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“Great Location, Spacious Sites, Friendly/Helpful Staff”

McKinney Falls State Park
Ranked #23 of 326 things to do in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This tranquil, 641-acre park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation including fishing, mountain biking and hiking.
Steinbach, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Great Location, Spacious Sites, Friendly/Helpful Staff”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Stopped In on our way down to Southern Texas from Winnipeg In mid Jan. Park was open, with very large campsites, friendly and helpful staff, with Wi-Fi hot spots also. Very close to the city with an easy drive to downtown Austin,which we took one day. Close to resaurants, grocery stores, and of course Wal-Mart. We ended up staying 5 days, as the weather was thankfully warming up. We enjoyed walking the trails between upper and lower falls, and especially liked the " Rock Shelter ". I took my bicycle around the campground loop several times, and suggest a clockwise loop to help avoid the major uphills. They sell firewood, and have a gift store as well. At dusk we often saw 2-3 dear come right up to our campsite to graze on the grass. Squirrels were all over the place, and at night we could hear the coyotes howling in the distance. All in all a very enjoyable stay. Clean restroom/showers, sites with electric and water, dump station on site, were all appreciated. I would certainly stay again!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank BadgerMbTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience -- visited twice!”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

My boyfriend and I decided to stop by McKinney Falls on a whim one late afternoon while visiting in Austin. Once we got there, however, we wished we would've arrived earlier and spent the whole day there. We swam well into the evening until it started to get too dark. We went back with some friends another day and had an amazing time. Bring a swimsuit - you won't want to miss the experience of swimming in such fresh water and jumping off the mini cliff! We were a little scared to jump at first, not knowing where there might be big rocks under the water. Plus there was a sign posted warning that swimmers shouldn't attempt to jump. However, we'd read reviews of others who said they'd jumped, and after watching some others jump we did it too. It was so much fun!!! We jumped in over and over again from a couple of different spots. I'd recommend that you do take caution, though -- swim around to get a feel for where it's deep enough to jump and watch other experienced visitors perhaps. Took lots of pictures and wandered around the area. Oh and you may want to bring some water shoes with some good traction -- it can be a bit slimy and slippery, so it was difficult to maneuver in some spots. Had to hold hands and help each other walk through parts of the pool that fed into the waterfall. Really worth a day trip with friends - bring a picnic and a camera!.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Tara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“If you would like to bike on an easy trail in a nice surroundings go to McKinney Falls Park”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Yes, I have pretty much given my verdict of the park in the title of this posting. The McKinney Falls State Park is located in South East Austin near by the city's airport. It is almost amazing that such a nice park exists in the less fancy part of the city -- but it does. The park provides for excellent picnic, hiking and mountain biking conditions. Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours overall to be able to absorb more from the park and get to see more aspects of the park itself.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank NickInChina1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prescott, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A quiet oasis close to the city”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

On vacation in Austin for a few days, we paid a visit to McKinney Falls park. It was a great day for a hike - partly cloudy and in the high 70s - and after stopping off at the Visitors Center and the Upper Falls, we headed off to the Lower Falls and hike the Homestead Trail. The guide at the entry to the park told us that this was a rugged trail, but it was a very easy hike for us. We live in the Portland, OR area, where a rugged hike is an elevation gain of over 1000 feet, so the flat, twisty route on this hike was not a problem. We did get to check out the wildlife - birds, butterflies, lizards, and lots of crickets! Given a little more time, we would have done a couple of the other hikes in the park. The great thing about this park is that it is only 12 miles from downtown Austin, and parts of it are adjacent to industrial areas, but it is quiet and peaceful - a real oasis of peace and quiet.

Make sure you bring food/snacks with you. The entry port sells very basic camping supplies and ice, but there are no places selling food or drinks within the park or near to it.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sugar Land, Texas, United States
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Stunning! Pack a picnic and spend the day.”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

It's hard to believe that this stunning state park is just a couple exits away from the buzzing South Congress district. Once you pull into the park, you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. Start at the Upper Falls, which has a beautiful picnic area with plenty of tables and even some grills. Visit the Nature Center to learn what sort of wildlife lives in the park (including rattlesnakes!) and take the 2.8-mile hike. There are plenty of bathroom facilities (with running water and flush toilets); the ranger station at the entrance sells ice, limited snacks and drinks, and coffee. Kiddos will want to splash in the water (when we were there, during drought conditions, the falls were more of a trickle, so you end up with something like tide pools, which was great fun for the kids), so bring towels and dry clothes or you'll end up sorry - and I speak from personal experience here!

The Upper Falls are surrounded by beautiful trees that were changing color when we visited in November. It reminded me of parks in my home state of New York. The Lower Falls, however, feels like being out in the desert southwest. There are stands of prickly pear cactus everywhere, and in drought conditions, you can hop across exposed rocks right across to the other side. It was VERY slippery so I'd recommend hiking shoes with good tread.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Jennifer1823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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