Medina River Greenway

Texas

9 Reviews

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Medina River Greenway Facts

States: Texas
Counties: Bexar
Length: 18.3 miles
Trail end points: Medina River Natural Area Trailhead (15890 Highway 16 S, San Antonio) and San Antonio River Walk (San Antonio)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6560824

Medina River Greenway Description

Part of San Antonio's fantastic Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System, which provides dozens of miles of multiuse trails throughout some of San Antonio's most beautiful natural spaces, the Medina River Greenway is a real gem in the south side of the city. The trail runs through the wooded land alongside the Medina River—a waterway that provides area plant and animal life with a thriving ecosystem—as it runs east to join the San Antonio River. A variety of gorgeous trees including Cypress, Oak, and Pecan line the trail, and it's far from rare to see various forms of local wildlife out on the trail. The river also serves as a popular fishing spot, with many locations accessible right on the trail.

Join the southwest end of the trail at the northern end of the Medina River Natural Area (15890 Highway 16 S, 78264), a 511-acre park with a variety of natural features and amenities. Restrooms, parking, water, and camping facilities are available. Pets on leash are welcome. 

Heading southeast through the park, the concrete path heads east along the course of the river and some occasional switchbacks to help give you a workout. 

Leaving the Medina River Natural Area, the Old Applewhite Trailhead (2440 W. Jett Rd, 78264) and the Applewhite Trailhead (16506 Applewhite Rd, 78264) are situated on either side of Applewhite Road. 

Continuing to follow the Medina River through the woods, the trail crosses the river and then Leon Creek. There are several switchbacks before the route crosses railroad tracks and briefly runs north along Pleasanton Road to the Pleasanton Road Trailhead (15638 Pleasanton Rd, 78221), which has parking and restrooms. 

Curving north, the trail runs along the eastern shore of Mitchell Lake. Located midway along the lake's edge, the Mitchell Lake/Hwy 281 Trailhead (13855 S. Hwy 281, 78221) has parking and restrooms. The trail continues following the tree-lined perimeter of the lake north to the Mission del Lago golf course and Mattox Park (1222 Mission Grande, 78221), which has a playground, parking, tennis courts, picnic tables, grills, and benches. 

From the park, the trail runs north along Clubhouse Boulevard through a subdivision and crosses Highway 281. The Medina River Greenway/Roosevelt Ave Trailhead (11194 US-281 San Antonio, 78214) has drinking fountains with a pet bowl, a bike repair station, a bike rack, benches, informational signage, an emergency call station, and a pet waste station. 

Heading east, the trail returns to meandering through a natural area of low scrub, grass, and trees. The route curves south and runs along the southern edge of Cassin Lake. Along the way, there are little outlooks with large rocks to rest on and trail signage. The trail continues meandering and crosses the Espada Ditch. There is a little area with a bench, a pet waste station, and trail signage. 

Winding north, the trail parallels the San Antonio River but you likely won't get a view of the river unless you continue north on the River Walk. 

The Medina River Greenway seamlessly connects to the San Antonio River Walk Hike & Bike Path. If not for the trail information kiosk, you might not even realize the Greenway ended and tit's the River Walk that continues north. To access the Greenway's northeast end, access the River Walk at its trailhead on Camino Coahuiteca (or at a more northern trailhead for a longer adventure) and head south. This connection provides a route through the remote natural preserves of the Medina River all the way to the heart of San Antonio. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking and trail access is available from the following six trailheads:

Medina River Natural Area Trailhead (15890 Highway 16 S, 78264)

Old Applewhite Trailhead (2440 W. Jett Rd, 78264)

Applewhite Trailhead (16506 Applewhite Rd, 78264)

Pleasanton Rd Trailhead (15638 Pleasanton Rd, 78221)

Mitchell Lake/Hwy 281 Trailhead (13855 S. Hwy 281, 78221)

Mattox Park Trailhead (1222 Mission Grande, 78221) (parking is shared with Mission Del Lago Golf Course)

Visit the TrailLink map for detailed directions.

