You may have noticed a new theme emerging on Wandering Off. In an effort to introduce my daughter to nature, we’ve been visiting lots of city, county, and state parks this winter. Although I’ll continue to write about things like travel, history, architecture, and food, I’m trying to get myself and my daughter outside as much as possible.
When my daughter and I first started exploring the great outdoors, I was worried that we wouldn’t find trails that fit her skill level. If you’re feeling the same hesitancy, I’m here to reassure you! These four “beginner hikes” can be enjoyed by the whole family.
1. Crownridge Canyon Natural Area: The 1.3 mile Red Oak Trail features a fairly even surface that is stroller-accessible. Near the halfway point, you’ll find the Red Oak Canyon bridge. When hiking with kids, it’s always nice to have a destination or goal, and the promise of a bridge was great motivation for my three year old daughter.
2. Comanche Lookout Park: Like Crownridge Canyon, this park features easy trails and a goal to keep kids interested. A stone tower, modeled after medieval examples, can be found at the top of the hill overlooking Bexar County. This park is a great choice for kids who love Tangled!
3. O.P. Schnabel Park: This isn’t the best place to go if you’re seeking scenic vistas and solitude. However, the trails are easy enough for all ages, and it is possible to experience nature in this busy suburban park. On a recent visit, E. and I saw two deer (really up-close!), two cardinals, and several bugs, butterflies, and other small creatures.
4. Cibolo Nature Center: Located in the nearby town of Boerne, this park is absolutely beautiful. A peaceful creek is a short stroll from the visitors center. In fact, E. first made her way down this path when she was only 2 years old. (If you continue walking along the creek, the hiking will get a little more difficult.) Now that she’s older, E. loves being adventurous and climbing onto the large rocks that line the creek. In other words, there’s something here for a variety of fitness levels and abilities.
For trail maps in San Antonio, check out the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation website.
See? Ya learn something new everyday. (Crownridge Canyon Park)
Make sure to always do your research before hiking. When in doubt, call the park and ask about hiking conditions, ability level, etc.