Pearsall Park

Pearsall Park has lots of family friendly activities available, from simply running up and down the hills, to the splash pad, jungle gym, outdoor gym, and an Adventure Course for kids. There is also a Dog Park and Disc Golf course. As if all these features are not enough, there is also some art to honor indigenous people with the Midden Mound Wickiup sculptures.

And all of this has been built over a dump. Literally, this used to be a landfill, and now it is an awesome outdoor recreation area. Don’t worry about the landfill though, it was closed in 1982 and the area is now perfectly safe.

For runners, it is said that this park is the only park in the city big enough for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon run.  505 acres in total, this is a huge park.

Pearsall Park is located at 4838 Old Pearsall Rd, San Antonio, TX 78242:

I had the honor of being shown around the park by Erik Burciaga. Erik has spent a lot of time in the park, and truly loves to share the experience with others. Erik and his wife are the event organizers for the Dragons Den Half Marathon in this park, and also more recently the Winter Dragon.

I ran the Dragons Den back in 2016. I think their tagline was “The Toughest Half Marathon that you will Love”. It was an awesome experience; Erik and crew really know how to put on a great race.

Pearsall Park Map

Around the entry and parking area, you have some hills and dirt to go on, with some of the flats having old pavement. The paved trail is in the middle of the park, for now you have to hike to get there (new parking lot coming soon, though):

Pearsall Park Map
Pearsall Park Map

When I went with Erik, he took me around the outside of the park, for a 9k route with over 400 feet of elevation gain:

Pearsall Park Map

There is a paved trail in the park that is just under 1.5 miles long, but that is only part of the fun.

From the North parking lot, Erik led me straight up the first hill:

First Hill, go up the trail to the right.

Then we followed the ridgeline clockwise around the hills that circle the park. This will give you two steep ascents to start off and get your legs warmed up. Now follow the trails veering to the left, to get on a rough road that runs straight back to the paved concrete trail that runs down the center of the park.

We followed the paved trail for about 400 feet then turned right up another steep hill. This leads to an offroad loop on the West and then South-East boundary of the park. The South-East boundary runs beside a railroad track for a while, and then you head back into the park to meet the South end of the concrete trail again. There are more offroad trails back there that Erik pointed out, so you could definitely get some more distance. If your legs can handle the offroad and up and down through gullies.

The South Loop around the park boundary

We then ran most of the length of the concrete trail heading North. At the intersection to the paved little loop at the North end, turn left up yet another hill to get back to the main park.

Pro Tips:

  • Great place to bring your family so they can play while you run.
  • You can do just about any length of run; all within the park.
  • Boundary run is about a 9k and is 80% offroad.
  • Offroad has some good climbs on a pretty well-maintained trail.
  • The Paved trail is bit under 1.5 miles, one way.
  • Pavilion has bathrooms, plus porta-potties are here and there.
Pearsall Park
Pearsall Park

David Bush

I am a middle of the pack runner that loves getting off the pavement and out on the trails. Got into running mainly for Triathlons, and love finding new places to swim too!

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