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Government Canyon State Park – Front Country

First off, Happy New Year, readers!

While most people waited to start their New Year Resolution on the 1st of January, I took advantage of my two week vacation and got a head start on one of my resolutions – being more active. And I’m this case, it involved going hiking!

As a San Antonio native, I never correlated hiking with our festive city. How could there possibly be any room to go hiking in the middle of the city, one might ask themself. Well, fair reader, if you go over to the far west side of the city past 1604, down Shaenfield are, past Helotes, you’ll come upon one of Texas’ State Parks – Government Canyon.

From their website https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/government-canyon

There are two main parts to GC, the Front Country and the Back Country. The Back Country takes up a majority of the park with miles and miles of trails. Part of the Back Country is also in the Edwards’s Aquifer Recharge Zone so dogs are not allowed back there. The Front Country has all of the visitor-y stuff like the Discovery Trail, some fossils, a kids’ playground and dog-friendly trails!

Obviously, I brought my chihuahua, Sassafras, with me so off to the Front Country we went! The Front Country had two different trails you could do – Lytle’s Loop (4.7 miles) and Savannah’s Loop (a little over 2 miles). I was a little on edge after seeing the Mountain Lion warning in the bathroom (see picture below) and one of the volunteers commenting on how Sassy was a part of the food chain there, so we did the Savannah Loop. It also didn’t help that when we tried to turn down Lytle, Sassy went nuts barking her head off like she’s never done before so I also took that as a sign not to that Loop.

Most of the Savannah Loop was paved with rocks and gravel and there weren’t too many inclines. I definitely wouldn’t say it was stroller friendly, but we did come across a handful of bikers on our route. We had decided to go hiking on Christmas Eve so there weren’t a lot of people on the trails, which made for a peaceful hike.

Overall, it was a peaceful, easy 2 miles of hiking. I’m excited to go back and try Lytle’s Loop with the dogs, and maybe one day, go dog-less and attempt the Back Country!

During the winter, Government Canyon is open 7 AM – 10 PM Friday – Monday, and they are closed Tuesday-Thursday. They have Day Passes for $6 and overnight camping is $18 per night. Reservations are encouraged especially during peak seasons.

Friendly reminders: dogs must be on leash at all times, don’t leave any trash behind, make noise to distract creeping wildlife and always be aware of your surroundings!

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