Photo of Salado Creek, near the Oakwell Trailhead

Salado Creek Greenway (Robert L.B. Tobin Park to Oakwell Trail Head)

Photo of Salado Creek, near the Oakwell Trailhead
Salado Creek, an urban oasis just off of N.E. Loop 410

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.

Photo of the signage that explains Robert L.B. Tobin's history.
Robert L.B. Tobin (click photo to enlarge)

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.

Photo of a cyclist along the Salado Creek Greenway.
Asphalt trail makes for easy riding!

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.

Photo of a huge Live Oak tree on the Salado Park Greenway.
Look up to spot owls!

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.

Photo of a bench along the Salado Greenway.
Weary park patrons may catch their breath at benches along the trail.

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?

Photo of Poison Ivy.
Leaves of three, leave them be! Poison ivy is NOT your friend. (Click to enlarge. Note the reddish stem.)

19 thoughts on “Salado Creek Greenway (Robert L.B. Tobin Park to Oakwell Trail Head)

  1. I was able to enjoy Salado Creek via horseback during my last visit to San Antonio! It is so beautiful in the fall. I saw a red-tailed hawk flying through the oak trees.

    Thanks for sharing the greenway…I will need to walk it the next time I am able to visit!

  2. The trail no longer stops at 410 , you can pick up the trail on the north side of 410, at Los Patios and go all the way to McAllister park. A beautiful walk or bike ride with about a mile of boardwalk going over swamp land filled with wild ducks and fantastic foliage. This city is definitely going in the right direction!

    1. My husband and I tried the trail from Los Patios northward for the first time this past Sunday, and we really liked it. The fall colors were beautiful. I’ll be happy when the trail connects under 410. (Right now, you have to cross at Starcrest, which is a busy intersection.) Parking was an issue. Los Patios doesn’t allow walkers/cyclists/runners to park on their property, so we ended up parking at the nearby heart hospital on 410, just west of the trail head. We figured that cardiologists would want people out exercising…so we hoped they wouldn’t have us towed. They didn’t, but it was a Sunday. I don’t know if I’d take a chance during the week. Next time we’ll have to start an McAllister and walk south. You’re absolutely right about San Antonio moving in the right direction! My husband said that we’re getting more and more like Austin with regard to our green spaces. YAY!

    1. We also have tried the piece of the trail that’s starts at Los Patios and goes north. Next time we’re going to begin at McAllister Park and go south. If you have a bike, I understand it’s a very nice ride from McAllister Park to Los Patios and back. Thanks for reading!

    1. Under the freeway (Loop 410) is the best way to get from Tobin Park to the Los Patios Trail without having to go the whole way to Starcrest. (I posted pictures/directions on how to do it.) It’s a slight pain, but it’s doable. If you’re on bike, it would be a little trickier…but still possible. I’m hoping that the City of SA will one day link the two, but it hasn’t happened yet. Thanks for reading/commenting! Cheers, Denise

  3. Denise,
    Thank you for posting information on this very nice trail. As I enjoyed the trail today I spoke with a very nice couple who told me that the Tobin trail will be joined under 410, allowing access to McAllister Park during the month of September 2011. The estimated cost is $179,000.

    Moises

    1. Moises, That’s great news! Thanks for letting me know. My husband and I just got back from Government Canyon State Park where we did a 4-mile hike and saw a Golden-Cheeked Warbler, an endangered bird. Very cool! I’ll be posting about that experience next. Thanks for reading/commenting. Please subscribe to my blog if you’d like to stay in the loop of cool things to do/see/eat in San Antonio! Cheers, Denise

  4. Hi this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Janette, No coding! WYSIWYG it is with WordPress, although you do have the option to switch over to code view to tweak things if you like. Check out WordPress’s Support and Forums. It’s really easy to get started. Good luck with your blog. Thanks for checking out mine! Cheers, Denise

  5. Tobin park is named after my cousin a Great man.I will look forward to my visit in march!.”REMEMBER THE ALAMO”
    Our 9th Great Grand Father John W. Smith was he Last messenger!!

    R.I.P GANDFATHER !!!!

    1. Leo, Thanks for reading/commenting! I met your cousin once along with his lovely mother. They were also big supporters of the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, where I used to work. We love the Salado Creek Greenway, and we will be forever grateful that Mr. Tobin gave the land to San Antonio for its citizens’ enjoyment. Cheers, Denise

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