Sunday Photowalk, McKinney Falls

It was a beautiful Sunday in Austin so we decided to go hiking for our family photowalk. Since we had rain last week, I thought going to McKinney Falls might be fruitful in an attempt to see the waterfalls in action. We had never been there before, so we loaded up our gear and kids in the van and took off. It took us about 35 minutes to get there and there was a small fee to enter, I think it was $5 per adult… not bad. We decided to start near the upper falls and follow the trail to the lower falls. The trail is lined with markers that tell about the native trees, plants, and wildlife so it was an educational hike too. About midway along the trail, there is this long rock shelter that overlooks Onion Creek. It’s colorful and fun to explore. (And Dominic loves to be the official map holder/guide. I have photos of him as young as two studying attraction maps!)

Parts of the trail were steep, narrow, and rocky. Once the trail ends, you have to cross a large limestone area to get to the lower falls. It is a beautiful vista.

The limestone is pitted with many holes and crevices. Curtis noticed this one… shaped like a fish!

The lower falls were crowded… lots of people came out because of the beautiful weather. I was not overly impressed with how big the waterfall was but it was still pretty cool.

I ventured closer to get a shot of the water going down the fall and looked back to see Curtis taking the photo I had taken above. We had just traded spots! (Note Anna’s posture… sigh. It’s gotten so much worse. I’m worried about her kyphoscoliosis and her knees.)

We headed back to see the upper falls and went a different direction that wasn’t so rocky. I saw this patch of cactus and noticed the upper plant looked like a heart.

Ouch!

As we neared the end of the trail, we spotted two huge vultures roosting in a tree. I don’t have a zoom or long-range lens so I didn’t get a good shot of them, but while I was creeping about under them, I found this berry tree and was delighted with the spot of color bursting forth from the winter trees.

Love love love this bokeh!!!

The kids were tuckered out so they went back to the car with Curtis and I hiked over to see the upper falls alone. Ummm… again, not overly impressed. I think the upper one is even smaller than the lower but it was still very pretty. I noticed the reflection of the tree in the puddle and had to capture it.

For this last image, I climbed out on to the rocks behind the waterfall and sat down. The waterfall runs down to Onion Creek but behind it is this beautiful, tranquil expanse of water. I could’ve sat there for an hour!

I would definitely go back, especially once the trees get their leaves this spring. It was fun! Thanks for looking!

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  • Claire Lane - These are some absolutely stunning images Holly, really beautiful! And I too love that berry bokeh!!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Ha! I have to agree about the waterfall! Where we live it’s super flat, so no waterfalls for us too, but you took a gorgeous walk! I’m inspired! I’ll see if I can drag my family out on one now that football season is over. And thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It means the world! xoReplyCancel

  • jessica r - I love these! That heart shaped cactus – what a great catpure. What a great location, this looks so fun!ReplyCancel

  • Cary - Some really great shots here! When we first moved to TX I was assigned to teach 7th grade Texas history (yep, as a Yankee…lots of prep work involved that year lol!) and we watched a video about this park si we brought the then little girls to explore. I’m glad to see it’s still a really cool place to visit 🙂ReplyCancel

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