“Dog. Big dog. Little dog. Big dogs and little dogs. Black and white dogs.”
Wait, wait. This isn’t a re-enactment of “Go, Dog, Go!” by P.D. Eastman, but for anyone who has read that book a million times–and what parent or babysitter hasn’t?!–the story will enter your brain while you’re visiting the City of San Antonio’s Dog Park in McAllister Park.
I kept expecting to see a giant dog party atop one of the Live Oak trees there, and I must admit that I was disappointed when I didn’t. Plenty of cute dogs were having fun on the ground, but I didn’t spot any hats. The 1.5-acre dog park is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, but bring a flashlight if you’re there before sunrise or after sunset. No lights in the dog park.
Before our walk, I knew that a local freeway, 281, was named for the former mayor of San Antonio, but I did not know that he was one of the founders of the Alamo Colleges. Thank you, Mayor McAllister!
Aside from the dog park, McAllister Park is another good place to begin exploring the Salado Creek Greenway. It’s 2.4 miles from McAllister Park to Lady Bird Johnson Park, or almost a 5-mile round trip.
My husband and I walked it, and I think I’d rather bike it the next time. It’s a bit far for an afternoon (or morning) walk. The Oakwell Trailhead to the Tobin Trailhead or the Lady Bird Johnson Trailhead to the Tobin Trailhead are better for a reasonably long walk. Both are about 3 miles round trip.
From McAllister, head south to the Lady Bird Johnson Park. You’ll be on airport property for part of the trail, so you’ll be able to watch planes landing and taking off. You’ll cross under Wetmore Road and some train tracks and continue along a paved asphalt trail until you come to the 3,400-foot Morningstar Boardwalk, named for a local soldier who was killed in the Iraq War. We ran into some friends on the boardwalk, and they said that they had walked it the weekend before after it had rained a lot, and it was like walking on top of a lake. Use caution, though! If there’s been too much rain, the area is a flood zone and would be dangerous.
We saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk along the boardwalk, soaring overhead and calling out. Other wildlife we spotted included families on bikes and teenagers on scooters. It was good to see people outside, enjoying a pretty day and getting some exercise. If you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting on?!