Urban RV camping can be a disappointing experience. Crowded sites, parking lot aesthetics, bright lighting, and really, all of the things that can ruin a sense of home. Thankfully, when visiting Austin, you have another option with McKinney Falls State Park. Only ten miles from downtown Austin, this relatively spacious park makes for a perfect home base when visiting the city of weird.
The spots are absolutely enormous with wooded separation between each site and plenty of land to spread out and enjoy the evenings. The sites come with a picnic table, fire ring with grate and a lantern pole. The sites are relatively level and paved. All sites have water and electric connections, but no sewer connections. However, the dump station is large and convenient.
The bathroom facilities are little worn with frequent use. However, they are kept relatively clean considering the amount of traffic. Water pressure is adequate with good access to warm water.
The park provides a large number of extremely beautiful hiking trails with ample wildlife spotting opportunities. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered as many deer in one park as I have here, including several bucks. Plenty of birds are also to be found. One night along the river banks, I came across a huge colony of roosting egrets. Quite a sight. The falls themselves are also quite pretty, I personally liked the upper falls the best.
Now for the downside, although this isn’t really something the park can do much to correct. First, you are in Austin, a college town. You should expect to get some people looking to party in the campsites during the weekends. We did on both weekends we were there. However, during the week the park really empties out and you really get a sense of refuge from the bustling city near by. Secondly, during the days on the weekends, the park is quite popular with locals. This can lead to long lines at the park entrance. They often times will wave people with entrance passes around the line, but not always.
One last note, the gates to the park are locked every night at 10:00 PM. However, they will give you the code to the gate if you want to return after hours. It changes weekly, but a park ranger will bring you the new code on the day of the change.
4 out of 5 stars