McKinney Falls State Park is almost 700 acres of beautiful Texas hill country terrain located a short drive from downtown Austin. In addition to hiking, camping, fishing, biking, and picnicking, the park features small but scenic waterfalls which cascade into calm pools for swimming in Onion Creek. It is also home to “Old Baldy,” a 500 year old cypress tree and one of the oldest bald cypress trees on public land in Texas.
McKinney Falls State Park Information
Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744
Admission: Adult: $6 Daily; Children 12 Years and Under: Free. Free with a Texas State Parks Pass.
Hours: Open daily. Gate is open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m
Pets: Dogs on leash only. No pets in swimming areas.
Trails: The park has over 7 miles of trails, 3.5 miles of which are paved. The Smith Rock Shelter Interpretive Trail is ¾ mile long and takes you past Old Baldy and through a natural rock shelter. The 3.5 mile Hike and Bike trail is paved, while the unpaved 4 mile Homestead trail is perfect for mountain biking and hiking. Download a pdf map of the park here.
Wildlife: Ample opportunities for wildlife observation abound. The park is home to armadillos, rock squirrels, deer, ducks, and a variety of bird species including the beautiful painted bunting. Fish species in Onion Creek include bass, catfish, and perch. Visitors may also spot tiny frogs.
Recreation: In addition to the opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, and swimming, the park offers a number of picnic areas. The park also hosts a variety of activities and events. Check the calendar for current events.
Educational Fun: Junior Ranger Explorer Packs are available for free checkout at the park. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to view Wildlife Fact Sheets and learn about the animals your family might see at the park. Also, before you head out to McKinney Falls State Park, be sure to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Kids page for a great list of educational activities, educational resources, and lots of fun ideas of things to do outside with kids.
McKinney Falls State Park is located at the southeastern edge of Austin, just three miles from the boundary of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The park offers families in the greater Austin area the opportunity to experience Texas limestone trails, waterfalls, wildlife and the timeless natural beauty of the hill country all in one afternoon.
For more information, visit the McKinney Falls State Park website.
A big thanks to Hike It Baby for sharing photos of McKinney Falls State Park. Hike it Baby is a parent group focused on getting families outside together, enjoying nature in a safe and supported way. Join the free Hike It Baby Austin Facebook Group, and get to exploring the great outdoors!