Consisting of 5211.7 acres, in Blanco County east of Johnson City, Perdernales Falls State Park was acquired from private owners in 1970 and was opened to the public in 1971. It is located along the banks of the scenic Pedernales River. It is open 7 days a week year-round, except when wildlife management activities dictate closure of all or part of the park. Camping fees vary; entrance fee. Pedernales Falls is the park's main attraction and may be viewed from a scenic overlook at the north end of the park. In this area, the elevation of the river drops about 50 feet over a distance of 3000 feet, and the falls are formed by the flow of water over the tilted, stair-step effect of layered limestone. These river limestones belong to the 300-million-year-old Marble Falls formation and are part of the southwestern flank of the Llano uplift. These layers of limestone were tilted by the uplift, then eroded long before early Cretaceous seas of the 100-to-120 million years ago covered this part of Texas and deposited sands, gravels, younger limestones, and marine fossils.
Activities include camping; picnicking; hiking; river swimming; tubing; wading; mountain biking; fishing; bird watching (checklist available); and horseback riding. River recreation is in a limited area.
The Park's Facilities
Facilities include campsites with water and electricity; a sponsored youth group area, which may be used by any youth group with an adult sponsor; hike-in primitive campsites (2 mile minimum; no pets allowed; no groundfires); picnic sites; restrooms with and without showers; a trailer dump station; 19.8 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails; 10 miles of equestrian trails; and 14 miles of backpacking trails.
McKinney Falls State Park in south Austin, is a 744.4-acre park acquired in 1970 from private donation and opened to the public in 1976.
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