2022 Recreation and Living Trends

Large rocks and grass at Madla Greenway

Whether a permanent residence solution or a simple getaway, nature can have restorative powers for your mental and physical wellbeing. In 2020, the world faced restrictions and life-changing circumstances with COVID-19. The pandemic resulted in extended stay-at-home orders unless it was absolutely essential to leave.

This isolation had its impact on many, leading to depression and mental fatigue, and created a need to find a safe escape. One of the safest options was to use the time to explore the wonders that nature had to offer. The importance of parks during COVID-19 peaked significantly. Parks and nature trails provided both physical and mental stimulation for those who were tired of being stuck at home. Now, in 2022, we continue to see trends in recreation and leisure that indicate the appeal of nature parks and trails is still going strong. Not only do people seek these areas recreationally, but also as a desired location for establishing long-term roots. It has become increasingly popular for families to seek communities with more outdoor space and access to nature instead of densely populated cities.

The Benefits of Nature

jogger on trail

There are numerous benefits to experiencing nature. Nature provides a scenic backdrop for physical exercise like biking, hiking, swimming, jogging, and many other exercises. Trails offer different experiences, allowing an individual to customize their personal exercise journey. Consistent physical activity outside can increase an individual’s health and stamina.

In addition to physical benefits, nature can also benefit our mental health. COVID-19 was a clear example of how much stress and a lack of social stimulation can affect a person’s state of being. Even with less restrictions, the demands of daily life can take a toll on a person’s mental wellness. Escaping to nature allows us to take the time to be mindful and slow down. It can ease the distress of the world and help to restore the inner balance that we all seek. 

Nature can help provide both physical and mental healing, and a reliable way to get out of the house and spend time alone or quality time with family. The COVID-19 pandemic inspired many individuals and families across the U.S. to seek areas that have a balance of city life and access to natural parks and trails.

Must-See Parks and Trails

Outdoor Trail at Madla Greenway

VIDA is located in a beautiful area that offers something for everyone. Located in the southside of San Antonio, this area provides both city and natural appeal. You can escape into the city to enjoy the various restaurants, galleries, nightlife, museums, and activities. The VIDA community offers access to a variety of different parks, trails, and natural escapes for anyone who wants to get away from it all without having to travel far. Some of the most popular destinations include:

  • The Madla Greenway – One of VIDA’s most exciting features is now open. This 35-acre area will provide natural trails for the public to explore. Trails wind along a creek bed wrapped in ancient oaks, with seating and a great surface for running or walking. VIDA’s trails and sidewalks will connect the community to the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus. The first mile of trail is now open, with more planned for 2023. 
  • Friedrich Wilderness Park– This park is renowned for its hills, canyons, and its phenomenal bird watching. Located in San Antonio, this hiking oasis provides an easy getaway. With over 10 miles of hiking trails and about 600 acres, you can spend hours in this gorgeous park. Choose your difficulty level of flat surfaces or steep hills, and this park also includes handicap-accessible options. 
  • Brackenridge Park– This park in San Antonio, TX, is an acclaimed “urban park.” Similar to the previously mentioned parks, it provides that escape into nature that people seek while remaining close to the heart of San Antonio for fun and relaxation. With 343 acres to explore, there is always something to do. There are a variety of walking trails, bird-watching sites, playgrounds, picnic areas, and hosted events designed for all ages. This park is free to access every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
  • Phil Hardberger Park– Also found in San Antonio is one of the many amazing sites the area has to offer. This park offers numerous sites to explore, whether you prefer to enjoy nature on foot or on a bike. You can tour at your own pace, or book a professional guide for an in-depth tour. This park hosts a variety of events and gatherings to entertain and educate individuals of all ages. On-site dog parks ensure that your pets can enjoy themselves. 

Getting into Nature

a group cutting a ribbon outdoors

Following COVID-19, the desire to be closer to nature became a priority for many, and the trend shows no sign of slowing any time soon. After all, nature is always beneficial to the overall quality of life. If you’re looking for an ideal place for health, community, and activity, VIDA is the perfect place to find your new home. Living in regions that involve city life but provide a quick escape into nature is ideal. Contact us to explore your new home options today. 

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