It's officially summer and from here on out we Austinites have to spend our days in the water or inside until roughly 8pm when the day calms down to a cool 90 degrees! And we kind of long for winter again, but only a little bit because we actually love spending our days in swimsuits on the lake/at a pool/ at a local swimming hole with a cooler and floats. IT'S THE BEST.
So a friend of mine was visiting Austin yesterday and it made the most sense to head to the water! This was actually my first time checking out McKinney Falls State Park - you can usually find me on Lake Travis (convenience & also I love it), but McKinney Falls is a really neat escape that is only 5-10 miles from downtown (depending on where you want to go/are coming from), which makes it super convenient if you want to have a day at the falls and then an evening of fun out on the town OR you're visiting Austin and staying somewhere downtown.
We were visiting on a Tuesday so it wasn't overly crowded, although it was definitely a popular place. We mostly stayed at the Upper falls because the swimming hole was big and there were a lot of good places to post up and enjoy the day. The water felt great and everyone was having fun jumping into the water from the top of the falls.
The park itself actually offers way more than the swimming available at the upper & lower falls. You can camp, hike, mountain bike, fish, geocache, go bouldering, etc. But let's be honest, who is doing anything non-water related during June-September? It would be an awesome place to camp in the fall though!
What are your favorite Austin-area swimming holes?
Things to Do at McKinney Falls State Park:
Things to Do (from http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls)
- Mountain / road bike
- Go bouldering
- Fish and swim in Onion Creek.
- Stay at one of 81 campsites (all with water and electric hookups). Or rent one of our six newly remodeled cabins. We also have a primitive youth camping area, for use by nonprofit sponsored youth groups.
- Hike or bike nearly nine miles of trails. The 2.8-mile Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail has a hard surface, good for strollers and road bikes. Take the Rock Shelter Trail (only for hikers) to see where early visitors camped.
- Go fishing in Onion or Williamson creeks. You do not need a license to fish from shore in a Texas state park. Download McKinney Falls State Park Fishing Tip Sheet.
- Rent the group recreation hall for your next get-together. The hall has a full kitchen and an outdoor grill and seating area.