Pedernales State Park: A Texas family favorite
Pedernales Falls is one of the most visited state park in Texas, drawing over 300,000 people each year.
And it’s no wonder. The park is home to one of the most arresting sights in Central Texas.
Losing 50 feet of elevation over a distance of 3,000 feet, the Pedernales River rushes over stair-step limestone and winds through tilted stone outcroppings.
The waterfall is the centerpiece for Pedernales Falls State Park, a 5,211.7-acre park located just west of Dripping Springs, in Blanco County. The waterfall may be viewed from a scenic overlook at the north end of the park.
The park offers countless opportunities for recreation. Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, river swimming, tubing, wading, mountain biking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding.
Camping facilities include sites with water and electricity, a sponsored youth group area, hike-in primitive campsites, picnic sites, restrooms with and without showers, and a trailer dump station.
There are 19.8 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, 10 miles of equestrian trails and 14 miles of backpacking trails.
The park’s gorgeous hill country terrain features oak and juniper woodlands, as well as stands of pecan, elm, sycamore, walnut, and hackberry, and, close to the river, buttonbush and cypress.
The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including over 150 species of birds, deer, rabbits, coyotes, armadillos, skunks, possums, and raccoons.
Birds found in the park in- clude quail, doves, owls, roadrunners, wild turkeys, hawks, buzzards, and herons. The endangered goldencheeked warbler also nests in the park.
If birding is your thing, pay
a visit to the ADA accessible, covered bird viewing station. The facility has feeders, which are stocked from November through March, and a drip bath maintained year round. The station can hold about 15 people.
To learn more about Pedernales Falls State Park-or to find out how to volunteer at the park-visit www.friendsofpfalls.org. There is also a wealth of information at the official Texas Parks and Wildlife website: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/pedernal/. You can also call the park at (830) 868-7304 or get park information at 1-800-792-1112.
There is one important fact every visitor should be aware of: The Pedernales River can flash flood very quickly. At the first sign of rising water, leave the river area immediately.
To get to Pedernales Falls State Park, travel west of Dripping Springs on US Highway 290 for about 10 miles, then turn right on FM 3232 for six miles.
Pedernales Falls State Park is a natural wonder.