Construction on the Apache/San Pedro Creekways Trail is scheduled to begin later this month and should be completed by March 2016. The three-and-a-half-mile trail, a $4.1 million project, is an extension of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System that reaches from Cassiano Park to the convergence of the San Antonio River near Concepción Park.

The Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System is a network of hike and bike trails that twist and turn alongside San Antonio creeks. In the May 9 elections, voters approved the 1/8 cent sales tax to continue improvements for the Linear Creekway Parks Development Program which will provide an additional $80 million for new greenway trails. Robert Ramirez, co-chair of the Westside Creeks Restoration Oversight Committe, said that money has not yet been allocated.

Ramirez said the $4 million used to restore this trail is a portion of the $10 million the city set aside two years ago for linear creekway connections.

The project will transform the trail into a pathway where bicyclists and pedestrians can travel with ease. Two miles of the path runs along the San Pedro Creek and the other mile and a half runs along the Apache Creek.

Apache/San Pedro Creek Linear Trail. Courtesy image of the San Antonio River Authority.
Apache/San Pedro Creek Linear Trail. Courtesy image of the San Antonio River Authority.

As of today the Apache/San Pedro Creek hike and bike trail is cracked and poorly laid out. A bicyclist can’t ride without having to hop off their seat to climb down stairs, and the average pedestrian can’t walk without avoiding cracks and dips. The City, along with the San Antonio River Authority and the Westside Creeks Restoration Project will revamp this pathway to create a cleaner, smoother experience for area residents.

The project is a segment of the Westside Creeks Restoration Project, a 2008 community-based planning effort for the development and restoration of the creeks that run through the City’s Westside ­– the Alazán, Apache, Martínez and San Pedro creeks. The Westside Creeks Restoration Project maintains flood control, improves water quality, and increases biological diversity for the creeks.

Ramirez said the $4 million used to restore this trail is a portion of the $10 million the city set aside two years ago for linear creekway connections.

The four creeks have attracted people to their banks for more than 10,000 years.

This particular hike and bike trail connects a series of linear parks on the Westside and even branches off to link the community with downtown, Brackenridge Park, and the historic Missions.

The trail runs through Amistad Park. Photo by Joan Vinson.
The trail runs through Amistad Park. Photo by Joan Vinson.

Councilmember Shirley Gonzales (D5), a resident of the neighborhood, said this transformation will provide community members a new route for moving about the city.

Councilmember Shirley Gonzales (D5) spoke about the life this trail will bring to the Westside. Photo by Joan Vinson.
Councilmember Shirley Gonzales (D5) spoke about the life this trail will bring to the Westside. Photo by Joan Vinson.

“We use (the trails) for transportation to get us to downtown, to get us to the Southside and then to the rest of the Westside up to Our Lady of the Lake University, and ultimately to Rosedale Park,” she said.

The Texas Diabetes Institute, one of the nation’s largest centers dedicated to diabetes treatment, sits blocks away from one of the trailheads to this pathway. San Antonio’s diabetic population is double the national average and exercise is a key prescription for those who suffer from the deadly disease.

Gonzales said this project will give hospital residents a safe place to walk and exercise. She said the path will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved, meaning the dips, cracks, and stairs will be leveled and smoothed for safety and comfort.

Gonzales, a four-time IRONMAN finisher, said she used this trail system when training for the endurance competition.

“I used to run these trails before I had children, before I was on council … when my life was very different and I dedicated 20 hours a week to training, she said.

“I will use this trail maybe more than anyone here,” Gonzales joked. “It’s really one of the reasons why I wanted to represent this community because we knew these trails were coming.”

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*Featured/top image: (From left) Lourdes Galvan, Councilmember Shirley Gonzales, Robert Ramirez and Olga Lizcano participate in the groundbreaking. Photo by Joan Vinson. 

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Joan Vinson

Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....