McKinney Falls State Park rests just outside the city limits of Austin, Texas. This 744 acre urban park's main attactions are two cascades - Upper Falls and Lower falls - that offer nice swimming holes at the base of each of the falls. Between each of these locations, several hiking trails wind through the trees and wild grasses.
Established in 1976 at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek, McKinney Falls gains its name from an 1800s local breeder of race horses, rancher, and businessman, Thomas McKinney. The park is also part of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, a 1700s passageway during the Spanish colonial era that was vital in the settlement of Texas.
The geology of McKinney Falls consists of limestone rock from the Cretaceous period, the result of an shallow subtropical sea during that time. Evidence of human inhabitants have also been found, and date back over 5,000 years. The hunters and gatherers used the limestone overhangs within the park for shelter and the water for sustenance.
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