McKinney Falls State Park 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. Few locals realize it is only a short drive of 13 miles from the capitol building, making it one of Austin's best kept secrets.
Wildlife to be observed and photographed includes white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and numerous birds (checklist available).
The Park's History
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.
Preserved in the park are the ruins of his trainer's cabin and the stabilized ruins of his own homestead. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife observation are other activities. Swimming is now allowed in Onion Creek; call 512/243-1643 for current creek conditions.
Park facilities include screened shelters with bunk beds (no mattresses); campsites with water; 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 area; and a group camp which includes the screened shelters located next to the dining hall; the dining hall (capacity 80) may be rented separately for day use. There is also an amphitheater that seats 50 people.
Nestled on the shores of Scenic Town Lake at the Hyatt Regency, Capital Cruises offers bat watching, dinner cruises, party boats, sightseeing tours, boat rentals and group events and outings!
Barton Springs Pool in Austin's favorite swimming hole. Located on the edge of Zilker Park its a great place to escape the heat and enjoy the outdoors.
McKinney Falls State Park in south Austin, is a 744.4-acre park acquired in 1970 from private donation and opened to the public in 1976.
Check out these the best ways to view the Congress Bridge Bats in Austin Texas. This is the largest urban bat colony in North America and we outline ways to view them by boat, kayak, water bike, and more!
Haunted ATX features mobile ghost tours in a van and hearse limos. It's a thrilling adventure that explores Austin's haunted buildings, sites, and paranormal activity. This tour is BYOB!
Hamilton Pool has been providing Austin residents with a fantastic watering hole just a short 30 minutes outside of town.
Experience Austin's F1 track on a go karts that go up to 55 miles per hour at Circuit of the Americans. It's every turn, every corner, and all the action you can handle!
Inner Space Cavern outside of Austin, TX offers an adventure into an exciting cavern below the earth's surface filled with history, mystery and chemistry!
Austin's Lady Bird Lake winds 10 miles through downtown Austin featuring spectacular views, photo opportunities, and a great place for some exercise!
The Escape Game in Austin, TX offers one of Austin's newest and most engaging activities. You and your friends are locked up in precarious situations, given clues and left to find your way out! We offer an escape from ordinary life that allows you to live the stories you love.