Whether you’re taking a day trip from San Antonio, passing through, or visiting, you don’t want to miss the town of Helotes. There’s plenty of parks with trails for you to hike and explore, an amusement park and recreational activities, and even a place of music legends you won’t want to miss.
1. Hike or bike in the Government Canyon State Natural Area
There’s over 40 miles (64 kilometers) of trails to hike or bike on in this state park, through canyon land and grasslands. You could also enjoy a picnic, geocaching, a guided hike, camping at 1 of 2 campsites (Fridays and Saturdays only), any available programs run by rangers, and other monthly programs. The best part about this place is that there’s dinosaur footprints (yes, real ones)! According to the park’s website, these 110-million-year-old footprints were likely left by Acrocanthosaurs and Sauroposeidon dinosaurs, and this site is the only public area where dino tracks have been found in Bexar County. The park also asks that you follow the Leave No Trace ethics to help preserve and protect the land.
Government Canyon State Natural Area
Address: 12861 Galm Road, San Antonio, TX 78254
Website: Government Canyon State Natural Area
2. Go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Who doesn’t love a visit to the local Six Flags? At the Fiesta Texas location (which is about a half-hour’s drive away) there’s rides for all ages and crazy roller-coasters like Batman, the Boomerang, the Fireball, Goliath, the Iron Rattler, Pandemonium, Poltergeist, and more! Plus, there’s a waterpark with fun water rides and other water adventures, and places to eat, shop, catch entertainment, and other events. Make sure you’ve got a whole day free if you go here!
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Address: 17000 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX, 78257
Website: Six Flags Fiesta Texas
3. Enjoy O.P. Schnabel Park
If you just want a day to hang out in town, you could just lounge around at O.P. Schnabel Park. There’s a couple pavilions with picnic tables to sit in (or, if you’re looking to have an event there, you can rent one), and there’s also different trailheads for you to explore. The park is surrounded by Oak Trees and Mountain Laurels, so it’s a great place to de-stress.
O.P. Schnabel Park
Address: 9606 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX 78250
4. Or enjoy the historic Senator Frank L. Madla Natural Area
This nature park conservancy is named after Senator Frank L. Madla, but has actually been around since 1852. Its long history includes a family farm, and buildings from that time are still around - including a family cabin done in the Swiss chalet style. Today the park includes trailheads, information “stations” where you can learn about the land and its history, and educational programs; a purpose of the park is to preserve the environment and wildlife of the site.
Senator Frank L. Madla Natural Area
Address: Menchaca Road, Helotes, TX
Website: Senator Frank L. Madla Natural Area
5. Have a mountain adventure at Helotes Hill Country Ziplines
Ever wanted to soar through and above treetops? Then go ziplining! You can tour the forests and hill country of Helotes on 9 different ziplines, plus, a guide will tell you about the area’s history. Regular daily rates are 85 USD a person, though there is a group rate for 15 or more people. Please be aware that there are also certain requirements: you must weigh at least 85 pounds and you cannot weigh more than 275 pounds, and you must be at least 11 years old (though children younger than 11 can ride with an adult, provided the other requirements are met).
Helotes Hill Country Ziplines
Address: 18026 Frank Madla Road, Helotes, TX 78023
Website: Helotes Hill Country Ziplines
6. Relax at the Helotes Creek Winery
Come Out Tonight - Fire Pits - Live Music and Delicious Wine!Posted by Helotes Creek Winery on Friday, 10 February 2017
If you want to relax at a winery, stop by the Helotes Creek Winery. Go and have a drink with friends, or go to do a wine tasting or a sip-and-shop; reviews rave about the affordable prices, friendly owners, laid-back and inviting atmosphere, and of course, about the wine - namely the Malbec and the Blackberry Wine.
Helotes Creek Winery
Address: 14359 Old Bandera Road, #6, 78023 Helotes, TX
Facebook: Helotes Creek Winery
7. See a show at the John T. Floore Country Store
Don’t be fooled by the name - this place isn’t a store. Better known as Floore’s, it’s actually a dance hall and cafe, and since it was opened in 1942 by John T. Floore, it’s hosted music legends such as Willie Nelson (who was partners with John T. Floore and mentions Floore’s in his song, “Shotgun Willie”), Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Elvis, BB King, and more. There’s a lot of musical history here, so if you get a chance to see an artist perform here, do it! Floore’s is also well known for the tamales, homemade bread, and other Texas-style cafe food.
John T Floore Country Store
Address: 14492 Old Bandera Road, Helotes, TX 78023
8. Visit Friedrich Park
Friedrich Park is another great location if you want to hike some trails - with 7 trailheads, there’s more than 10 miles (16 km) of trails, both paved and unpaved, and with varying degrees of difficulty (some are even wheelchair accessible). Dogs and bikes are not allowed here in order to protect and preserve the ecosystem, as well as the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo - 2 songbirds that are federally-listed as endangered.
Address: 21395 Milsa Drive, San Antonio, TX 78256
Website: Friedrich Park
The legend of Helotes
It may be small on a map - but don’t overlook it. Known for its treasured wilderness and wildlife, and of course, its legendary musical history, Helotes is sure to surprise any visitor who takes the time to visit.