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Rock Shelter Interpretive Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

0.5 mile 0.8 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 20' 6 m
Descent: -33' -10 m
High: 530' 161 m
Low: 504' 154 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Hunter R

A short trail past a 500-year-old cypress and a famous rock ledge.

Hunter R

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Description

Leaving from the parking area east of Smith Visitor Center, follow the trail as it heads south for a few feet prior to turning north on a long stretch through beautiful woodlands. Along this section of trail, expect to pass multiple side trails to your right before reaching the northernmost point on the trail near Onion Creek. Enjoy the peacefully flowing water of Onion Creek as you turn south along the trail on the way to the next event: the Rock Shelter. Providing shelter for animal and human inhabitants for over 4000 years, the limestone overhang lovingly known as the Rock Shelter has now been put on the National Register of Historic Places.

Once you're done admiring the Rock Shelter, continue south to the second-oldest natural phenomenon on this trail: "Old Baldy." Growing on the banks of Onion Creek for over 500 years, "Old Baldy's" towering trunk and broad crown have provided shelter and shade for generations of Austinites.

Take your time enjoying "Old Baldy," because afterward there is only a short length of trail left before reaching the Smith Visitor Center and the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer and coyotes in McKinney Falls State Park.

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Dec 2, 2018
Sarah Schlobohm

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#20737

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#554

in Texas

#20,737

Overall
9 Views Last Month
259 Since Nov 8, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

The Onion Creek rock shelter just to the lower creek side of the 'rock shelter trail'. A nice photo op on this easy trail.
Aug 31, 2017 near Austin, TX

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