“A super-popular loop on a multi-use trail rich in history.”
— Eric Ashley
Birding · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
The entrance fee to McKinney Falls State Park is $6 for adults or free for those with a Texas State Parks Pass.
Lower McKinney Falls, remnants of historic buildings, and a chance to see local wildlife give this run a serious bang-for-your-buck quality.
Need to Know
Watch your footing when crossing or wading over Lower McKinney Falls.
The Homestead Trail can be a pleasant run rich in views and history. Be careful when crossing the falls!
From the parking area, the trail makes its way onto a broad sandstone slab that slopes down to Lower McKinney Falls. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the falls before engaging in a bit of a scramble to the other side.
From there, head uphill past the remains of Thomas F. McKinney's homestead. The trail soon winds merrily through forestlands where you may observe some local wildlife. The furthest-north loop of this trail intersects with the Flint Rock Loop Trail
before heading back past the Smith Picnic Table and the remains of one of the area's earliest gristmills.
From there, head back across the falls to return to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
As the path wanders about, you'll pass through oak and juniper groves. Within these groves, keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer.
History & Background
The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney, who was one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. In the early 1850s, McKinney built the two-story limestone home, gristmill, and dam on the property.
The park is also the site of a portion of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas.