Medina River Natural Area
San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County)

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About the City Park

Formerly the site of the hotly debated and ill-fated Applewhite Reservoir, 500-acre Medina River Natural Area is the first of the City's natural areas to be situated on the Southside of San Antonio. The park's namesake, the Medina River, runs lazily through the park amidst towering bald cypress and other lush vegetation.

The park's six miles of trails are a welcome addition to the San Antonio park inventory and make the park is ideally suited to hiking, bicycling, fishing, birding, wildlife observation and nature study. There is even a group camping area with potable water, six tent pads, a large covered pavilion with bar-b-que grill and water, as well as composting toilets; electrical power is not available. NOTE: The camping area is restricted to groups only--individual campers cannot reserve a campsite.

As with all natural areas, the park is left in its natural state as much as possible to encourage native wildlife, plants, fish and insects to call it home. There is a native plant display in the park as well as an interpretive area showcasing the El Camino Real wagon trail once used by settlers. Geocachers take note--geocaching is not only permitted, it seems to be quite welcome!

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities* 1 star
Leashed Pets Permitted? NO
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds* 1 star
Solitude**** 4 star
Trail System** 2 star
Water Recreation* 1 star
Wildlife*** 3 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook


The natural area is located in South Bexar County, directly off Highway 16 (Bandera Road), due west of the Toyota manufacturing plant.

The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, Del Rio, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston

Maps for Medina River Natural Area

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Coordinates for GPS Users:

29.25436° Latitude    -98.582232° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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Open 7 days a week year round from 7:30 AM to sunset. The park is closed Christmas and New Year's Day.


There is no park entrance fee.


Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Check here for ways to contribute to the natural area's programs and projects.

Official Contact Information

The City Park is managed by the San Antonio Department of Parks & Recreation.

San Antonio Parks & Recreation Department Medina River Natural Area
15890 State Highway 16 South
San Antonio, TX 78264-3583

Telephone: (210)624-2575