There are a few things in Texas that we still want to see before we take off, and Hill Country certainly topped the list. We had been through before already, but never made any stops to enjoy our surroundings. Until just a few days ago. As part of our non-traditional Valentine's Day celebration, we decided to cut out from all the Austin commotion, and take some time to get back into nature. After doing some research, we landed on Pedernales Falls State Park.
Although coming in at over 5,000 acres, this park is not on everybody's radar. It takes a bit of a trek to get to it, so much so that cell reception was few and far between. We decided to stay two nights in a water + 30 amp electric spot, which was $20/night. Seemed reasonable enough, until we discovered that you need to pay the entrance fee EVERY DAY YOU'RE THERE. $5 per person everyday, regardless of whether or not your entered the park only once! Seemed a bit ridiculous to us. So the $20/night quickly became $30/night and that really had our gears grinding. I know for a fact that McKinney Falls requires the entrance fee only on the day you enter. Makes sense, right?
Some highlights though (which really were everything else besides the $$$) included the beautiful camping spaces which were all being renovated, the amazing hiking trails, and of course the waterfalls. Our camp host Dwight was an absolute delight, and made the experience even better. We actually almost left the first night, due to our camp neighbors across the way BLASTING Ed Sheeran, but not like a mix of his best songs, just one album....the old album....on repeat for the whole night until quiet time. The next day, we woke up to have coffee and swing in our hammock and we hear "so what do you want to listen to? More Ed Sheeran?" We almost died. (It's worth it to note that this incident corresponded with Ed Sheeran's birthday, which we too laughed uncontrollably after finding out).
All in all, I would recommend this park. Very family-friendly, the deer roam free and unafraid, the water is wonderfully refreshing, and the views are insane. We are absolutely coming back during the warmer months so we can swim without abandon. Take a look at some of the highlights from our trip.
Yes, Vanessa jumped in the 50 degree water. Yes, I only dipped my toes.
It was a win-win for each of us.
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