Texas May 31, 2019
Texas’ Most Refreshing Hike Will Lead You Straight To A Beautiful Swimming Hole
Outdoor adventure season is in full swing, and this hike definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list. It’s short, easy, and ends with a breathtaking waterfall-fed swimming hole. Let’s check it out, shall we?
Homestead Trail is a 3.1-mile loop located behind the park's Lower Falls, which you'll first have to cross. Either leap from rock to rock if water levels are higher than normal, or simply wade through the shallow pool. It's a small price to pay for the breathtaking views ahead.
It starts off like an ordinary woodland hike - a well-maintained, albeit narrow, gravel pathway leading through thick, lush greenery. Towering trees form a canopy overhead, which provides much-needed relief from the sweltering Texas summer heat.
About halfway through, a reduction in plant life is replaced by stunning topographical changes. The first sighting of water thus far carves its way through impressively tall rock faces, creating a scene so visually stimulating that your eyes won't be quite sure where to look.
Per the trail's name, you'll encounter several historical structures along the way. Estimated to be at least 100 years old, the buildings have managed to remain strikingly intact despite their age. Take a little detour and marvel at these incredible pieces of our state's past.
Finally, the moment you've been waiting for: the swimming hole. Recent rains mean the falls should be running nicely, offering a place for sweaty, exhausted hikers to cool off.
Try to visit before it gets too hot, as the water will inevitably start drying up around July. Pro-tip: time it so you reach the falls around sunset, as nothing compares to listening to the gentle yet powerful roar as day fades into dusk.
Looking to extend the fun overnight? Nearly 100 campsites start at $20 nightly and include hookups, water, and several other amenities.
Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744. The park is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and there is a $6/person entrance fee.
Have you ever taken the Homestead Trail? What other hikes in Texas lead to enchanting swimming holes? Let us know your favorites!