Onion Creek Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Austin, TX that features a river. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, horses, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Bikers, joggers, and hikers share this long loop around the park as it winds through the shady banks of Onion Creek and past more ruins from the homestead.
Texas Parks and Wildlife calls this the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail. This 2.8 mile loop trail crosses the park road less than 1/2 a mile from the park entrance (near the McKinney horse trainers cabin). Walking anti-clockwise the trail passes the upper falls - a really scenic part of Onion Creek, and then follows the creek upstream for maybe 3/4 of a mile. Plenty of picnic tables to relax in the shade of the Live Oak and Bald Cypress trees. This is a really pretty part of the trail. The trail then moves away from the creek up a slight incline as it works it's way back to the cabin. Great trail for an easy walk, bike ride or pushing a stroller. Unfortunately a lot of people don't pick-up after their dogs.
The entire trail is paved and pretty level throughout. A lot of post-flood debris blocked the view of the creek for the most part. Saw a few whitetail deer along the way. Not a bad trail but not as beautiful as the homestead trail.
First of all, the driving directions I got from the app onto my iPhone were incorrect. The entrance to the park is not through the golf course but down Stassney Rd. on McKinney Falls Parkway past the park headquarters. The northwest portion of the trail is through several picnic areas, so it's not too scenic, but there is a great portion by the Upper McKinney Falls that makes for a great dip in the water after finishing. The rest of the way is a concrete path through moderate terrain. Not a bad little trail the rest of the way!
$6/person to enter McKinney State Park
My dog and I just hiked this, great trail but be careful! We were turned around by a Diamondback Rattlesnake about halfway through. He was just off to the side about 2 feet from us. We had to slowly back away and find another route. Other than that it was a beautiful hike!
Wide paved partly shady trail, good for bicyclists, runners, and family hikers (if your children can do the 2.8 miles.) Lots of wildflowers can be seen in the spring. There are a few rest benches on the trail.
The hike begins at the Smith visitor center. A natural pool of the falls area of Onion Creek is visible is in front of the visitor center. Wind through the picnic and primitive camping areas of the park. At 0.5 miles the woods get thick and you get closer to the creek. Continue on the main path as it makes a steep climb away from the creek. At 1.7 miles take the trail to the right at the fork. In the spring, this area is highly used by deer birthing their fawns.