Homestead Trail

MODERATE 188 reviews

Homestead Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Austin, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.1 miles Elevation Gain: 157 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

fee

Great trail located behind the Lower Falls at McKinney Falls State Park, $6/person or free with a Texas State Park Pass. Wide well maintained gravel path with many offshoots. The trailhead is located behind the Lower falls- which you must cross to access. Bring water shoes to cross the shallow area uphill of the falls, or be prepared for leaping from rock to rock over the falls if the water levels are moderate/high.

hiking
3 days ago

It's been a rainy stretch of days which made fording the creek pretty dangerous. OK trail otherwise.

hiking
27 days ago

Nice trail. Most of the elevation gain is on the right side of the trail, so keep that in mind if looking for more of a challenge. We accidentally went left after crossing the river, so the hike wasn't as challenging, however you come up on the homestead much quicker.

hiking
1 month ago

1/11/2020 This trail is quite nice, especially this time of year. There was a big rain the day before, so it did make crossing the waterfalls more difficult, you may get wet! We took our shoes off and crossed at the river below.

hiking
1 month ago

I haven’t been to this park in years, and enjoyed the stroll up homestead with two toddlers. It was fairly dry with only a short hop over a few puddles. The water is pretty low with only small trickles of water at the lower falls. It was very crowded, so purchasing day passes online beforehand was a smart choice.

hiking
2 months ago

a walk with Allie

hiking
2 months ago

Very impressed with this trail. It connects to other smaller trails. Great for running, hiking, walking, nature site seeing. So far the best I’ve seen in south Austin.

hiking
2 months ago

Great path for dogs and kids. Not a lot of scenery if you love hiking and adventure. The falls were fun. Good workout.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Nice. On the far eastern leg found two bed down sites for some deer. The western twisty parts of the trail have bike ruts from mountain bikers, footing can be tricky if you’re not paying attention to the ruts. Great history with the McKinney house and Gristmill remnants.

A little monotonous on the wooded stretches, and many plants that line the trail are currently brown and shriveled.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun day! Enjoyable hike. The Lower Falls / swimming hole are pretty even with low water levels (Sept 2019). Cross over on the left side of the swimming hole to get to the trailhead. No blue/green algae reported (fed from a totally different water source, I believe) but dogs are not allowed to swim in the water. The old Homestead and Gristmill are cool to see. Trail is mostly shaded and pretty easy.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

There was plenty of shade so it wasn't too unbearable. Also not too much people as well so it was nice and relaxing. Will come back to do the other trails.

hiking
5 months ago

Good wooded trail. No vistas, though. Narrow overgrown single track for about half blocks pretty much all breezes, so it is uncomfortably hot right now, even in the morning.

hiking
off trail
6 months ago

hiking
over grown
7 months ago

This section of trail afford views of the Lower Falls which must be crossed to reach the trailhead and the McKinney Gristmill remnants and Homestead. It is a moderately difficult, mostly shaded trail with thick hardwoods of mesquites and oaks and light traffic although mountain bikers may share the path: Be vigilant.

running
over grown
7 months ago

The trial had lots of pretty flowers and butterflies. However there were several narrow spots with lots of spider webs. This trail leads to two other trails, one not shown on the map. I attached a trail map from the park. It’s called Williamson Creek Overlook, it’s not well developed but does provide extra mileage. The picture with the tall plants on the trail are on the Williamson trail. The other pictures are on Homestead and the rocks are on the Flint Rock Loop Trail.

hiking
over grown
7 months ago

Very narrow trails and a lot of 6 ft+ tall weeds. opens up a little more after Flint Rock. overall though...i enjoyed it.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail, well shaded. Was initially tricky to find the trail head - cross the river before it falls down into the swimming hole. Trail was narrow, only broad enough for one. Fun for us and the dogs.

hiking
9 months ago

Good hike, bring lots of water!

hiking
11 months ago

The falls are beautiful.

hiking
11 months ago

The way to the trail head is poorly marked, and not possible to reach except through water, but the trail itself was ok. As it was late February, we we surprised to see a blooming Mexican buckeye (gorgeous of course) and watched summer tanagers swirling over the tops of the oaks. Nice but highway noise a bit too close for my taste. Should try other parts of the park further back next time.

hiking
11 months ago

This was an okay trail, the second part of the Homestead trail was better than the first. Maybe I had to hike further to get the the scenic views.

running
Thu Dec 20 2018

Great little trail close to town. Better for those that live south. Fairly easy terrain, single track not too rocky or technical. Very few inclines, and not much for elevation gain. You have to get your feet wet right off the bat to get onto the trail, so keep that in mind. No bathrooms or water along the way except at the trailhead.

hiking
Wed Nov 28 2018

I expected more out of this one. I hiked this trail in July while visiting Austin. The old homestead buildings were interesting. but the falls were underwhelming. They were nearly dry when I visited, and there was litter everywhere, especially around the swimming hole. I'm sad to say that the human footprint kind of ruined this experience for me.

hiking
Sun Jul 22 2018

Super awesome trail. I will be back again to venture out after completing this trail to include the others around it. I had fun.

Sun Jun 03 2018

Hiked to lower falls and the mill.

Thu Mar 15 2018

Very basic trail. Great for a beginner.

Sun Jan 07 2018

Apart from falling in the water at the beginning of the hike, the trail was uneventful and pleasant for me as a beginner.

hiking
Sat Aug 05 2017

Super underwhelming during summer when the falls are dry and the water is almost stagnant. That doesn't stop people from coming (it was pretty crowded today), but I wouldn't venture out and pay the $6 admission just to picnic with a view. The trails aren't marked clearly and the map we were given is a little misleading.

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