Trip Report: McKinney Falls State Park


McKinney Falls is the located right outside of Austin, TX. It is very popular with the locals because of its close proximity to the city and it has plenty of hiking, camping, and two beautiful water falls! There is a upper and lower falls that are both popular little swimming holes. We’ve been both camping and hiking at McKinney and it’s always a good time.

Welcome to McKinney Falls!!


Camping at McKinney

They have picnic tables, water, showers nearby, and electricity in all of their campsites. The campsites are nice with lots of trees and other plants for plenty of privacy. There are 69 campsites with 30 amp power and 12 sites with 50 amp for the RV campers out there. We didn’t make reservations but showed up fairy early on a Friday afternoon to get our spot and they were one of the very last spots available so we got lucky! I definitely recommend making reservations ahead of time as they do usually fill up fast.  If you don’t make reservations, but you show up and they are out of spots, we recommend Pace Bend as it’s only an hour away and they ALWAYS have available spots. (Read about Pace Bend)

The only thing we really didn’t like about camping here was the road noise, because it is so close to the highway and Austin.  So all night we were listening to the cars on the road. A bit disappointing, but really the only downside I can think of for camping here.

IMG_20131006_151537_491Hiking at McKinney

There are 5 different hiking trails. The first one we hiked on was the Onion Creek Hike and Bike trail, which is 2.8 miles and it is a paved trail, which can be a good or a bad thing. It makes it an easier trail for bicyclists and it makes it wheel chair accessible, which is really awesome! The distance and the couple of hills it has makes it challenging but for some people it just isn’t challenging enough! Some people enjoy paved trails and some people prefer more primitive hiking.  The first time we went hiking on this trail, we thought it looked like a fairy tale, we really did! IMG_20131006_145055_937

There are 4 other trails, the rest of them are not paved. One of them is the Picnic Trail which is very short, family oriented, but has tons of picnic tables along the way to sit down and have a nice lunch. There is also a playground with swings for the children to enjoy along this path. The Picnic Trail connects to the Rock Shelter Interpretive Trail, and it is only 1 mile long. Even though it is a short trail, we really enjoyed it as it was a fun to explore and just a bit challenging.

The last two trails are Homestead Trail (2.8 miles) and Flint Rock Loop (2.25 miles) which connect to each other. We have never actually hiked these trails, but if you are an advanced hiker/bicyclist or looking for a real challenge, these are the trails for you! If you want to take a closer look, click here to see the Mckinney Falls Trail Map.

UPDATE as of 6/5/2015

We recently went back to McKinney Falls for a mini day/hiking trip. It’s been a few weeks since we were able to get outside and do something fun due to all the storms going through Texas. It was crazy and constantly raining! We even have damage to our roof and it started leaking -_- Anyway, due to all the rain there were parts of hiking trails that were closed down and the falls had the most water I’ve ever seen before which was really awesome. It was a cloudy and humid day! I’m so glad the weather has gotten better the past week and a half.

We also drove through the camping area so that we could take some pictures of the campsites.  I was really surprised to see a lot of people camping with the weather being as bad as it has been, but kudos so those people!  Anyway, I said it before and I’ll say it again that McKinney Falls has some really good campsites. I judge campsites by the amount of privacy, trees, and space the campsites have. Some campsites will be better than others but here are some pictures of the campsites we liked a lot!



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