Comanche Lookout Park – Loop & Lookout Tower Trails
There is a wide range of terrain at Comanche Lookout Park, both paved and unpaved. All of the routes were enjoyable for our dogs. Due to recent storms, certain sections were muddy. There are cacti to be aware of along the walkways. Some of the directional signs need to be replaced because they are worn and can no longer be read. The park was clean and had garbage cans strategically placed throughout to collect dog excrement. They also provided doggie bags and water faucets with a fountain at the bottom for dogs to sip from.
With an elevation of 1,340 feet, Comanche Lookout Park has the fourth-highest peak in Bexar County. The Cibolo floodplain is located at the base of this escarpment, which separates the Gulf Coastal Plain from the Edwards Plateau. Native ash juniper, Texas and Mexican buckeye, chinaberry, graneno, Lindheimer hackberry, honey mesquite, and huisache are among the plants that grow on the hill. The Comanche Lookout Park hiking track is 4 1/2 miles long.
Lookout Tower Trails
Lookout Tower boasts an almost 360-degree picture of the surrounding area in northeastern San Antonio. Despite the fact that the hill is more than 1,300 feet above sea level, the trek is a breeze.
Comanche Lookout Park has a variety of terrain. The trails around the hill are largely composed of asphalt and exhibit significant evidence of wear and tear. There are numerous trails that branch out from the asphalt trails. Some are caused by hikers, while others are most likely caused by rainfall runoff.
Comanche Lookout Park is an excellent spot to stroll with your dog on a leash. The majority of the walkways are lined with trees. There are several routes to select from, each with plenty of picnic tables and benches. The lookout of the city is breathtaking. There is plenty of parking, but this trail is popular. On a warm day, the pathways will be heated in the afternoon. On our walk, we noticed a lot of butterflies and birds.
History of Comanche Lookout Park
The summit’s human history is thought to date back to 9200 BC, when aboriginal people hunted mammoths from the peak.
For long years, people have speculated about the tower. Despite its name, the structure was never a 19th-century lookout. The rock construction was not built until after 1923. The mountain was very probably used as a vantage point by both Apaches and Comanches.
In 1847, one James Conn held 1,476 acres on the site. After that, the property changed ownership several times. Mirabeau Lamar, the Republic of Texas’s second president, was one noteworthy owner. Lamar’s deed referred to the land as “the hill known as Comanche Lookout.” Lamar’s heirs acquired the land but never lived on it.
The land was purchased in 1890 by two German immigrant brothers (Gustav and Adolph Reeh) who cultivated it until Adolph died. Gustav sold a portion of the property to Colonel Edward H. Coppock of the United States Army in 1923. (Retired).
Col. Coppock, an incurable romantic, began constructing a European-style compound with the assistance of his two sons and a stonemason named Tarquino Cavazos. Coppock and Cavazos died in 1948, bringing the project to an end. When a new owner purchased the land from Coppock’s sons in 1968, the foundations and (perhaps) a shorter tower with a staircase were destroyed.
After a series of ownership changes, The Resolution Trust Corporation purchased the land in 1990. Save Comanche Lookout was created, and the Civic of San Antonio purchased the lookout to be used as a hiking trail and city park.
Comanche Lookout Park Ghosts
Visitors have claimed to have encountered ghosts of Indians, soldiers, and settlers in the region over generations, both at the park and along nearby Nacogdoches Road. Visitors have also claimed to see the ghost of an old man pulling a rock-filled wheelbarrow, which has been recognized as Colonel Coppock himself, trying to finish what he was so devoted to in life. His restless soul may also be enraged by those who have destroyed his tower, conducted raucous parties around and within it, and even held ceremonies at it to summon the spirits of the dead. There are also unconfirmed legends about gold being buried on the hill and Mormon settlers being slaughtered nearby.
Lauren M. and James A. Swartz’s book Haunted History of Old San Antonio describes one of the more spectacular incidents that had allegedly occurred at Comanche Lookout Park. They interviewed a woman who took her dog up to the top of the hill every day and often heard chanting or voices in the forest around her but disregarded them as kids playing about. The last time she ventured into the park, she had dropped about halfway when it became unusually dark and she noticed two strange men with painted faces pursuing her. When they shouted and rushed her, she and her dog turned and ran into the parking lot at the bottom of the hill as fast as they possibly could. She turned to confront her assailants, but they vanished as swiftly as they appeared. She, too, left, vowing never to return to the area because she had seen the ghosts of Native American warriors.
This 96-acre park is located next to the Semmes Branch Library. Picnicking, trekking, walking, nature research, birding, and wildlife observation are all available in the park. The park is open for day-use activities seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., all year. No overnight camping is permitted.
Comanche Lookout Park is located at 15551 Nacogdoches Rd. in San Antonio, just south of Loop 1604. The park’s asphalt and nature trails wind through the mesquite forest for 4.5 kilometers. Views of the city can be seen from several spots along the paths, however, the tower is closed.
Comanche Lookout Park
15551 Nacogdoches Rd
San Antonio, TX 78247
Featured image via nps.gov