The Texas Hill Country is full of hidden gems, and located 30 miles west of Austin is one of Texas’s finest, Pedernales Falls State Park. Alluring people from all over the world since the early 1970s, Pedernales Falls has turned into one of the state’s most popular destinations. The 5,211 acre park has a variety of activities ranging from hiking, mountain biking, swimming, bird watching, and camping to horseback riding.
The 8 mile stretch of the Pedernales River that runs through the park has a shallow limestone bed typical of the Texas Hill Country. The main attraction of the park is the cascading falls located at the north end. The falls drop 50 feet over a 3000 foot stretch through mellow limestone pools and channels, showcasing some of the most beautiful scenery the Hill Country has to offer. A swimming area is also located a little further downstream and is the perfect spot for cooling off on a hot summer afternoon.
Even though Pedernales Falls State Park is known for its stair stepped limestone falls, the park has much more to offer. Starting with the trail system, visitors can hike, bike, or even explore via horseback (bring your own horse) a wide range of trails varying in difficulty. Along the trails you will find an abundance of wildlife, old ranch structures, and natural springs. If one day is not enough to take it all in, stay the night at one of the parks campsites for a small fee.
Before heading out to Pedernales Falls, make sure to pack plenty of water, food, sunscreen, and anything else you want for your excursion. If you plan to make your way down to the river bed, remember to be aware of weather conditions in the area due to the notorious and occasionally deadly flash flooding. Also, prior to your visit make sure the park has not reached maximum capacity; you can check this by calling the park office (see number below) or by going to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pedernalesfalls.
Whether one is an outdoor enthusiast or just trying to escape the everyday grind of the city, the sublime landscape of Pedernales Falls will help you unwind and take step back from everyday life. Especially now in the cooler months, there is not a better time to visit Pedernales Falls State Park.
Park Website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls
Park Phone Number: (830) 868-7304