I couldn’t help but think of the movie “Field of Dreams” when my husband and I visited the eastern side of Phil Hardberger Park, located at 13204 Blanco Road. “If you build it, they will come” could be the park’s mantra.
Children, parents, dogs, dog lovers, joggers, walkers, nature lovers, tricyclists and bicyclists were all taking advantage of San Antonio’s cooler fall weather to enjoy this welcoming green space. The park covers more than 300 acres when coupled with its western portion, located at 8400 N.W. Military Highway, and it really is “an island of green in a sea of urban development” like its conservancy website claims.
We walked the Geology Loop Trail (.81 mile) and the Water Loop Trail (1 mile). When you go, see if you can spot the tree dragon. You’ll also want to keep an ear out for tinier living dragons that scurry along the ground. You’ll hear them before you see them because their camouflage works so well. Last but not least, keep an eye out for the cochineal growing on cactus that the Aztec and Maya harvested to make red dye.
Since drought-plagued San Antonio remains under a burn ban, the park’s barbecue grills were out of commission. Picnics aren’t prohibited, however, and you may eat while you watch kids enjoy the park’s grand playscape. Four-legged creatures have their own playground to enjoy. The 1.8-acre dog park is subdivided between large dogs and small dogs, and ample shade provides a great setting for canines and humans to relax.
The park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Upcoming events include Batty for Bats on Saturday, Oct. 22; Native Plant Hike on Saturday, Nov. 5; and Dinosaur George on Saturday, Dec. 3. Call (210) 207-3111 to make reservations. A $3 per individual or $5 per family donation is requested.