Eagleland and King William Paddling Trails

The City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department has a policy allowing citizens to engage in non-motorized water recreation activities in specified bodies of water within the city limits. As of August 1, 2011, no permit is required for this activity. Please note that boundaries for non-motorized water recreation activity within the city limits are subject to change by the City of San Antonio. There are currently three locations on the San Antonio River within the city limits where non-motorized water recreation activity is allowed by the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department during the hours between sunrise and sunset:

Eagleland Zone, San Antonio River

Launch and Recovery Area: Between Eagleland and Lone Star (approximately 20 feet north of railroad bridge)
Boundary: San Antonio River Walk – Eagleland zone from Lone Star railroad trellis to Alamo Street

King William Zone, San Antonio River

Launch & Recovery Area: Guenther Street by San Antonio River Authority, 100 E. Guenther
Boundary: King William zone from Nueva Street to Alamo Street

Mission Reach Segment, San Antonio River

Click here to view map with access points. Northern Boundary: Lone Star Blvd. by Roosevelt Park
Portage Point: Espada Dam 1200 feet South of SE Military Drive users will have to portage their watercraft around the dam and re-enter the river below Mission Parkway
Southern Boundary: Camino Couhuilteca by Mission Espada

Please note that these trails are not connected and users will need to use proper access points to move between them over land.

For more information about other areas within the city limits open for non-motorized water recreation and for a list of City of rules and regulations, please visit the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department online.

Eagleland Ecosystem Restoration Project

The Eagleland project was a collaborative effort between the US Army Corps of Engineers, SARA, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Oversight Committee, San Antonio River Foundation and the King William Neighborhood Association. The project is located along the river just south of downtown San Antonio, and major components of the project include restoring ecological functions and values to the riparian corridor as well as improving recreational features.

The Eagleland Segment consists of approximately one mile of river length which underwent previous channelization to reduce flood damage. The restoration project includes approximately 17 acres of river right-of-way, most of which was planted with native grasses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs beginning in 2006. Vegetated slopes slow stormwater runoff velocities, filter sediments and pollutants from stormwater runoff, and provide various levels of infiltration of stormwater into soils which can improve water quality. In addition to those benefits, native riparian plants can develop extremely deep root systems that provide strong slope stabilization and reduce erosion and sedimentation into our river, as well as provide much needed habitat for our native fauna.

The San Antonio River Authority operates and maintains the Eagleland Segment in perpetuity. Current operation and maintenance of the area involve short and long term management techniques to establish a native plant dominated community throughout the project area, and manage the area to increase overall coverage and diversity of native species. This is a big challenge within the Eagleland Segment primarily because of invasion by non-native plants coming into the project from the existing seed bank as well as upstream and surrounding areas. Many of these non-native invasive plants have escaped from our yards or are plants we have developed and introduced into the environment for some type of human benefit such as enhanced forage. These unwanted plants will always be present in our project area at some level due to their overwhelming presence in the environment, but our aim is to manage them such that they do not compromise the integrity of the restored native ecosystem. In order to accomplish this SARA is treating unwanted plants with appropriate herbicides, cutting them to prevent them from setting seed, hand-pulling them as feasible, and combining these techniques depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and growth stages of the plants in an effort to encourage and sustain native plant communities.

Managing an ecosystem restoration effectively is often tedious and hard work, but the fruits of our labor have already been realized with increased coverage by native plants and numerous observations of native wildlife utilizing the area. We know that the ecosystem services of the area have significantly improved from pre-project conditions, and our quality of life has also improved through this creation of a win-win for us and our environment.

Click on the play button in the screen below to watch a time-lapsed video of the pedestrian bridge installation.

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