During this epidemic, we were looking for an opportunity to get outside while remaining socially distant. The state parks are only open for day use, and you definitely need reservations in advance. We decided to stay at a small RV park in Bastrop, Texas as so many state parks are in driving distance. We headed out to McKinney Falls State Park today to experience the water and serenity of nature!
The river and the massive trees of the park were a welcome escape from our daily lives stuck at home for the last six weeks in Houston. When we arrived around 6pm, there were about 20 people there, many with kids and dogs. However, by 7pm, we were ALONE on a Friday night in the Austin city limits. A couple came by to fish briefly and then by 8pm we saw maybe one more family. It was glorious. We really didn’t expect such a great and secluded experience.
The boys were able to coax Candace into water after a little awhile. The water had very good visibility, and you can see about two feet or a little more into the water. There were minnows everywhere, and we heard there is great bass fishing. No time for that this trip, however.
The large open pool turned into a smaller, more secluded river area where we could skip rocks and explore the banks. The dog was not happy that she wasn’t allowed in the water! She just cries from the banks because her family is too far away! We always have to leave one person behind to calm her down, which never works.
Jumping from the rocks into the falls was a welcome afternoon of fun! We came to scope out the place for a future longer stay where we can take the boys into Austin for some museums and capital building tours. For now, the day use will have to work.
Both boys loved leaping from the rocks. We were so surprised that the water from the falls was warm. It is small enough that most kids are happy to jump, but large enough that it is definitely a fun experience. The rocks were about 9-10 feet from the pool. While they are both good swimmers, they like wearing the life jackets. It is really a good idea anytime you are in a new water environment, especially one with slippery rocks and flowing waters.
We stayed at Upper Falls for our afternoon, but there is another section called Lower Falls. We decided to save this experience until next time. If you are looking for a great escape for the afternoon, we definitely recommend McKinney Falls State Park! If you are looking for the weekend, you need to book your day passes a couple of weeks in advance as it does book up. Enjoy!