Return to McKinney Falls State Park

busy for middle of the week
User: jimmy peace - 3/27/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A

very popular austin state park

homestead trail
User: jimmy peace - 7/17/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 2.70 Miles Duration: N/A

i did the homestead trail on this one ,  i did three state parks in one day 

Enjoyable Hike
User: Eveline - 2/27/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Trails reopened to both of upper and lower falls.  Still couldn't cross over to the homestead.

Some trails here are still closed from the flood, but we still had a good time!
User: heatharcadia - 1/31/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: 2.86 Miles Duration: 2 hours

This place was packed today due to the unseasonably warm weather. We had planned to hike the Onion Creek Trail on the south side of the park, but it seemed to still be closed from the Fall floods, so we made our way through the water and hiked around the Homestead Trail Area. The ruins of the old gristmill and home are pretty neat, but other than that the trail is pretty unremarkable. It was still nice to get out in this great weather, though.

If I hadn't been running on a tight schedule we would have made our way to the Flint Rock Loop on the north side of the park to make for a longer hike, but that will have to wait for another day.

As always, the area around the lower falls was enjoyable due to the neat rock. This area has always reminds me of the surface of the moon.

User: Jamie - 10/1/2015  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 9.00 Miles Duration: N/A
lots of water
User: jimmy peace - 5/6/2015  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: N/A

we couldnt do the homestead trail cause of high water.. 

Homestead Trail
User: crocodile235 - 5/11/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: N/A

Not bad, not great.  An easy, mostly flat hike through some pretty woods, with some wildflowers in the occasional sunny section. This trail would be better if it didn't hug the park boundary for a while in its NE corner--the trail emerges in the backyard of TPWD HQ and you walk by the buildings and parking lot. 

Beautiful Falls
User: Lone_Star - 4/21/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: 12.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 10 minutes

McKinney Falls State Park is a very scenic and popular park.  There are some beautiful water falls along Onion Creek and natural pools where you can cool off and go swimming.  There is also an interesting rock shelter formation above the creek.

There are a number of trails in this park which provide variety in scenery and mileage.  The trails are well-marked and easy to follow, except for the area where you cross over the creek.  This spot is solid limestone and there are no signs showing where to cross, but if you study the map they provide you at the park entrance then you'll figure it out.

User: ValEpiscopo - 10/5/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: 45 minutes
Hiked trail.
User: ValEpiscopo - 10/5/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 2.80 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Hiked Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail.
Do NOT do this hike in the summer!!
User: kahanajayne - 7/13/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: halfstar Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Fairly new to Austin my friends and I are discovering new hikes. We have been on two thus far (Barton Springs and Emma Long) which were beautiful, very shady and off leash. I guess, naively, we assumed most trails in Texas were completely canopied; unfortunately not so for Onion Creek Trail at McKinney Falls State Park. Pros: $6 (cash only) entrance to the park + plenty of parking The Onion Creek trail is paved the entire way - would be perfect for cruiser bikes albeit one short steep section (you could easily walk your bike up). the "upper falls" swimming hole is very close to the parking area. Cons: 90% of the trail is unshaded and no trashcans or fountains on the entire 3 mile journey except for in the campground at the very beginning. Burs galore! Not sure if this is an Austin thing in the summer but our group's dogs picked up so many burs along the way (even though I had to end up carrying mine 90% of the way b/c it was too hot for them), they still picked up probably 50 + burs each - staying completely on the trail! WAY TOO HOT to be comfortable or remotely enjoyable in the summer. I strongly recommend staying off this trail if the temps are above 80 degrees. I may try it again in the fall.
nice
User: jimmy peace - 6/19/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 3.50 Miles Duration: N/A
it was nice as always even as hot a day as it was
User: ValEpiscopo - 5/5/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 7.60 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Hiked both loops and back and forth on the connecting interpretive trail.
User: ValEpiscopo - 5/5/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 2.80 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Park of McKinney Falls miles.
Confusing loop
User: Austin Explorer - 1/2/2012  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2point5stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 1.14 Miles Duration: 49 minutes

The TPWD map shows a loop separate from the side trail that contains all of the picnic benches, but it's hard to know exactly where to turn.  Not that big of a deal though since you'll end up where you want to regardless.

