McKinney Falls State Park is a Natural Oasis on the Outer Rings of Texas
Located on the outskirts of Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers an oasis for visitors to the city. A great basecamp to explore the city, this 744-acre state park is also a popular destination in its own right. Learn more in Austin.
Whether you are a history buff, a nature enthusiast or just a lover of the outdoors, this is one place you will want to visit while in Texas. It is home to the historic ruins of the McKinney homestead and Thomas McKinney’s 1852 gristmill, as well as many other sites of interest.
The falls at McKinney Falls are not the massive walls of water you will find at Brazos Bend, but they are still a natural beauty to behold. Make sure to take your time and watch the water tumbling down both Upper and Lower Falls!
Hiking: There are 9.5 miles of trails to choose from including the Homestead Trail, Williamson Creek Overlook, Flint Rock Loop, Service Road Trail and Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail. The most challenging of these is the 3.1-mile Homestead Trail which takes you through remnants of historic 19th century buildings and lower McKinney Falls.
Camping: McKinney Falls has 81 campsites and 6 cabins. They have water and electricity hookups, as well as restroom-shower houses nearby.
Ranger-Led Programs: The Park has a number of guided hikes for all ages and abilities that will help you understand the history of the area and its wildlife. Join a ranger to learn how to cast a plastic perch, hunt for game birds or learn about how Texas Parks and Wildlife keeps the park clean!
Cretaceous Park Exploration Station: This station will teach you about the geology of the area. Discover how the park was formed as an extinct volcano and how it has changed since then.
Bouldering: This is an activity that is unique to the park, so bring your own gear and be prepared for a climb!
Visitor Center: The park’s Visitor Center is located next to the parking lot for the Upper Falls and features exhibits about the history of the park. It is also staffed by a volunteer who can answer questions and assist with the use of the displays.
Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations: Unlike most state parks, McKinney Falls has charging stations for electric vehicles. You can charge your car at the park’s parking lot and at one of the cabins for $10 a day.
Firewood Sales: You can purchase firewood from vending machines inside the camping loops and cabin loop. Collecting your own wood is not allowed within the park.
Park Store: The park has a small souvenir shop that is located inside the visitor center. This shop will sell a variety of gifts, postcards and other items for the visitor to take back home or to share with family and friends.
Amphitheater: This amphitheater is located near the group dining hall. This is a great place to view the waterfalls and other sites in the park. Learn more information about The Blanton Museum of Art.