McKinney Falls State Park - Texas

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide: US-Parks.com

History

McKinney Falls State Park in Travis County, in south Austin, is a 744.4-acre park acquired in 1970 from private donation and opened to the public in 1976. The headquarters of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are near this location.

The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney, who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and his property on Onion Creek, where he became a prominent breeder of race horses with his own stable and private track. He built his large two-story home, stone fences, and the first flour mill in the area with slave labor.

Activities

Preserved in the park are the ruins of his trainer's cabin and the stabilized ruins of his own homestead. Information on Thomas F. McKinney and the history of the park's land use is interpreted in the Smith Visitor Center. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife observation are other activities.

Tours

There are various types of interpretive tours with a fee charged per person; contact the park for specific information/reservations.

Area Attractions

Nearby points of interest are Bastrop State Park, Buescher State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and Lockhart State Park; Jimmy Clay and Roy Kaiser Municipal Golf Course; and the City of Austin, with its limitless attractions. You may want to refer to nearby Lower Colorado River Authority parks.

Campsites and Other Facilities

Park facilities include screened shelters with bunk beds (no mattresses); 84 campsites with water and electricity; walk-in water sites (200 yards in with a picnic table, a fire ring, a grill, and water in area); picnic sites; an interpretive hiking trail, approximately 3/4 mile long; 3.5 miles of paved trails; 4 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking; an interpretive center with an exhibit room and audiovisual room; a sponsored youth group camping area; a dining hall (capacity 75) may be rented for day use. There is also an amphitheater that seats 50 people. Take time to browse through the Texas State Park Store. Wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) is available for park visitors to use.

Natural Features

Wildlife to be observed and photographed includes white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and numerous birds (a bird checklist is available at the park.)

Elevation

550 ft. above sea level.

Weather

July average high 95, southeast breeze; January average low 37; moderately humid year round with May the wettest month; first/last freeze: November 28/March 2.

Address

5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744

Directions

The park is located 13 miles southeast of the State Capitol in Austin off US Highway 183. Take McKinney Falls Parkway, off US 183 South, straight to the park entrance.

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