For Mother’s Day this year, I requested that we go on a family hike. Summer break is fast approaching, and my feet have been itching to get on trails and get in hiking shape for our upcoming vacation to Durango, Colorado.
We left home early on that Sunday morning, arriving at Friedrich Wilderness Park in north San Antonio at 9:00 AM. The small parking lot was already full, so we parked on the street along with the other late arrivals.
John offered to carry James in the Ergobaby carrier for this hike, so we strapped in our growing toddler (to many giggles from said toddler, who found it funny that he was riding on Dada’s back instead of Mama’s) and headed to the entrance.
We first wanted to see the working windmill that feeds a watering hole for birds which we had read about in a San Antonio magazine, so we made our way to the Main Loop trail, off of which branches the aptly-named Water Trail.
The entry trail into the park is paved and well-used, as we encountered a number of walkers, joggers, and hikers as we made our way into the park proper. Being tucked into the sprawling San Antonio metropolitan area, it wasn’t surprising to see so many other people making use of the park, too.
Once we turned onto the short, 0.35-mile Water Trail, we left the pavement behind and headed slightly uphill towards the windmill.
We quickly came to the working windmill, supposedly one of the oldest ones in the state.
Had we wanted to linger, we could have sat upon the bench near the birds’ watering hole to see what fliers might have landed for a drink. But James was using his hands and arms to try to push his Dada faster along the trail, so quiet observation and contemplation was not to be.
We then hiked the pretty 0.60-mile Juniper Barrens loop before tackling the primary path of the day: the Main Loop Trail. It’s a 1.7-mile hike rated difficult to moderate. It did have some quick, rocky ascents, but any difficulty we experienced was due to being out of shape (and, in John’s case, carrying a 30-pound 21-month-old on his back) rather than the trail itself.
Much of the trail on the way up the hill was shaded, which was nice since James decided he didn’t want to wear his hat about a half hour into the morning’s outing.
At the top of the hill, the tree cover overhead thinned out, but the trees on either side of us were thick and tall enough to block the vista view. That was probably just as well, however, considering that we were in San Antonio. It probably would have just been depressing to see all of the concrete and buildings in the neighboring hills and valleys.
James did really well on the hike, which bodes well for our summer adventures ahead. It is a joy to share our love of hiking and the outdoors with our little boy!
We spent about an hour and a half out on the trails at Friedrich Wilderness Park, and we enjoyed our time there. The crowds thinned out the further away we got from the entrance, and there are still more trails to explore than the ones we hiked that day. It wouldn’t be our top choice for a place to hike in the wider hill country area, but it was a convenient distance from home and afforded us an opportunity to get in some shopping at The Rim nearby. We’ll hike there again, I’m sure.