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Homestead Trail Loop



3.4 mile 5.4 kilometer loop
99% Runnable


Ascent: 156' 47 m
Descent: -156' -48 m
High: 587' 179 m
Low: 489' 149 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by Eric Ashley

A super-popular loop on a multi-use trail rich in history.

Eric Ashley

Features 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.

Runner Notes

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.

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Land Manager: Texas State Parks

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Apr 23, 2017
Jason Rodda
3.4mi — 0h 46m
Apr 18, 2017
Johan Ericsson Svala

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 7 votes


  3.0 from 7 votes
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in Texas


84 Views Last Month
1,600 Since Nov 3, 2016



Notice the sculptured rocks just below the surface. Its really amazing up close as you walk over stones.  Watch your step...or you'll be soaked (from experience LOL)
Aug 28, 2017 near Austin, TX
When the water is at low level season the kids love climbing around on the scupltured rocks in the shallows.
Aug 30, 2017 near Austin, TX
Cool off in the water fall pool along your hike ... if the water is low enough!
Aug 30, 2017 near Austin, TX
McKinney Falls State Park, just above the waterfalls in the winter time.
Aug 28, 2017 near Austin, TX
Sculptured rocks just under the water in summer time, just off the Homestead Trail.
Aug 31, 2017 near Austin, TX


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