McKinney Falls State Park
Hours: 8 AM - 10 PM daily
Fees: Children (0-12yrs) Free; Adults (13+) $6
Parking: Available on-site.
Rules: No alcohol. Campfires permitted only in designated rings. Laws prohibit collecting plants, animals, and artifacts. Pets on leash. Pets not permitted in any buildings or in swimming areas. Quiet hours 10 PM - 6 AM. Swim in designated areas only; no glass containers. Do not feed or harass wildlife.
Latest Explorer Observation
Park visitors to McKinney Falls can swim, fish, picnic, boulder, hike, bike, or camp overnight. The biggest draw are the upper and lower falls where Onion Creek flows over large slabs of limestone.
A diversity of animals and plants live in these riparian zones where land and water meet. The Largemouth bass, prized by fishermen, are top predators within their watery habitat. Bald cypress trees grow alongside rivers and creeks where their large roots extend like giant drinking straws. Keeping a healthy riparian zone is critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Austin’s largest creek watershed, Onion Creek, is prone to flooding during big storm events. The Halloween flood of 2013 and the Memorial Day flood of 2015 destroyed homes and displaced residents. Urban growth has increased the rate of storm runoff as more land becomes covered in concrete and rooftops (impervious cover). Government officials and citizens are working together to solve the problem as they recognize the impact that upstream activities have downstream.