Equestrian Trail Details: A rugged trail winds about 10 miles up over the hillsides and down through the park. Riders should be experienced, as the trail is very rocky and has some steep slopes. Horses should have shoes. There is a water trough at the trailer parking area. In addition to the per person entrance fee, there is a per horse fee. At this time, there are no rental horses available near the park. Visitors must provide their own horses.
Although the Pedernales River is the focal point of the park, there are other areas of interest to hikers, nature lovers, and the general visitor. Well marked trails pass through hills dotted with oak and juniper woodlands and provide access to more-heavily-wooded areas of pecan, elm, sycamore, walnut, and hackberry in the major drainages. Ash, buttonbush, and cypress grow on the terrace adjacent to the river.
Wildlife in the park is typical of the Texas Hill Country and includes white-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits, armadillos, skunks, opossums, and raccoons. Over 150 species of birds have been seen in the park, and about one-third of these are permanent residents. Commonly seen birds include hawks, buzzards, herons, quail, doves, owls, roadrunners, and wild turkeys. The endangered golden-cheeked warbler nests in the park.
Pedernales Falls is the park's main attraction and may be viewed from a scenic overlook at the north end of the park. In this area, the elevation of the river drops about 50 feet over a distance of 3000 feet, and the falls are formed by the flow of water over the tilted, stair-step effect of layered limestone. These river limestones belong to the 300-million-year-old Marble Falls formation and are part of the southwestern flank of the Llano uplift. These layers of limestone were tilted by the uplift, then eroded long before early Cretaceous seas of the 100 to 120 million years ago covered this part of Texas and deposited sands, gravels, younger limestones,
and marine fossils.
The park has a covered bird viewing station with feeders and a drip bath. Food is provided November through March and the bath is maintained all year.
WARNING - The Pedernales River running through the park can flash flood with little or no warning. The water in the river can rise from a placid stream to a raging torrent in a few minutes. If you are in the river area and notice the water beginning to rise, you should leave the river area IMMEDIATELY. Flash flooding is a common phenomenon in the Texas Hill Country, and park visitors are encouraged to be alert to weather conditions.
Directions: From Johnson City , TX, Traveling 9 miles east of on FM 2766 or by traveling west of Austin for 32 miles on US Highway 290, then north on FM 3232 for 6 miles.
Elevation: 1,197 feet
Distance: 14.0 miles
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Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
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