After visiting so many local parks this year, I’m still surprised by how much of each park we don’t see. My kids and I hit a park, experience it, photograph it, and head home. Next, I visit the San Antonio Parks and Recreation website to discover more about the park and I’m stunned to learn we only saw 1/4 or 1/2 of the park we thought we knew inside and out. Not only does San Antonio have an abundance of parks (more than 185), but many of its parks are bigger than one family can see in one visit. Which is, really, a great problem to have. Go out and explore San Antonio’s parks!
Park #17 of 20 we visited this year is Stone Oak Park. My kids, my niece, and I walked the loop, a one-mile dirt and gravel trail winding between several hidden caves, past spiky cactus, and under an azure sky. Although housing developments and apartment complexes rise up around the edges of this park, it never feels encroached upon.
Our goal that day: to see a mountain lion. Several people claimed to have spotted one in the area the week before. And, with signs like these greeting you at the park’s entrance, seeing unique wildlife isn’t a complete impossibility.
We thought the one-mile trail we explored was the park. But at home, when I searched for this park on the Parks and Recreation website, I realized we’d only visited half of the park. Its boundaries extend across Stone Oak Parkway and it’s there you’ll find restrooms, a playscape, an amphitheater, water fountains, and the Stone Oak South Trail. Guess we’ll hit that next time.
A good rule of thumb: if you have time before heading out to any San Antonio park, search for it on the Parks and Rec website to learn about it (and how much it offers) before you go. Hey, it only took me 17 times to figure this out.
We never did find a mountain lion (probably a good thing?!?) but we had fun reading about the nearby underground caves (they’re closed off to the public for safety reasons).
And seeing art installed as mile markers.
Some of the gnarled trees reminded us of a haunted forest. We fantasized about a witch who might pop out from behind one of them, offering us poisoned apples. Just one bite would send us into a deep sleep and she would drag us into her underground cave. Eeeek!
We marveled at the dry creek bed that, with just a little rain, could flood in an instant. And we turned cartwheels across this paved bridge (OK. You got me. I didn’t, but the kids did.).
We breathed in the beauty of another San Antonio park and wondered where our #SA2020Resolutions goal will take us next.
Check out all of the San Antonio parks we’ve visited this year as part of our #SA2020Resolutions.
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