One of the things I enjoyed most while in Austin was discovering a nature park that was less than a mile from our campground. McKinney Roughs is an educational center set in a beautiful area just outside of Austin. I enjoyed hiking the trails, doing some geocaching, and taking in some time alone in nature. Below are some of the flowers and plants, along with meadows of prairie grasses.
The trails are fairly easily managed, but probably not recommended for those needing walking assistance, balance issues, or bum knees. They are well marked and fairly even, but there are rocks and stumps to navigate. The trails meander through the trees and give way to views of landscape for miles. I encountered squirrels, rabbits, and varying birds on the trail. I didn’t have the opportunity to finish the River Trail, which boasts a spectacular view of the Colorado River, but hope to complete that trail when I return.
My sister-in-law, Jackie, became my hiking buddy and we did a couple of trails together. Our exciting find was this sneaky little snake (okay, he was a BIG snake–a diamond back rattler to be exact) that blocked our path. Since he wasn’t giving us any ground, we back-trailed about a mile out of our way. We were vigilant about the nature around us after that encounter.
Catching the hiking bug and need to get out and about, Jackie and I decided to check out McKinney Falls State Park and do some exploring there.
We went the wrong way on the trial in the beginning, but we eventually made it to the Falls. The sound of the falling water was soothing, and we took a short break to take it all in.
Both parks are lovely and definitely worth a visit. I preferred McKinney Roughs because there were fewer humans in a more natural and untouched atmosphere.
Sometimes just breathing fresh air, walking among the trees, and witnessing all kinds of critters is renewing and refreshing, not to mention feeling the “good” kind of sore the next day.