McKinney Falls is the closest state park to Austin and is probably the only one within Austin City limits. It is located on the southwest edge of Austin, close to the international airport and a 20-minute drive from our house. The park was donated to the Texas state government in 1976 by descendants of local businessman Thomas F. McKinnney. Onion Creek passes through the middle of the park, and except for the short rainy season in the spring, only two small streams of water remain at the upper fall and lower fall. There are many interesting trails for hiking that will lead to caves used by American natives for shelter as well as relics from the past.
McKinney Falls 是離 Austin 市區最近的州立公園，應該也是唯一在畫分在Austin城市內的州立公園。位於Austin西南邊緣，離國際機場很近，離我們家車程20分鐘。公園於 1976 年由在地商人 Thomas F. McKinnney 的後代捐給德州政府成立州立公園。Onion Creek 從公園中間穿過，除了春天水勢較大之外，其他季節上下游的瀑布只剩兩道水柱。裡面有許多有趣的步道，其間會經過一些印地安人的洞穴及過去先人開墾的遺跡。
I have been wanting to visit here for a long time, and because of the AISD student holiday on Friday, we invited Caroline’s family to join us for the Much Love Crew Hike & Pick event. This was the first time we have met up since Caroline joined us, and it is also our first ever company trip! We parked our cars in the lower falls parking lot and walked through some terrain that looked like a large riverbed. Arriving at the lower waterfall (just a stream at the moment), we started to pick up trash around the pond. Just at that location alone, we filled up four bags of garbage. After playing by the pond and eating a little snack, we hiked towards the upper falls.
其實在很早之前就一直想來拜訪這裡，趁著星期五孩子們學校放假，邀請了Caroline一家一起加入我們Much Love Crew的邊走邊撿活動，這是Caroline加入我們後，我們第一次見面，也算是第一次的員工旅遊吧！！我們把車停在下游的停車處，走過了一大片看起來像是河床的地形，到了下游瀑布(水柱)。在水柱旁，堆積了不少垃圾，我們光在那裡就裝滿了四袋垃圾。在池邊玩了一會兒，吃了一點小點心就往上游走去。
We walked along the creek on a wild trail at the edge of a low cliff, and passed by a cave area where a group of children and an adult, possibly an indigenous person, was teaching them how to rock climb. When asked, they were in a wilderness class session, which reminded me of the nature exploring class we had with my kids and Tufei in Taiwan (I will share about it on another post), hiking through the mountains and woods around Taipei city. I couldn’t resist asking how to join! The Earth Native Wilderness School website is: https://www.earthnativeschool.com/
我們沿著溪邊走在岩壁邊緣的野步道，經過了一處岩洞區，有一群孩子們跟一個看起來像是原住民的成人在教他們攀岩。一問之下，他們正在進行一個野外教學的課程，這讓我想念起之前在台灣帶著孩子們跟土匪在台北山林裡的自然體驗課(未來有機會我會再跟大家分享)。於是我迫不及待的詢問哪裡可以報名！以下連結是他們的資訊： Earth Native Wilderness School
There is a small visitor center at the upper falls, where kids can refill their water and use the restroom before hiking to the bottom of the waterfall (on this day, a stream). We saw many kids jump into the water, swimming and playing; kids can’t resist water! They all stripped down to their underwear and jumped in, disregarding the warning signs of water contamination.
We went from almost 10am and stayed until after 2pm. The children and I were starving, so we went straight to Coco’s Cafe to reward our stomachs. Today the weather was fantastic, not too hot for once, and the children got to have a pleasant half-day outdoors. If you wants to go visit McKinney Falls State Park, remember to go to Texas Parks & WildLife website to make reservations. You can also buy Texas State Parks Pass for only $70 bucks for whole family and for a whole year to enter any state parks in Texas. There is also a campground in the park, next time we will definitely come back for camping!! There is also a volunteer group with McKinney Falls State Park, they usually pick up trash on the 1st Sunday of every month and also host various charity events. For more information, please follow Friends of McKinney Falls on Facebook.
我們從早上九點多快十點，待到下午兩點多才回家。孩子們跟我都餓壞了，於是直接殺到了 Coco’s Cafe 獎賞自己的胃。今天天氣太棒了，不會太熱，孩子們也都有了愉快的一個半天。如果有興趣要來玩的朋友，別忘了去Texas Parks & WildLife 官網預約入場券。你也可以直接購買德州公園的年票，只要70美元，就可以讓你們全家一整年玩遍德州所有州立公園。公園內有露營區，下次一定要再帶孩子們來這裡露營！！ McKinney Falls State Park 有一個志工團體，每個月的第一個星期天都會有撿垃圾的活動，他們也常常辦一些其他的公益活動，有興趣可以追蹤一下 Friends of McKinney Falls