Texas State Parks: Pedernales Falls
Pedernales Falls State Park just ten miles east of Johnson City is one of the most unique parks in the Texas State Park system. The signature park attraction is Pedernales Falls, an area of the park where the Pedernales River drops about 50 ft in elevation over a distance of 3,000 feet. The water cascades over tilted, layered stair steps of limestone as it progresses down the falls.
Visitors to the falls can hike down to the river from the Pedernales Falls Trailhead. The hike to the scenic overlook above the falls is a fairly easy trail hike, and provides one of the best views of the falls. Visitors that want to get a more up close look at the falls can hike down to the river from there, but will want to make sure to wear proper clothing and foot-ware due to the moderate difficulty descending to the river.
Visitors to the river and falls in the park should be mindful of the potential for flash flooding when close to the river. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept gives this warning about the park: “The water in the river can rise from a placid stream to a raging torrent in a few minutes. If you are in the river area and notice the water rising or getting muddy, leave the river area immediately. Flash flooding is common in the Texas Hill Country. Please be alert to weather conditions”.
The trail system at Pedernales Falls State Park offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding (bring your own horse). Visitors can also wade, swim, fish, tube, canoe, and kayak along many areas of the river. The park offers hike-in primitive campsites, campsites with water and electricity, and an equestrian group campsite. The park is a great place for bird and wildlife viewing, photography, geocaching, and picnicking. For park and campsite details or to make reservations visit the Pedernales Falls State Park website.