butterflies.

090.gif HOTE 090 McAllister Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to Bitters Road, turn right, and go 1.5 miles to Jones-Maltsberger Road. Turn left and follow for 0.8 mile. Park is on the right, immediately after the police station.

The mesquite/oak woodlands provide habitat for nesting Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo as well as for migrating songbirds in the spring and fall. Look for Eastern Screech-Owl or Great Horned Owl at dawn and dusk. The grassland and scattered shrubs provide habitat for wintering sparrows and Greater Roadrunner. Wildflowers abound, attracting a variety of butterflies, including swallowtails, hairstreaks, and sulphurs. An ephemeral wetland attracts herons, egrets, Killdeer, and dragonflies. In the winter, look for waterfowl. White-tailed Deer are also commonly seen. The park maintains a bird checklist and offers wheelchair-accessible trails and restrooms.

091.gif HOTE 091 O.P. Schnabel Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of Jones-Maltsberger and Bitters Road. Turn right on Bitters and follow it west to US 281. Go south on US 281 1.8 miles to San Pedro/Loop 410 Exit. Follow San Pedro south 1.2 miles to Loop 410. Turn right and go 6.9 miles west to TX 16. Go north on TX 16 for 4.4 miles to Braun Road. At Braun Road, turn right directly into the park. At the T-intersection, turn left and park by the pavilion.

Look for Western Kingbird, Scrub Jay, Tufted Titmouse, and Carolina Chickadee. Winters are good for sparrows and Spotted Towhees. Spring migration produces good numbers of warblers and flycatchers. Butterflies along the trails include Phaon and Pearl Crescents, Sleepy Orange, Orange Sulphur, Giant Swallowtail, and Southern Dogface.

092.gif HOTE 092 Raymond Rimkus Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to TX 16 and go south 2.9 miles to Poss. Turn left and go 0.2 mile to the intersection of Poss and Evers Road. Park is on the corner of the intersection.

This park is located along a wooded creek which provides habitat for migrating songbirds. Resident Black-bellied Whistling Ducks nest in trees adjacent to the park. Other nesting birds include White-winged Doves, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird, Great-tailed Grackle, and Carolina Wren. Look for dragonflies such as Widow and Roseate skimmers, Blue Dasher, and Eastern Amberwing along the creek’s edge. Hawks are often seen here so be sure to look up.

093.gif HOTE 093 Woodlawn Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to TX 16/Bandera Rd. and go east 4.9 miles to Woodlawn. Turn left and go 1.2 miles to the park which is on the right.

Domestic ducks and geese reside on the lake, as do Green Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Great and Snowy Egrets, and Belted and Green Kingfishers. Woodland residents include Red-Shouldered Hawks and Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Waterfowl and shorebirds also winter here. Look for American White Pelican, Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, and Northern Shoveler. There is a paved wheelchair-accessible trail around the lake.

094.gif HOTE 094 San Pedro Springs Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to Woodlawn, turn right, and go 1.8 miles to North Flores St. Turn right and go 0.2 mile straight into parking area.

This multi-use park is San Antonio’s oldest designated park. Small vegetated ponds around the pool area provide habitat for dragonflies, including Eastern Amberwing, Neon Skimmer, Roseate Skimmer, and Eastern Pondhawk. Rio Grande Leopard Frogs occur along the water’s edge. A nice grove of mesquite, pecan, oak, and large bald cypress trees accentuates the park lawn. Look for Western Kingbird, Common Nighthawk, and White-winged and Inca Doves. San Antonio College, located across the street, maintains gardens that attract Black-chinned Hummingbirds and migrating warblers.

095.gif HOTE 095 Brackenridge Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Sunken Gardens: Leaving the parking area at San Pedro Springs Park, turn right on Ashby and go 0.6 mile to McCullough. Turn left and go 0.5 mile to Mulberry. Turn right and follow 0.7 mile to North St. Mary’s. The Sunken Gardens are on the left, 0.2 mile north of this intersection.

This large quarry is filled with ornamental vegetation and some native plants. Green, Great Blue, and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Wood Ducks, and Barn Swallows can be seen throughout the park. Look for Softshell Turtles, Gulf Fritillary, Tiger Swallowtail, crescents, skippers, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds.

