Also called the Urban Section, it was designed by local firm Ford, Powell & Carson. Landscaping and public art were considered from the beginning of the planning process. The result is an urban walking trail that integrates beautifully with its surroundings.
Opened in 2009, it's a great place to enjoy the river in a less crowded, more natural setting. An important plus is that you can begin your walk at the beautiful Pearl Brewery complex where parking is plentiful and free. I previously posted about The Pearl when I attended The Herb Market in October. I recently stopped in to enjoy a walk and see how the drought had affected the plantings.
Starting in the parking lot, the great landscaping is worth taking in
Down the steps and onto the walkway heading south at river level, the cannas are still blooming despite some chilly weather. In typical San Antonio Riverwalk style, there are no rails along the water.
To the left is a hillside of limestone slabs and grasses.
This sedge is nice and green despite the drought
This groundcover looks like Creeping Daisy (Wedelia trilobata) and it's also doing really well here. Looks as if it could take over a small area quickly though
Up ahead, these asters catch my attention. Very pretty and bright on an overcast day
Next are two faux bois benches by local artist Carlos Cortes.
Impressive natural detail
Sidewalk segments are marked with different textures, this wavy river pattern is my favorite
Across the river from the benches is a large grotto installation also by Carlos Cortes.
Along the way a water habitat section is left more natural for aquatic plants and wildlife.
Crossing under I-35 there are colorful fish sculptures hanging from the bridge. These are lit at night as are most of the art pieces along this section of the Riverwalk. This sign tells about the Mexican Freetail Bats living under the bridge and shows how the fish look at night.
These guys definitely look much better in person
There are several crossover points for pedestrians with clear wayfinding signage
Today I'll take the Newell Avenue bridge which has been nicely restored. The style reflects that of the nearby San Antonio Museum of Art housed in a former brewery building
This bridge was used for rolling barrels from one section of the Pearl Brewery to another
Across the bridge and heading back north, there's still plenty to see and an opportunity to view the opposite bank. Looking across at the stacked stones of the water habitat.
Arriving at the grotto and enjoying the fanciful construction
Stairs up to ground level
The entrance from above, into the mouth of a gargoyle
From here you can see both benches at once and the faux bois palapa from the same artist
Another view of the asters from across the way, this bright cloudy day brings out reflections of color not seen on a full sun day
Metalwork art bridge detail
More beautiful plant combinations along the east facing riverbank
Another example of the excellent signage, except no distances listed. Be prepared for a hike if you plan to walk to the zoo from here!
Looking across to the west facing bank, there are missing plants and the rosemary is brown. These slopes were covered with vines last year.
This is the east facing bank but it looks like the moisture doesn't hold here either. Crews have begun replacing lost plants, so these areas will likely be spruced up soon.
The Rio Taxi from downtown has stops all along the way or you can flag them down. These folks have just celebrated a birthday at a nearby restaurant
A very pretty way to finish this walk. There's a turning basin for the boats, a waterfall, and a group of bald cypress trees. The bald cypress is the signature tree of the Riverwalk.
This tour covered about half the Museum Reach segment. There's a lot more to cover and I plan to post other parts of the Riverwalk in the future.