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  • Chris Belcher

Classen-Steubing Ranch Park is San Antonio’s Newest Natural Area

We visited San Antonio’s newest Natural Area, Classen-Steubing Ranch Park, Sunday.

Classen-Steubing Ranch Park adds 204 acres to the Natural Areas in San Antonio. The park joins nine other parks managed as natural areas by the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department.

Our visit Sunday allowed us to enjoy a natural area dotted with Oak trees and wildflowers as we explored paved and dirt trails winding through the park.

A section of Ranch Loop Trail, a hiking only dirt trail, in Classen-Steubing Ranch Park. Photo: Chris Belcher

The dirt trails are dotted with rocks sticking out of the ground making it necessary to watch your step on them. This didn’t stop hikers from enjoying the loops and the sights along them.

A Black-chinned Hummingbird rests on a tree limb along Ranch Loop Trail in Classen-Steubing Ranch Park Sunday. Photo: Chris Belcher

Ranch Loop was the first hiking only dirt trail we explored. It winds through post oak savannah for a little over a mile. We could hear birds all around us as we watched a vulture soaring across the sky searching for its next meal. A black-chinned Hummingbird landed and rested on a branch for a few minutes. It was a chance for us to enjoy seeing a hummingbird sitting still instead of buzzing past us.

The second dirt trail we explored led us up a small rise through prickly pear and agarita bushes for about ¾ of a mile. There were less rocks in this trail, but it still had some trip hazards. Again, wildflowers bloomed abundantly on both sides of us as we made our way along the trail.

We didn’t see any deer on this visit, but their tracks were evidence that they were around.

In addition to the paved and hiking only dirt trails the park also has mountain bike only trails for bikers to enjoy. South Texas Off Road Mountain-Bikers has been developing the trails. We could hear them continuing their work on the trails as we explored.

A Crested Caracara flew overhead to guide us on our journey home at the end of Sunday’s visit. We will visit Classen-Steubing again to continue our exploration of the newest green space in our town. Maybe we’ll see you out there on the trail.

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