Mckinney Falls State Park
Guide

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Introduction

McKinney Falls State Park is a beautiful place to get lost, and it also hold a lot of history. People have occupied this area for over 8,000 years it seems, and throughout all of that time, while the scene may have changed some, the spirit of the nature here has not. When you visit in your RV, you’ll get to see the ruins of all that Thomas McKinney built once upon a time in the 1800’s. This includes his own homestead, the horse trainer’s cabin, the gristmill, and other historical remnants. Thomas McKinney - the man that the park was named after - and Samuel May Williams formed a business partnership that greatly helped form Texas history as we know it today, and you can see a lot of it for yourself when you visit.

Along with the ruins, you also won’t want to miss out on seeing the famous “Old Baldy,” one of the oldest bald cypress trees in Texas that is open to the public. This impressive tree is estimated to be over 300 years old and stands at 103 total feet. There’s so much to see and do when you visit this park, and all of its nature combined with exquisite history makes it the perfect place to bring your RV. Being located deep in Texas, you can expect lots of warm sunshine. Even in the winter, you likely won’t find temperatures anywhere below the 40s. It stays warm here year-round, so you won’t have to worry about ever getting cold, no matter when you visit.

RV Rentals in Mckinney Falls State Park

Transportation in Mckinney Falls State Park

Driving

At McKinney Falls State Park, there are no vehicle size restrictions for any of the roadways here, and getting there is easy for just about anyone. The only limitations you’ll have is the number of vehicles allowed at each campsite - only two vehicles are allowed at a time at the sites.

Parking

There is parking available at both the upper and lower falls areas in the park, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding any spots, especially if you set up your RV first and take your smaller vehicle through the park. If the park does get too full and there are difficulties with parking availability, the park will temporarily shut down for the day to help with the issue.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Mckinney Falls State Park

Campsites in Mckinney Falls State Park

Reservations camping

Leander / NW Austin KOA

On the edge of Texas Hill Country, surrounded by beautiful lakes and landscapes and abundant wildlife, the Leander/NW Austin KOA provides a comfortable camping experience. This peaceful campground in the midst of nature is just a few minutes from Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World. There’s plenty of space for a big-rig, with pull-through sites for vehicles up to 100 foot long. Sites offer full hookups, picnic tables and BBQ pits. Hang out in the campground clubhouse, or take the pup to the on-site dog park. Soak your tired feet in the hot tub or swim in the saltwater pool after hiking on the beautiful nearby trails. Kayaking, fishing and bird watching are available nearby in the Highland Lakes area. Laundry facilities and restrooms are open 24 hours a day and firewood and propane are available for purchase on-site.

Austin East KOA

The modern Austin East KOA welcomes you to the hustle and bustle of Austin, Texas. At Austin East KOA, you’ll be minutes away from big-city attractions, as well as beautiful Austin area nature sites such as Walter E. Long Lake. Campsites at Austin East KOA include full hookups with cable, Wi-Fi, and patios; some feature fire pits, picnic tables, patio furniture, and/or gas grills. The campground offers showers and restrooms, 24-hour laundry facilities, a heated and chilled pool, a recreation room, a playground, a dog park, and planned activities including cookouts and food truck visits. Propane and firewood are available for purchase and a barbecue restaurant and caterer are just down the road.

The Main Campground

While you are allowed to make reservations for a site at the campground, it is still run on a first-come, first-served basis. With so many sites to choose from, you’re unlikely to show up and find there's no spaces. If you’re worried though, you may want to call to make reservations if you plan on going on a weekend or holiday.

Between all of the different loops to choose from, there are 69 sites with 30 amp hookups and 12 sites with 50 amp hookups. Most of these sites will fit any RV under 40 feet. Some can allow RVs larger than that as well, and there are some that require smaller RVs. Size restrictions vary from site to site, but you can be sure to find one that fits your needs. When you stay at McKinney Falls, you’ll also find that there are restrooms and showers near the campsites, water available, and a fire ring, grill, picnic table, and lantern post at each site. This is a great place to bring your RV.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Cabin Camping

If you’re looking to stay somewhere that has a bit of a more homey feel, you can choose to stay at one of the six cabins located within McKinney Falls State Park. There are a few restrictions to keep in mind before making this choice though. Only four people are allowed per cabin, and you may be disappointed to hear that you’ll have to leave the RV elsewhere, as it can’t stay parked at the cabin. You’ll also need to bring your own bed sheets and linens. Reservations are required to stay here, and on special event weekends or holidays, a minimum of three nights is also required.

The good news is you’ll have more amenities than you would if choosing to camp in an RV or tent. For example, you’ll have access to air conditioning, a mini-fridge, a sink with a prep area, a microwave, electrical outlets, a workspace, and much more. There are lots of options to explore if you want to stay at McKinney Falls State Park.

Seasonal activities in Mckinney Falls State Park

In-Season

Fishing

If you wish to go fishing, there are plenty of great spots here in the park. You can choose to fish at either Onion River or Williamson River, and you don’t even need a fishing license. Just bring your fishing pole, find a good spot, and relax right there by the water. There is even a fishing tip sheet you can get at the park to help you out.

Bouldering

Bouldering can be a fun pastime at McKinney Falls State Park. There are a variety of places to climb here, but many of them can be difficult, as they’re made of rough and steep terrain. Be sure to come prepared with the right clothes, gear, and experience level before heading out.

Swimming

Swimming in Onion River here at the park can be a lot of fun and a great way to cool off from the heat of summer in Texas. Just be sure to check conditions before making the trip out, as the river can flood after rain, which can make swimming here dangerous and challenging. Always take steps to stay safe so you can have fun.

Family Get-Togethers

This park is perfect for all of your family get-togethers. You can rent the group recreation hall and use it to your advantage each time. There is plenty of seating for everyone that comes, and you can make use of the full kitchen and outdoor grill here as well.

Ranger Programs

At this state park, you’ll be able to find a wide array of ranger-led programs that will allow you to learn about the park in ways that are fun and exciting. Subjects range widely and include activities such as birding and geocaching. Your child can also become a Junior Ranger, receiving an activity journal and earning a cool badge from completing fun activities.

Off-Season

Picnicking

With all of the beautiful scenery in the park, it makes for some of the best spots to picnic. Bring some of your favorite food along with some great company for a fun time in the park. Just be sure to clean up after yourself. The wildlife and the park staff will be thankful that you do.

Geocaching

Geocaching is like modern day treasure hunting, and when you visit this state park, you’ll have the opportunity to join in on this exciting game. All you have to do is go to geocaching.com, download the GPS coordinates for the caches located in the park, and start searching! There are lots of them located in the park, some easier or harder to find than others.

Bicycling

Here at the park, not only do they allow you to bring your bike, but you have the option to choose whether you want to go mountain biking or road biking. As mentioned before, Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail is the perfect trail for bicyclers, but there are other options to look into as well.

Rock Shelter Trail

Unlike the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail, this trail is open only to hikers, giving it a little bit of a different feel. On this trail, you’ll not only get to immerse yourself in the nature around you, but you’ll also get to see where early visitors to the area first camped. This is a popular trail, and when you visit during the off season, you’ll be less bothered by the heat.

Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail

There are almost nine total miles of trails available to you here at McKinney Falls State Park, and Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail is one of the most popular. This three-mile trail is perfect for those that want to go for an easy stroll. People walk, run, and bike on this trail all the time, but if you come during the off season, you won’t have to worry about it being too crowded.

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