Homestead Trail

McKinney Falls State Park, Texas

Distance3.5mi
Elevation Gain530ft
Trailhead Elevation594ft
Top594ft
Elevation Min/Max475/594ft
Elevation Start/End594/594ft

Homestead Trail

Homestead Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Austin, Texas. It is within McKinney Falls State Park. It is 3.5 miles long and begins at 594 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 530 feet. The Stone picnic table picnic site can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Flint Rock Loop.

Homestead Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike travels through land once owned by Thomas F. McKinney, a frontiersman and entrepreneur who was instrumental in shaping the early history of Texas. Share the path with mountain bikers as you meander through wooded glades and pass by the ruined McKinney homestead.

Getting to the trailhead can be a little tricky. After you've parked and walked across a wide sculpted outcrop, you'll need to cross the creek. Depending on the time of year and recent rainfall, you risk an involuntary dunking or worse. The best way is to hop along the edge of the falls. If the stepping-stones are underwater, this is the only way, unless you are prepared to swim or wade across the pool below the waterfall."

"A gorgeous, winding, wooded singletrack loop on the southeastern outskirts of Austin, the Old Homestead Trail offers a fun ride as well as an educational look at the ruins of the old McKinney homestead. A 5-mile paved trail running through the park, the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail, has a nice dirt diversion just south of the primitive camp area. Though short and pretty easy, this nice little nugget of singletrack offers fun for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Hard-packed dirt winds through dense groves of cedar and oak that are also a popular stop on the migratory route of the painted bunting. Sure, birding and biking are tough to do at the same time, but nothing says you can’t stop and just sit still once in a while! Don’t get too lulled out here—there are a few short, steep drops and climbs with some roots running across them, and there are plenty of close-hanging tree branches that would like to say hello to your head. There are plenty of tight corners to test your handling skills, too. Tread: Mix of singletrack and doubletrack."

Homestead Trail Reviews

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4/16/2013
This trail is not in Marble Falls, but in McKinney Falls State Park south of Austin. The Homestead Trail runs through the Northeast section of the park in a 2.8 mi loop. This is mostly open terrain and is not paved and has very little elevation gain. There is a 2.8mi loop along Onion Creek called the Onion Creek Trail. This is paved, fairly well shaded by trees and features fields full of wildflowers in the spring. Finally there is a 2.25 mi loop, Flint Rock loop that branches off of the Homestead trail at it's most Northeastern point. Water is available from faucets in many of the camping sites spread throughout the park. Swimming is allowed in the pools below both the upper and lower falls.
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11/11/2007
Fun, Fast Loop. Nothing technical. Beautiful surroundings and historic places. Great Park.
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10/22/2007
Homestead Trail is literally a hop, skip, and a jump away once you arrive at McKinney Falls State Park. After crossing the lower falls you will come to a sign that points to the Gristmill and the Homestead, head for the Homestead as this will start you off in the direction the trail is designed to be traveled. On your first ride there are a few spots that may confuse you as to which way to go or where the trail picks back up, just don’t do like I did the first time and inadvertently take one of the maintenance roads – they aren’t that fun to ride. Over-all, this trail is well-laid, the climbs aren’t too difficult, and it even has a section that makes for some nice speed downhill if ya’ let it. This trail is perfect for the new rider. There are a couple spots that border on technical, but little that a beginner shouldn’t be able to handle. For the more advanced rider, don’t think that this trail isn’t worth the time. It is. The singletrack is smooth, winding, and a great place to ooze along enjoying nature or seeing just how fast you can complete 3 miles (just watch for hikers and other riders).
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9/27/2006
The Homestead Trail is great for beginners and still fun for intermediate riders. The three mile loops is segmented into three parts by jeep roads. Riding clockwise, the initial section is short, with only a couple of tree roots to roll over. The middle section is nothing but hard pack singletrack that weaves the trees, with no climbs, drops or negotiations needed. The third section starts with a decent climb, some drops here and there, and then a nice downhill run back to the jeep road. Lots of water fowl, deer and gorgeous trees out there.
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Trail Information

McKinney Falls State Park
Nearby City
McKinney Falls State Park
Parks
Texas State Parks
Local Contacts
USGS Montopolis
Local Maps