Running the Iconic Powerlines

October 05, 2018

Running the Iconic Powerlines

THE POWERLINES OVERVIEW

The Powerlines is not a city park or a managed trail.  It is simply a "trail" running under powerlines that was discovered by local Rockhoppers and has since become one of the local favorites for anyone looking to get some elevation and trail miles.

Part of the beauty of the Powerlines is its simplicity.  It is a 3 mile out and back course. Nothing fancy. Simply rugged running.

FIELD NOTES:
  • There are no official rules but let's make sure to leave no trace and take care of the trail
  • Never closes. The Powerlines are a good alternative if you need to run in the dark or during a rainstorm.
  • Dogs are welcome but beware that there have also been sightings of stray dogs on the trails
  • Run at your own risk. It's recommended that you run with a group as there is no telling what you will see on the trail.
  • You will need to carry your own water and trail shoes are highly recommended.
  • The terrain is made up primarily of loose rock, mostly going up or down several hills with a few patches that are flatter and more runnable.
  • There is no shade or cover. You will be exposed for the entire run so plan accordingly in the hot Texas summer.
  • The Powerlines elevation gain and terrain provides great training for races like Bandera and Sky Island.
  • The Powerlines is a great option for Hill Repeats. The Bexar Tracks group meets there weekly on Tuesday mornings for Hill Repeats.
  • You can do a .5 mile warm-up and cool down from the parking lot or take a longer 1.25 mile loop along the road. Contact us for additional details.

Getting There

We highly recommend that you run with a group for at least your introductory run.  This trail and trailhead are not marked so it is helpful to run with someone who can point you in the right direction.  Once you've done it once, getting there is fairly straightforward.

Access to the Powerlines trailhead can be found near Camp Bullis Rd and Babcock Rd. The recommended parking spot (outside of school hours) is at the Lutheran High School of San Antonio which is less than .5 miles from the trailhead.

Route to the Powerlines

Park at the Lutheran High School

18104 Babcock Rd, San Antonio, TX 78255

From the parking lot, you will head North on Babcock for around .45 miles.  On your left, you will see a gate and a trail path heading up a steep incline.  This is the trailhead!  

The Powerliens trailhead

Powerlines trail run elevation image

From this point, you will literally run under the powerlines for 3 miles. There are a couple of places where you could mistakenly go in the wrong direction. If you have any questions of which direction you need to go simply look up and follow the path of the powerlines.  There are a few street crossings so please make sure to be careful and look both ways before venturing across.

At the 3 mile point, you will dead end at a 10-foot high metal fence in a neighborhood. This is your turnaround point.  Touch the fence and backtrack the same way you came.

Each Powerlines loop is 6 miles and delivers around 1,200 ft of elevation. This elevation gain is the draw for local runners due to our limited elevation options in the area.

Be prepared to take a little longer on the Powerlines loop than on your typical trail run or hike and plan accordingly.

 

Useful Resources

  • For the GPX file and a detailed elevation check out the Strava Route.
  • If you would like to join us on a run at the Powerlines please contact us to coordinate.

The Powerlines has become an institution for local San Antonio trail and ultra runners.  It is definitely a trail to visit if you need to get the additional elevation, get comfortable on tough Texas Hill Country terrain or simply pound out long miles taking advantage of the benefits of a 6-mile looped course.


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