After numerous back-to-back cold, windy and sometimes rainy rides, it was a joy to be in the sunny, windless and 86-degree weather of San Antonio. Kellie had to do this trail solo (while Jim golfed nearby), so she started midway on the 20-mile Leon Creek Greenway, which runs along the western edge of town and heads north. Her intention was to ride north to the end, then turn around and ride south to the other end, then return to the car. But somewhere along the first leg, she ended up on the 25-mile Salado Creek Greenway, which heads south down the eastern side of San Antonio. (The large arching sign over the trail that read “Salado Creek Greenway” should have been a clue).
Nevertheless, the parts of the Leon Creek and the Salado trails that she rode were wonderful. The area was dryer than usual for late March, so the grass beneath the gnarly oak trees was brown and most of the creek beds were dry. There seemed to be lots of creek beds – or maybe the Leon and Salado creeks were just super winding – because she crossed many low, well-maintained concrete bridges. (Apparently, flooding can be an issue during the rainier season.) The trail itself was made mostly of large, wide concrete slabs that seemed to withstand weather and root heaves a lot better than traditional asphalt trails (note to Park Services everywhere.)
The trails meandered through the mostly flat terrain next to cactus patches and scatterings of white pockmarked stones that resembled volcanic rock. The trail was flat, that is, until Kellie reached a large hill (this IS Hill Country!) which required her to climb along several switchbacks. The trail cut through chiseled walls of limestone and not far from the peak was a large quarry, above which large hawks circled lazily.
There weren’t a great deal of people on the trail, but those who were, were noticeably friendly. Nearly everyone said hello, waved or nodded a greeting.
Leon Creek ended and Salado Creek began near Eisenhower Park, one of the many parks the trails abutted. Kellie turned around at Phil Hardberger Park (named after a former mayor of San Antonio), but wished she’d done the full Leon one day and the full Salado another. They are both very scenic, bike-friendly trails.
The closest brewery to her parking spot was Freetail Brewing Co. right off Highway 1604, an outer beltway around the city. There was a good crowd starting up late afternoon on a Friday, but she got a seat at the bar facing the outdoor patio and ordered a flight, per usual. The Cherry Lime Rickey sour was very tart and based on that, she didn’t even try the Pickle sour! But her favorites were the easy-drinking Conservesa blonde ale, the Puro Pina & Chamoy sour, which was nice but didn’t taste like pineapple or whatever chamoy is, and the Citrus Trip Ruby Red Grapefruit wheat, which was a classic wheat beer.
Got anything to add about either the Leon Creek or Salado Creek Trails? Please add below, if so.