Be River Proud

Parks & Trails

Hiking, Biking & Paddling Safety

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Proper hike, bike, and paddling trail etiquette will help ensure that everyone safely enjoys the hike and bike trails. Be prepared, safe and courteous and observe posted hours for trail use.

Remember: Share the Trail and the River. Respect Other Users. Expect Other Users.

Current Conditions

Pedestrian Safety

  • Stay to your right on the trail leaving room for others to pass you on your left
  • Be aware of your surroundings; if listening to music, keep the volume low enough to hear external voices and sounds
  • If there are small children in your group, make sure they stay by your side and safe from other traffic on the trail
  • Keep your pets on short leashes; leashes going across the trail can be hazardous to others, and please pick up after your pets
  • Come prepared to enjoy the trail by wearing proper shoes and by bringing water and sunscreen.

Bicyclist Safety

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Pass on the left; let all others on the trail know you are approaching by calling out “rider(s) up on your left” and thank them after passing
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • If listening to a device, keep the volume low
  • Slow down when sight lines are poor and when approaching pedestrians
  • Ride at a casual speed
  • Bring ample water, sunscreen and an extra tube with tools
  • Come prepared to enjoy the trail by making sure your equipment is in proper working order.

For riders of San Antonio SWell Cycles on the Mission Reach trail system: Remember to dock at Mission Espada. It’s the last stop.

All hike and bike trail users:

  • If you are traveling in a group, do not block the entire trail; during times of heavy traffic, travel in single file
  • When approaching maintenance workers, take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of the maintenance staff
  • Contact 911 for all emergencies and 311 for all non-emergencies
  • Dispose of trash properly
  • Please pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly
  • Please do not feed the wildlife

Paddling Safety

Have fun. But be prepared!

If paddling within the San Antonio City Limits and along the Mission Reach, the river is relatively calm and occasional paddling chutes through restored riffles.

Outside the San Antonio City Limits, prepare for a river in a natural, unpredictable, rural condition with limited access points.

At all times, please use the designated access points and respect private property.

Rivers are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers, so please remember the following safety tips:

  • Proceed at your own risk. Plan your trip so that your paddling skills are equal to the water conditions.
  • No inflatable boats or water craft.
  • Never paddle alone. Tell someone who’s not going with you of your paddling plan.
  • Make sure your equipment (canoe or kayak) is in proper working order.
  • Check weather and river conditions prior to paddling to ensure trails are safe to use.
  • Always use personal flotation devices.
  • Bring a whistle or other sound producing device for use in emergency situations.
  • Wear protective foot gear.
  • Carry drinking water, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • No glass or Styrofoam containers.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife.
  • Keep your pets on a leash.
  • Please pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
  • Pack out your trash to help preserve the river.
  • Contact 911 for all emergencies and 311 for all non-emergencies.

For more river safety tips, please visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.