Eagleland and King Williams Paddling Trails
Notice: various sections of the Eagleland Trail System will be closed between March 12, 2012 and November 2012. The trail system is currently undergoing upgrades funded by Bexar County and managed by the San Antonio River Authority. Please click here for more information about the trail closures.
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 will be 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 two 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:
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
Please note that these two zones are not connected and are more than 1 mile apart. Participants choosing to utilize both zones must port watercraft 1 mile between zones.
As construction is completed on the Mission Reach Project to the south of Eagleland, the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and the City of San Antonio will determine when and which sections of the Mission Reach are safe and will be made available for paddling recreation. For updates to this information and for further information about paddle recreation opportunities along the San Antonio River, please visit www.sara-tx.org. You can also follow SARA on Facebook and Twitter to receive information related to the San Antonio River.
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 is 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 1 mile of river length which has undergone 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 will operate and maintain the Eagleland Segment in perpetuity. Current operation and maintenance of the area involves 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.