Government Canyon State Natural Area - San Antonio, TX

 Over the near three years, we have lived in San Antonio, we have loved visiting the Government Canyon State Natural Area on the edge of town. Particularly during the spring, the trails are lined with tons of beautiful wildflowers. We often hike in the front country, since dogs are not allowed in the backcountry. The trails in the front country are all fairly level and easy, but still take you through plenty of pretty areas. The park is most popular for their dinosaur tracks, found 2.5 miles up the Joe Johnston Route, just past marker #19. Each time we have wanted to explore this trail, it has been closed due to flooding and the tracks aren't visible! If there has been recent rain, I recommnend checking their Facebook page for updates on any trail closures.

We have done both the Savannah loop (2.12 miles) and the Lytle's loop (4.74 miles). I think I would say the Savannah loop is more scenic. The Lytle' loop gets out into an area that is pretty barren. Luckily for us, it was a cloudy day, but otherwise, for quite a lot of the trail you are out in the open and there is no tree cover and baking in the sun can get hot quickly!

From what I understand this area has been subjected to intentional burning to help keep wildfires from spreading further into the park. I had been curious about what had caused all the burned trees along the trail and found this in researching from MySA;

"After more than 100 years of grazing and fire suppression, the oak savanna that once covered most of Bexar County is gone. Where it was not paved over, brush and invasive junipers have replaced it, Superintendent Chris Holm explained.

Government Canyon, in northwestern Bexar County, is no exception, he said, but by reintroducing periodic fires, which kill the junipers and knock back the brush in favor of the fast-growing grasses, Holm hopes to restore the savanna so visitors can see what South Texas was like before settlement."

So interesting! Or maybe I am the only one who finds it interesting. Hahaha

If you are looking for a fun park to do some hiking not far from the city, I highly recommend checking out Government Canyon Natural Area. Especially now with the beautiful spring blossoms still in bloom!

We followed the hike with a yummy lunch at Bobby J's! Their fried jalapenos (bottle caps) are the best!

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