The San Antonio River Walk Hike and Bike Path stretches for about 15 miles from Brackenridge Park through downtown San Antonio to Mission Park. Fully paved in asphalt and concrete, it's a popular tourist destination and a great way to see many attractions that make San Antonio famous. The historic Alamo is near the north trail end, with its historic importance in the Texas Revolution. Brackenridge Park, which features a Japanese Tea Garden, restrooms and many picnic areas complete with tables and grills, is where you park and pick up the trailhead.
Bridges, dams and locks cross the river at several points, allowing for direction reversal and access to the attractions on both sides. Gentle cascading steps allow for paddlers on the river to change elevation without fear. The majority of the trail is handicapped-accessible, and restaurants, shops and plazas line the path. It passes through the King William District and Southtown, and provides access to many parks, including Roosevelt, Confluence and Concepcion. About a half-dozen "Mission Portals" lead away from the main walk and to the communities known as missions with their central churches.
Portions of the trail run through grassy meadows scattered with beautiful wildflowers and cottonwoods lining the river's shore, and you'll see waterfowl and many other species of birds and butterflies there. Benches dot the River Walk as well, pawrfect places for you and Fido to rest and watch the world go by. Along the Mission Reach section of the tail almost 300 different species of plants and trees have been identified, and some sections are shady. For those that aren't, a hat and sunblock are recommended.
Open year-round, the trail is also open 24 hours a day for most of its length; Brackenridge and a few other parks are the exception to this, and have posted their more limited hours at their entrances.
Whether you are a local San Antonian or are visiting on business or pleasure, the San Antonio River Hike and Bike Path is a must-do for its unique beauty, peacefulness and the connections it makes with a vast area of the city.
The River Walk Trail is a popular destination, and it can become crowded at times. Walkers should stay to the right, keep a firm grip on the pooch's leash and look out for bicyclists and runners coming up on the left to avoid mishaps.