About McKinney Falls State Park Images
This gallery contains images of McKinney Falls State Park, located in Austin on Onion Creek, in Travis County, in the Balcones Canyonlands region of the Texas Hill Country.
During the Cretaceous Period, much of Texas was covered by a shallow sea. The sediments deposited during this period lithified into the limestone rock underneath the park's soil and was exposed by erosion around the creek bed. Aquatic reptiles swam in the sea as evidenced by a complete skeleton of a mosasaur found in the rocks of Onion Creek not far from the park.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum), sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) line the banks of Onion Creek and live oak (Quercus virginiana), ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) can be found on the drier uplands. Other trees found in the park include Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata), Red Oak (Quercus stellata), Texas Persimmon (Diospyros texana), Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia) and Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana). In spring, the roads are lined with wildflowers, dominated by the Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). Cacti such as the Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii) and Pencil Cactus (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis) can also be found.
McKinney Falls State Park is named for Thomas F. McKinney, who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and to his property on Onion Creek, where he became a prominent breeder of racehorses with his own stable and private track. He used slave labor to build his large two-story home, stone fences and the first flour mill in the area.