Dear Readers: 

Starting April 1, the Rivard Report will launch a new series of outdoor reviews we’re calling The Trailist, a feature that we hope will better acquaint our readers with places to hike, bike, and paddle in San Antonio.

First, let me reintroduce myself. In my day job, I cover environment and energy issues for the Rivard Report. In my spare time, I love to explore wild spaces. My Western Colorado upbringing means I’m drawn to the trail the way some Texans know how to zero in on the finest barbecue.

Since moving here in October 2015, I’ve been nothing short of amazed at what San Antonio and its environs have to offer: dozens of miles of greenway trails, an ever-growing set of parks and amenities, and an outdoor scene that’s larger than its reputation and growing every day.

Bexar County may not be Yosemite or Yellowstone, but we still have an array of beautiful open spaces that invite exploration on foot, by bike, or in a kayak. Getting to know these places and the locals who love them has been one of my greatest joys of life in San Antonio.

Without crossing the county line, I’ve had adventures and encountered plants and animals I’ve never seen before, even in a life spent venturing outdoors in places around the United States.

Now I’d like to share what I’ve discovered and invite readers to join us as we explore new places.

The Trailist will focus on hiking, biking, and paddling trails within a relatively short drive from downtown San Antonio. We’ll be sure to spotlight parks and trails all across the city and county, not just in the city’s popular Hill Country wilderness areas on the Northside.

We’ll post a review at least once a month, though we reserve the right to publish more frequently if necessary. We do have quite a lot of ground to cover.

These reviews will give you all you need to know about these areas: access information, directions, fees, regulations, and difficulty ratings. But they’ll also include stories from San Antonio’s past and from the interesting people we meet out there.

Above all, I want this to be a place where people of all ages, neighborhoods, abilities, and income levels can learn more about the wild places close to them. Hopefully, some readers will be inspired to visit places they’ve never seen before.

As we get started, I’d love to hear readers’ suggestions for places to review. If you have any ideas, please share them with me at

See you on down the trail.  

Brendan Gibbons is a former senior reporter at the San Antonio Report. He is an environmental journalist for Oil & Gas Watch.