Sometimes it just feels nice to get out of the city. For those who are short on time or cash, you don’t have to travel far to commune with nature. From downtown San Antonio, just hop on the number 14 VIA bus and ask the driver to please let you off on Austin Highway nearest the Ira Lee/Salado Creek intersection.
Thanks to the generosity of Robert L.B. Tobin, a San Antonio native who passed away in 2000, the citizens of this fair city and its visitors may enjoy the land and the creek that he grew up on. This stretch of the Salado Creek Greenway goes from Loop 410, between Harry Wurzbach and Starcrest, to the Oakwell Trailhead on Ira Lee, just off of Austin Highway and not too far from Eisenhauer Road. The trail markers report that it’s 1.5 miles from one end to the other, which means it’s 3 miles round trip.
According to the signage (click on photo to enlarge) at the Loop 410 entrance, Tobin approved the plans for this park, which is a piece of the Linear Park Development Program for Salado Creek, Leon Creek, the Medina River and the San Antonio River, before his death. The park looks and feels different during every season, so give it a whirl at various times of the year.
The City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department oversees the Robert L.B. Tobin Park, which is open from sunrise to sunset. My husband and I enjoy walking our dogs along this beautiful stretch of land, but you’ll also find bicyclists and joggers taking advantage of the well-maintained asphalt trail. It seems like the park would be a good spot for inline skaters, as well, though I haven’t seen any.
Besides getting in a work out, visitors will be able to enjoy nature up close: the sounds of white-eyed vireos and cicadas, a variety of native plants and wildflowers, burnt orange Monarch butterflies, evasive lizards, acrobatic squirrels and more! My husband and I once saw a barred owl during the middle of the day, which is quite unusual since owls are nocturnal. The owl was sitting in one of the park’s huge heritage oak trees, hooting to his mate.
The park also offers benches for weary patrons to catch their breath and soak up the surrounding wildlife. It’s best to bring your own water. The Loop 410 entrance has a water fountain, but the Oakwell entrance does not.
Finally, if you decide to go off trail to walk or ride closer to the creek, make sure you don’t make friends with poison ivy. You want the memory of your Salado Creek Greenway experience to be a positive one, don’t you?