San Antonio is not the largest city in Texas, but it is the oldest. San Antonio was founded in 1718 by Father Antonio Olivares. The land had long been occupied by the Payaya, a Native American tribe that built a settlement on the San Antonio River. It is estimated that the land had been occupied for over 200 years before the Spanish came.
In the 300 years since the city of San Antonio was created, it has seen a lot of history. For example, the chapel for the mission Father Olivares built became The Alamo. In addition to The Alamo, you can find the Spanish Governor's Palace, which was the seat of Spanish government before the Texas Revolution and the San Fernando Cathedral.
You will also find Market Square, the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico, and the River Walk, a pedestrian trail that meanders through downtown San Antonio and is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants. San Antonio has grown from a small Native American village into a vibrant, bustling city of over two million people. And yet, in the middle of all this growth, is a huge piece of nature.
McAllister Park is nearly 1,000 acres of open park, largely untamed. There are fifteen miles of paved and unpaved biking and hiking trails, and users are warned about wildlife, such as deer. Although the park is a great way to see nature in the city, there are some traditional park improvements. There are soccer fields, baseball fields, and picnic facilities. There is also a dog park.
In order to get to McAllister Dog Park, you have to walk a short distance from the parking lot, about the length of a football field. However, it is an easy, flat, paved trail. The distance is not far, but there are no dog bags or water fountains along the way, an oversight that some volunteers are lobbying the city to remedy.
The dog park itself is 1.50 fenced acres. It's divided into two sections, with a section reserved for small dogs. Both sections of the park have benches, poop bags, and water fountains for both people and their beasts. But it is the main section that is really special.
The main portion of the McAllister Dog Park has all sorts of doggie play equipment, including ramps, concrete and metal tubes to run through, hurdles to jump over, and even a metal hoop for ambitious dogs to jump through. It's the canine equivalent of a kid's playground. When you factor in the fact that the trees surrounding the park provide wonderful shade, McAllister Park is a great place.