Government Canyon State Natural Area

Sunday, August 6, 2006

To see every single picture taken in and around Government Canyon State Natural Area, click here...

San Antonio is having yet another normal summer. Stage One water restrictions are in effect. Another summer, another drought.

San Antonio's drinking water comes from a huge aquifer underneath San Antonio and six surrounding counties. Rainwater gets into the underground storage aquifer through the recharge zone. When it rains in some areas around San Antonio, the rainwater runs into natural drains that empty into the aquifer.

Protecting the recharge zone is becoming increasing difficult. Runoff from roads, parking lots, housing developments, and gas stations can pollute the aquifer. One way to protect the aquifer recharge areas is by purchasing recharge zone land.

Government Canyon State Natural Area was acquired by multiple government agencies to protect a critical aquifer recharge area.

A high-tech rainwater capture system is built in to the ranger station and visitor center. The visitor center provides a number of displays that explain how rain that falls in the area ends up deep underground where it can be pumped out of wells.

Linda waits for me outside the ranger station.

When checking in at the ranger station, I talked briefly to one of the rangers. The park has a number of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The trails are short and easy (the young ranger looked like he could climb a mountain without breaking a sweat). The rangers want hikers to register with the ranger station before leaving on a hike. It makes it easier to find folks that get lost. The back country hiking trails close at 3:00 PM. Front Country trails close at 4:00 PM. The park is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. No camping at this time.

The day use area is still under construction. A few day use campsites have been completed. They look like they would make ideal tent campsites.

There isn't much in the way of shade.

The restrooms are a new design. I haven't seen this type of design in any other parks.

It is all about protecting water sources.

I didn't go hiking but will the next time I come. The trail heads look interesting and are well marked.

Copyright 2006 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved