The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/columns/2021-01-01/day-trips-robert-l-b-tobin-land-bridge-san-antonio/

Day Trips: Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge, San Antonio

New Land Bridge connects San Antonio park

By Gerald E. McLeod, January 1, 2021, Columns

The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge in Phil Hardberger Park on San Antonio's north side is open and it's awesome.

After more than a decade of planning and work, the Land Bridge over Wurzbach Parkway gives hikers and wildlife a connection between the two sides of the heavily wooded 311-acre park. Landscaping turns the 150-foot-wide bridge into what appears on the trail as a small hill. Iron walls along the edges dampen the traffic noise of the four-lane parkway below to a whisper. By spring when the grasses grow and trees sprout leaves you will hardly know you've left terra firma for a man-made structure.

Hardberger Park is a multifaceted natural area with 3.64 miles of hike-and-bike trails on the west side and 2.84 miles on the east side. Each section has a leash-free dog park, picnic areas, and playscapes, as well as education centers. The park preserves a swath of old-growth riparian forest along Salado Creek.

Surrounded by neighborhoods and businesses, the park is home to a variety of wildlife. Park officials have already spotted deer, raccoons, and other critters using the bridge to safely cross the busy highway. Local artists designed two wildlife blinds on the bridge that blend into the landscape as public art.

Phil Hardberger Park, named for a former mayor, is open from sunup to sunset. The park is northwest of the San Antonio International Airport and easily accessible from I-35 and Highway 281. The land bridge is a little more than a half-mile walk from parking areas at 13203 Blanco Rd. and 8400 NW Military Highway. For more information on the park and to print a map, go to www.philhardbergerpark.org.


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