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Relax and play at Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City

A view of the falls at Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Texas. PHOTO: Staff

Checking out the falls at Pedernales Falls State Park is reason enough to head to this jewel of the Hill Country, but that’s not all this state park has to offer. Located at 2585 Park Road 6026 east of Johnson City, the 5,211-acre park first opened in 1971.

With several trails, you can really stretch your legs. The seven-mile Wolf Mountain Trail leads you through small canyons and around Tobacco and Wolf mountains for a glimpse of the park few visitors experience.

If horses are your thing, saddle up and explore the 10 miles of equestrian trails. But this isn’t a place for beginners. Watch out for rocky trails and steep slopes.

While the falls area is off limits to swimming, tubing and wading, you can enjoy all three in the southern stretch of the Pedernales River.

For the angler, you can try to land several species including catfish, perch, bass and carp.

Birdwatchers will definitely want to make the trip to this park, which has logged more than 150 species of birds, a third of which are permanent residents.

FAMILY FUN

If you’re looking for a fun family experience, sign up for the Texas Outdoor Family workshop June 15-16. You and your family can learn about geocaching, bird watching, star gazing, Leave-No-Trace camping and outdoor cooking.

You can’t really visit the park without checking out the falls, so if it’s your first trip, take the main park road north until you get to the trail head that leads you to Pedernales Falls and Cypress Pool.

The water rolls through the outcroppings and tumbles into numerous pools providing lots of places to enjoy the soothing sounds. But, don’t climb in because wading, tubing and swimming in this portion of the park are prohibited.

For more, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.