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Arts & Culture

Hardberger Park's Treetop Trail Opens To The Public On Monday

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Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy
An artist rendering of the walkway.

The Skywalk, Hardberger Park's new elevated and accessible walkway, opens to the public on Monday afternoon after a ribbon-cutting event in the morning. The structure will take visitors up into the tree canopies -- as high as 18 feet -- and offer them a new perspective on the park and its inhabitants.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge opened to visitors on Dec. 11, and the Skywalk connects the bridge to one of the concrete trails.

“You get to the Water Loop trail from the Blanco Road entrance of the park. And from there they can walk up,” explained Denise Gross with the Hardberger Park Conservancy. “It just kind of meanders through the trees and slowly climbs until the south end (where the) Skywalk levels off at the top of the bridge and then merges into the trail that continues over the land bridge.”

The metal walkway is about six feet wide and about a thousand feet long, she explained.

Gross added that the walkway's midpoint offers visitors a spot to stop. "It's kind of an overlook," she said, "and it has a bench, and it will have some interpretive signage that gives more information about birds you might spot from that spot. And so you can take a little rest there and just kind of reflect on what you're seeing.”

The Skywalk's design is unique, she said. "It has these steel posts underneath, and then you're walking on kind of a steel mesh, and then and then additional see through mesh on either side.” The mesh enables visitors to see the foliage on either side of them and under them too.

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Courtesy City of San Antonio Parks & Recreation

The Tobin Land Bridge was built to eliminate animals’ need to cross Wurzbach Parkway, which separates the two halves of Hardberger Park.

The use of native trees and grasses on either side of the bridge further invites animals to safely move through a natural setting, above the roadway. More trees are on the way -- the February winter storm delayed their delivery.

Phil Hardberger, former mayor of San Antonio and for whom the park is named, will attend the 11:15 a.m. opening ceremony, alongside Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff (also a former mayor of San Antonio) and Ron Nirenberg, the current Alamo City mayor.

The event's organizers recommend attendees wear masks and observe social distancing.

The trail will then open to the public Monday afternoon.

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