I showed up to McKinney Falls State Park when there clearly wasn’t a whole lot of water flowing down the river. At the right time, you could see a waterfall that looks very different. With flash flooding, it could even be dangerous.
Even without all of the water flowing, Lower McKinney Falls (and its Upper partner) were still interesting. In this case, it’s really all about erosion. At higher flows, you probably wouldn’t notice this. At low flow, though, the water clearly chooses the paths that erosion has created. At this low flow, you can actually explore and jump over each of the different mini-rivers that are present. It also allows for fun with the camera trying to get different shots of the water plunging.
1) I cam from I-35 heading north. I believe I exited at Texas route 71 and headed to the right (east).
2) I then took the exit for Burleson Road, taking a right onto Burleson.
3) Keep heading down Burleson Road to McKinney Falls Parkway. At that point, there should be a sign indicating the falls. Turn right onto McKinney Falls Parkway.
4) Head to the sign indicating the entrance to the park, and enter the park.
5) At the entrance, pay the $5/person entry fee and then follow the signs. The first falls is Lower McKinney Falls.
6) It’s a short but rather confusing hike to the falls, especially on the return. There are no signs, and there are multiple trails that often lead to dead ends. Just pay attention!
Where in the World is Lower McKinney Falls?: map