Brackenridge Park and San Antonio Zoo: From the Sunken Gardens, continue on St. Mary’s to the end of the street. The zoo is on the left and Brackenridge Park is on the right.

The San Antonio Zoo’s Little Pond is lined with tall trees that form a large egret/heron rookery during nesting season. Snowy Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and Little Blue Heron occur in the treetops. Wood Ducks, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and Mallards can be seen on this pond and others within the zoo. Brackenridge Park is located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River. Besides the zoo and Botanical Gardens, the park also has a horse trail, prehistoric sites, and the Witte Museum.

Avenue A, Brackenridge Park: Return south on St. Mary’s to its intersection with Mulberry. Turn left on Mulberry and follow 0.2 mile to the dead-end park road, Avenue A, located just after the San Antonio River Bridge and before the golf course. Park along the road and walk the edge of the San Antonio River.

Avenue A borders the San Antonio River. Between the road and the river lies riparian woodland with pecan, mulberry, hackberry, cedar elm, willow, oak, and elderberry. These trees provide cover for Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, Golden-fronted, Downy, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, White-winged and Inca Doves. This is one of the best places in San Antonio to see migrating songbirds. The canopy and understory offer habitat for migrant warblers, tanagers, orioles, and flycatchers. In the spring, look for Louisiana Waterthrush, American Redstart, Bay-breasted, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Black-throated Green, Black and white, Blue-winged, and Nashville Warblers. Along the river, look for Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and Green Kingfisher.

096.gif HOTE 096 San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Return to Mulberry, and go east/left 0.5 mile to Spur 368/Broadway. Turn left and go 0.2 mile to Funston. Turn right, heading east and after 0.5 mile, enter the gardens on your left.

This is a must-stop site for anyone who wants to learn more about the flora of Texas. Half of the site consists of ornamental gardens, including a Rose Garden, Herb Garden, Japanese Garden, Garden for the Blind, and Sacred Gardens. The other half is devoted to native Texas plant communities. Three sections depict the native vegetation of the South Texas Plains, East Texas Pineywoods, and Texas Hill Country. These gardens offer native plant enthusiasts a hands-on educational tool to learn many of the plant species that provide food and cover for native wildlife. In addition to its value as a walk-through field guide, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens is a great place to see birds, butterflies, and dragonflies.

Look for Inca and White-winged Doves, Lesser Goldfinch, House Finch, Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Pied-billed Grebe, Little Blue and Green Herons, Black-bellied Whistling and Wood Ducks, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Golden-fronted, Ladder-backed and Downy Woodpeckers, and Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers.

097.gif HOTE 097 Olmos Basin Park East

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to Loop 368/Broadway and go north 0.6 mile to Hildebrand. Turn left for 0.9 mile to Devine and continue north through the park. After 1.1 mile, the park is on the right across from the baseball field.

This urban park along Olmos Creek includes riparian creek bottomlands as well as a neighboring area of tall trees. Scan the wooded areas for woodpeckers, Barred Owl, and Red-Shouldered Hawk. Migratory warblers and flycatchers pass through in the spring, and wintering Brown Creepers can be seen spiraling up the old trees. Check the canopy of the woodlands for resting hummingbirds. Look in the water for Wood Ducks, Softshell Turtles, and a variety of fish.

098.gif HOTE 098 Jack Judson Nature Trails

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return south on Devine and go east on Alamo Heights Blvd. for 0.1 mile to Ogden Street. Follow the signs to Alamo Heights Swimming Pool. Turn right on Ogden, then right on Viesca Street. Parking lot is on the right.

The Jack Judson Nature Trails are located inside the Olmos Flood Basin along Hondo and Olmos Creeks. This site is maintained by the San Antonio Audubon Society. At the entrance there is a small pavilion with window displays and a bird checklist for posting current sightings. These trails provide access to a diverse bottomland habitat. Red-shouldered Hawk, Barred Owl, Downy and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, and Northern Cardinal are common residents along this wooded floodplain. The canopy of large cottonwood, oak, hackberry, elm, and pecan provide a shaded nature trail. Dragonflies such as Widow Skimmer and Eastern Ringtail flit through the woodlands. The riparian woodland trails allow for wildlife viewing year-round. Look for migrating warblers in the spring and fall, and in winter look for White-throated and Lincoln’s Sparrows, Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Guided tours are available by calling San Antonio Audubon at 210-308-6788.


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