McKinney Falls – First Walk of the Year – 01/08/2021

The picnic area of the park. Quite desolate for the time of year.

My friend BJ suggested that we start off the New Year with a walk which I thought was a great idea and was totally up for. As it had been raining the past couple of days, we opted to walk at McKinney Falls one of our local State Parks located in Austin as it has a blacktop trail of a little over two miles. We have walked it several times before although usually when everything was green and not leafless as it was today. We had not made reservations and I wondered if it would be a problem but as it turned out, we had no trouble in getting in.

Pictures of Onion Creek that feeds into the Falls. There were many fishing lures caught in the tree branches making for interesting decorations

BJ arrived first as I had gotten delayed in my travels and was waiting for me in the parking lot. She followed me to the car park located close to the actual Falls for which the Park is named. This is also where the circular trail starts (or ends) depending on which way you walk it. It took me a little longer than usual to get geared up as I had not walked in a while but I eventually was ready to go.

We hit the trail, first stopping at the Falls to take a few pictures. There were a few other people there all wearing masks as the State rules dictate as even in the wide open spaces, people can still pass along germs. We took off along the trail walking through the park area reserved for picnics and such under normal times or maybe a different season. The trees were all leafless and the Park had an erie dead feeling to it, probably fitting for the time of year.

The walk itself was very interesting as we passed or were passed by several other groups of walkers. Families with kids and single individuals all out enjoying Mother Nature in her quiet season. Some had dogs and one family had a very young, small puppy that was being carried. We made joking remarks as we passed as to how lucky that young puppy was to get such treatment while the small kids had to walk. One thing with the lack of foliage gave us a chance to see some of the big and very old Oak trees in the park, many of which had grown into strange shapes and contours.

The trail is a little over two miles of very easy walking and is blacktop all the way and it took us a little over an hour to walk around it. Arriving back at our cars, we still had things to talk about before parting company and making our individual way back home. It made a change from when we usually walk that I was not covered in sweat requiring a change of clothing. Time of the year is everything.

I took several pictures but they are not very inspiring as the season is a bit on the drab side and there is not much change in the trail from start to finish. There was an absence of birds and any wildlife and the only exception was a blooming cactus. That didn’t make the walk any less enjoyable and the company even more so.

A very enjoyable start to our walking season.

Written 02/12/2021