Monday, March 12, 2012

Nice Place to Run: Eisenhower Park

Today was not an ideal vacation day for me, but it's a ritual many parents have to tolerate: standing in line for hours to ride a roller coaster.  After our ride on Fiesta Texas's Rattler, I asked E if he thought that 3 minute ride was worth waiting in line for 2 hours and 10 minutes.  Without hesitation, he said it was.  Despite the long lines, I think all the kids had fun.

After dinner, I left Kelly and the kids at the hotel watching the Disney Channel (the highlight of any vacation for this cable-free family) and drove over to Eisenhower Park.  A couple miles north of 1604 on NW Military Highway, this San Antonio city park offers a concentrated but satisfying trail running experience.
The south half of the Hillview Trail.  Not too technical, but a steady climb.
I took the Hillview Trail, which loops around the park.  Rocky, wide, and nicely groomed, the south half of the loop is a gradual climb to the observation tower at the top of the park.  The north half is more technical in parts and has more tree cover.  I should have started there; it was pretty dark when I descended, and my night vision was pushed to the limit, so I had to take it slow.  The Hillview Trail loop is about 2 1/2 miles.

There are some other side trails and connecting trails, as well as a paved trail that goes up the middle of the park to the tower.  The paved trail is less than a mile, and definitely wheelchair friendly.  Just be careful on the way down!
Had I arrived a bit earlier, I would have had this view from the top.
You might not want to come here for a long run.  The park only has about 5 miles of trails, and if you're like me, the loops might get monotonous.  But it's a great place for hill repeats and practice on some rocky, technical terrain.  If I lived in San Antonio, this would definitely become a favorite spot to run.

Here's a trail map.
Here's park information.

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