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Homestead Trail Loop

Intermediate
 3.0 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

3.4

Miles

5.4

KM

Loop

587' 179 m

High

489' 149 m

Low

156' 47 m

Up

156' 48 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids will love exploring the water, forest, wildlife, and history along the trail.

The entrance fee to McKinney Falls State Park is $6 for adults or free for those with a Texas State Parks Pass.

Overview

Lower McKinney Falls, remnants of historic buildings, and a chance to see local wildlife give this hike a serious bang-for-your-buck quality.

Need to Know

Watch your footing when crossing or wading over Lower McKinney Falls.

Description

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.

Contacts

Land Manager: Texas State Parks

Shared By:

Eric Ashley

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 7 votes

#4315

Overall
  3.0 from 7 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#81

in Texas

#4,315

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Photos

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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Minor Issues 95 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 9, 2020
Brian Burgi
3.4mi — 1h 08m
Jan 24, 2020
Gil E
Jul 7, 2019
Allison Poteet
Jun 1, 2018
Kevin McClemens
3.2mi
May 22, 2018
Lee Hamilton
Nice and shady for a good portion of the trail. Waterfalls at the beginning (and end...of the loop). 3.1mi
Jan 1, 2018
Elvis D
TPW First Day Hike
Nov 23, 2017
Amanda E
2mi