McAllister Park is comprised of 976 acres on the north side of San Antonio between Jones Maltsberger and Wetmore Roads. The park's original 713 acres were purchased and developed using 1964 Bond funds and a Federal Open Space grant. When the park officially opened on April 13, 1968, it contained four miles of trails, 125 picnic units, restrooms and parking areas.
Originally called Northeast Preserve, it was renamed in June 1974 in honor of former San Antonio Mayor Walter W. McAllister. Since the park's opening, acreage has been added, including two large tracts 117 acres in 1974 for a Natural Resource Conservation Service floodwater retention structure in the upper Salado Creek watershed, and 130 acres of airport property made available through a joint-use agreement with the San Antonio Aviation Department in 2000. Construction of the flood retention structure was completed in 2003.
The San Antonio Road Runners and Harmony Hills Optimist Club have helped construct park improvements including paved jogging trails, a family area with covered pavilion, picnic sites, and barbecue pits. The Friends of McAllister Park organization advises the Parks and Recreation Department on an ongoing basis regarding park conditions and needs. Park facilities include five miles of asphalt trails, more than 10 miles of unpaved natural bicycle and cross-country trails, picnic units, Little League baseball fields, and soccer fields. Wetmore Road on the east side of the park provides access to the Texas Transportation Museum and a privately owned sports park.
Funds from the 1994 bond election financed park improvements including a new entrance road off of Starcrest Drive to provide direct access to playing fields, realignment of the Jones Maltsberger Road entrance, paving of interior roads, additional trailhead parking, and accessible restrooms. The Starcrest Drive entrance was opened in September 2001. Though the surrounding area has experienced extensive development since Northeast Preserve opened in 1968, wildlife can still be seen in the park.
A dog park opened on March 31, 2007. It was part of a $1,637,000 project that benefited a wide array of existing facilities at the park as well as the construction of a new pavilion and two new playscapes. The Optimist Pavilion was renovated and new walkways, barbecue pits and trash cans installed. The dog park features exercise equipment, a covered picnic area, benches and a walking trail. The nearby parking lot has become home to an annual kite festival sponsored by Friends of the Parks.
McAllister Park hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. No lighting in the dog park.
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