Medina River Greenway Reviews

great path

Love the spurs heading off the main paved path to get a little off-roading adventure. Plenty of shade and well marked.

fantastic!

Challenging and beautiful!

Challenging

This trail is NOT for beginners you’ve been warned ¿¿ do not underestimate it also some parts of the trail have a lot of gravel and cracks I’m proud of myself but I’ll never do it again!!!

Wonderful

I grew up in this area I grew up fishing on the river, my wife and I take our three dogs they love the hike so do we

Accordion

ISOLATED BUT NICE

THIS TRAIL IS SOMEWHAT ISOLATED BUT VERY QUIET AND SERENE. THERE ARE TWO STEEP DECLINES AND INCLINES NEAR THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAIL THAT YOU HAVE TO WALK BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME ZIG ZAG PATTERN BUT AFTER THAT THE TRAIL IS VERY EASY. AT THE END THE LAST 3/4 MILE IS DIRT. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO EXTEND IT A COUPLE OF MILES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. I SAW TWO PEOPLE WALKING AND THREE TRAIL STEWARDS ON MY VISIT. THE ONLY DRAWBACK IS THAT THE RIVER IS NOT EASILY VISIBLE FROM THE TRAIL. YOU HAVE TO STOP AT A REST POINT TO ENJOY THE RIVER SCENERY. I ALSO SAW A WILD PIG AND FIVE LITTLE ONES FOLLOWING MAMA. THERE IS A WARNING SIGN FOR SNAKES BUT I DID NOT SEE ANY. I DID SEE A ROADRUNNER.

Break the boredom with this trail!

I decided to make the trip to this trail instead of my regular Leon Creek ride. I suspected few people would be out there and I was correct. Just 3 other cars when I arrived around 8:00 am. Nice and cool, but getting a little humid on Sunday morning. I have a fixed-speed road bike that is fine for Leon Creek, Salado and the Mission trails. But it was quite a challenge on those switchbacks! I could ride some, but admit I had to walk my bike up 3 of them. There are signs posted stating to walk your bike, so I will be more observant of these when I go again. Also, there was some leftover silt from the recent rains, which slowed me down, but nothing dangerous. Nonetheless, it was a great ride and extremely peaceful out there! I stopped a few times to rest, walk my bike or just take in the scenery. I could only hear birds, the water from the flowing river, the breeze through the tall trees and best of all - no noise from cars! I saw just 3 other bikers and they all had mountain bikes (duh). Next time I will take my mountain bike so I can explore a bit more and make those switchbacks without stopping. If you're getting bored with Leon Creek or the other trails and need a challenge, then check out this trail.

I disagree that this trail is a disappoinment, it's a GEM!

While the trail, as it is currently, is only about 14 miles(ish) round trip, it's a beautiful & challenging ride. (I recommend a Mountain Bike as some of the trails are natural, cracked or covered with debris) The Switchbacks are FUN & give riders a great work out. If it's too hard for you to ride, you need to work on your cardio & your skills.
It is out of the way & that could explain why there are fewer people out there. Once it is connected with the more popular Mission Trail (as I understand is in the works) it will be much more occupied. For now, I love riding in a less crowded area that gives you more of an opportunity to see wildlife. Riding by the old Apple White Ranch is also a treat & a look back in time. On my last visit on 8/30/15 I saw about a dozen people & that's up from our visit last spring. I suspect this jewel is currently being discovered.

A disappointment.

The Medina River Trail was a disappointment. The scenery was gorgeous and the trail surface was good, however, the layout of the trail made it exhausting. It continually dipped into the river bottom via difficult switchbacks and then immediately back up the other bank using the same kind of switchbacks. I'm no engineer but I'm pretty sure I could design a more enjoyable route. Evidently, I am not alone in my assessment. I was the only person on the trail when I did my out and back!!

If they had engineered this trail like the Leon and Salado Creek trails, perhaps people would use the Medina River Trail.

Wild hogs and pretty woodlands

Although there are some steep slopes, it provides a beautiful ride through the trees in a rural area. We saw a group of 3 wild hogs-too fast to get a picture.

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