Saint Brigid's Oak - San Antonio, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WayBetterFinder
N 29° 27.985 W 098° 28.238
14R E 551327 N 3259779
Quick Description: A Live Oak tree that is 600 years old is found near the eastward entrance onto the St. Brigid's Path of the Headwaters Sanctuary from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) campus. This tree is dedicated to Saint Brigid of Kildare, Ireland.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 5/15/2020 8:42:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM12FDR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is a private collage that was founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in 1881 on acreage formerly owned by George W. Brackenridge of San Antonio. The Headwaters Sanctuary is a nature preserve of 53 acres (also owned by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word) that is adjacent to the UIW property. Part of the Headwaters Sanctuary branch off into two narrow strips of land that protrude into the UIW campus to include the main natural spring, known as the Blue Hole, which is the headwater source of the San Antonio River and to include a drainage ditch or creek along which a 600 year old oak tree grows. By agreement between the managers of the Headwaters Sanctuary and the directors of UIW, the public is granted access to both the UIW campus and the Headwaters Sanctuary in order to visit the Sanctuary's features like the ancient tree or the source spring of the San Antonio River, or access onto the acreage of the sanctuary lands.

The parking on campus is restricted for student's use during the week days, ... BUT on weekends the parking near the Headwaters Sanctuary is free to the public. The free parking for the sanctuary access is not conveniently close to where this Live Oak tree is found that is dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare. However, there are easy walking paths that are part of the trails in the sanctuary that guests can follow to get to the St. Brigid's Trail and to the oak tree. Please see the link below that provides a trail map. Follow the trails to the end of the St. Brigid's Path portion of the trails.

NOTE: The St. Brigid's Oak is NOT near the Trailhead of the Headwaters Sanctuary's parking area allowed by UIW or the Heritage Loop Trail. But, following the walking trails is the easiest way to get to the ancient oak tree without wandering around the whole campus looking for the end of the Path. Be aware that the St Brigid's Trail changes name to be the St. Brigid's Path. The end of the St. Brigid's Path is where the tree is found.

The St. Brigid's Path, is one of the fingers of land that goes into the UIW campus, but is technically land owned by the Headwaters Sanctuary. A link to a map of the seven trails within the Headwaters Sanctuary is provided below. Follow the Heritage Loop Trail to the Great Oak Trail; then, to the St. Brigid's Trail; and finally, continue on to the St. Brigid's Path. Where the transition of the St. Brigid's Trail changes to St. Brigid's Path, there is a bronze plaque at the beginning of the Path that gives the name to and the dedication of the tree. The text on the dedication plaque reads as follows:

St. Brigid's Oak
Live Oak
Quercus Virginiana,
Approx. 600 years old.
Dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare
(451 - 525 AD)
February 2, 2004
By the Sisters of Charity of the
Incarnate Word, and the University of
The Incarnate Word

(A Headwaters Coalition logo is in the bottom right corner)

Within sight of this dedication plaque is a mature oak tree that is a fine specimen but is *not* the tree you seek. Continue on to the far end of the St. Brigid's Path where the St. Brigid's oak tree is found. If you follow the trails as described and you see a marker with the Prayer of St. Brigid and a labyrinth, you have gone to far.

The St. Brigid's Oak is on the steeply sloped hillside above the level of the path and is close to a corner of the McCombs Building that is higher up the slope than the tree. The tree trunk is very thick and has lots of gnarls bulging from its trunk. At the time of posting this waymark, several long, thick branches that have fallen off the tree are still on the ground near the trunk. New undergrowth is beginning to fill in around the base of the tree.

Link to Encyclopaedia Brittanica background on the nun known as St. Brigid:
(visit link)

Wikipedia entry for Saint Brigid of Kildare:
(visit link)

Link to the Headwaters Sanctuary's Trail System:
(visit link)
Location of the tree: Along the side of St. Brigid's Path on the campus of the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX 78209.

Type of tree: Live Oak (Quercus Virginiana)

Visit Instructions:
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WayBetterFinder visited Saint Brigid's Oak - San Antonio, TX 5/16/2020 WayBetterFinder visited it