Hiking the Friedrich Wilderness (San Antonio, Texas) 02-Mar-2023

Although an overnight thunderstorm freshened the air a bit, our 4th day in Texas nonetheless dawned mired in gloom. So we decided to curtail extensive hiking in favor of some in-town time. But practically right across the freeway from our hotel was the Emilie & Albert Freidrich Wilderness Park. So we did a short hike there before heading into inner San Antonio.

This 600 acre (243 ha) park is managed by the City of San Antonio and offers a variety of paved and unpaved trails. It’s apparently well known to bird watchers, as it’s home to two federally-listed endangered songbirds – the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. We did the Main Loop Trail with the addition of the Juniper Ridge Trail for a total of just 2.2 miles (3.5 km).

Entering the wilderness
The paved trail quickly gives way to one of packed dirt
And the dirt gives way to the Hill Country staple of rocky limestone

Calling this park a “wilderness” might seem a little over the top. But when it was opened in 1978, urban San Antonio was still far to the south and out here was certainly more on the wild side. In the 45 years since, San Antonio has grown and housing developments now surround the park. It’s become a necessary chunk of Nature embedded in a suburban wilderness.

Houses push up to the park’s eastern boundary
A 200-300 year old Ashe Juniper along the trail
On the Juniper Ridge Trail
Yellow Buckeye
Trail magic at the junction with the Main Loop Trail
More limestone ledges on the Main Loop Trail
Back to packed dirt
And on down to the parking lot

Judging from the number of cars in the lot when we got back (and the walkers and runners we passed on the trail) this little park is much appreciated by the locals. Thank you Norma Friedrich Ward for having the foresight to begin preserving this piece of the Hill Country back in 1971!

We were here a bit early in the year to see many wildflowers or birds but it was a good walk nonetheless. And one we undoubtedly needed after our BBQ indulgence the afternoon before. ๐Ÿ™„

After our hike, we spent some time among the dinosaur exhibits at The Witte Museum in central San Antonio, had a delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ lunch at Fonda Nostra Bistro, and skipped visiting The Alamo (we’ve been there before) in favor of perusing a banned (at least in Texas) book (“Forget the Alamo“) at Nowhere Bookshop. We’d previously sent a copy to The LovedOne’s brother (who lives in Dallas) and he appreciated us sending it in a plain brown wrapper. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, all in all, a good day both on and off trail. ๐Ÿ˜

Our short loop at Friedrich Wilderness Park

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