The weather today was fantastic and there were a number of people out after midday.

Helping out the parks
User: Austin Explorer - 1/2/2012  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 2.75 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 24 minutes

The weather today was fantastic and a good number of people were out in the park today as a result.  I can't complain too much though since Texas Parks needs all of the visitors that it can get so that they can keep the gates open!

The Homestead Trail is far from the most scenic state park trail, but it's a little bit of mileage.  On top of that I had failed to log my last visit, so I needed to get this one recorded to make it official.

Easy hike
User: lawhit - 1/10/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1star Solitude: halfstar
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A

This is a real easy hike Love to do this again The ground was smooth with no real ruff areas and no real levels diffucutlies

neat historic decay and so close to Austin
User: BlairBear - 12/6/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
User: BlairBear - 12/6/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 0.50 Mile Duration: N/A

I found it strange that an interpretive trail focusing on a utilized rock shelter had so little information on the Native American cultures that lived in the area. Granted, I was there on a weekday during the offseason so the visitor center near the trailhead was closed. There was probably more info in there.

User: jtkatie - 7/31/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Definitely go clockwise like the main review tells you to - and take a map! The trail is so poorly marked that you can easily get off-track like we did...

We thought that the recommendation was to go counter-clockwise. So, after finding the Homestead, we traveled east along the jeep trail (instead of the westward direction to go clockwise). Bad idea. The jeep trail seems lightly used and weeds had grown up.

We eventually hit a locked gate, where we almost turned around. Luckily, we went around it and found the aforementioned fitness center. Some kind TPWD employees asked if they could help us when they found us staring at the map inside the door. They pointed us the right direction to go clock-wise back to the falls.

Once we reached the falls, we were determined to make the loop - so we went all the way around counter-clockwise and enjoyed the hike very much. We ran across a couple of groups of hikers along the way, but mostly had the trail to ourselves. Well, besides the animals... We saw no snakes (as mentioned in the review), but saw 3+ deer and had a stare-fight with a rabbit for about 5 minutes before he hopped along his way. :-)

The ~3 mile hike took us 1:05 once we restarted.

A short but very pleasant stroll along the creek
User: jtkatie - 7/31/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 0.80 Mile Duration: 24 minutes

Rock overhang over the trail was pretty awesome, but not that out of place if you have explored the rest of the park.

One caution, if you are afraid of spiders, don't look up! Your worst nightmare is hanging out above your head. There were about 12 million daddy-longlegs - give or take a few million - hanging out in colonies on the "roof" of the rock overhang.

The trail has some very pretty views of creek, a amazing bald cyprus tree (the largest in Travis County - says a sign). The trail itself is interpretive... but there were no guides at the start of the trail. "3" "7" and "13" don't have much meaning as you walk along the trail... but at least you realize that there is something special there.

Wildlife report: many many songfull birds (at least some cardinals, summer tangers, a probable oriole, many pigeons) and we got to experience another stare-down with a rabbit who was hanging out on the trail.

The most scenic part of McKinney Falls State Park
User: ee_achee - 6/20/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A

The hike is short, easy, with a lot of shade and beautiful view of the onion creek. Not much of a challenge, but it is a lovely walk in the summer.

Great trail
User: texaskdog - 5/2/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes

We attempted this hike a few months ago and the water was rushing and there was no way to cross.   Lately Walnut Creek had been so low so figured this was a good time to head back to McKinney.  We passed a group of 4 early in our hike, otherwise saw NO ONE after we left the falls.  Found the right trails with the park map but only because I'm good with maps.  Hot day and the falls were crowded though.  It appeared you could park at TPWD and get in free the back way but we didn't try it.  Google Maps did send us on Smith School which actually doesn't connect.  $5 per person now to get in, but worth it!  This hike is better than the Onion Creek hike, I would hike Homestead, Rock Shelter, then Onion Creek until it heads up the hill.

Dont bother
User: texaskdog - 5/2/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: 2stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: 20 minutes

Followed the paved Onion Creek trail until it goes up the hill and you see the "please stay on trail" sign.  There is a path around a gate and it takes 20 minutes round trip after you leave the path.  Really isn't worth the time & effort, though the paved path leading up to it is (until you get to the hill itself)


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