McKinney Falls State Park, located at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway in South East Austin, at the confluence of Onion and Williamson creeks, is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the area. Acquired and opened to the public in 1976 thanks to a private donation. The 744-acre park is a perfect place to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and camping in a beautiful, natural setting. The pool beneath the falls at Onion Creek is a perfect spot to cool off in the hot Texas summers. This nature preserve is only 10 short minutes from Downtown - the perfect place for a picnic or quick get-away. The upper and lower falls cascade over the rocks during rainy season, and trickle down during the dry months.
The wild life at McKinney Falls includes white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and numerous birds and reptiles.
Named after Thomas F. McKinney, who settled in Texas in the early 1820's and was one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. He settled on Onion Creek and became a breeder of racehorses. The remains of the trainer's cabin are still visible.
Other amenities include campsites with water and electricity and screened shelters for group rental. One of the park’s most popular attractions, the 3/4 mile Smith Rock Shelter interpretive trail, guides visitors through the park with stops at one of the oldest bald cypress trees in the county and a natural rock shelter. For those who prefer exploring on their own, the park contains nearly 3.5 miles of paved trails and 4 miles of trails dedicated to hiking and cycling. Be sure to check out the 50-seat amphitheater for fun, educational programs for the whole family. The park is open 7 days a week year-round.