Serenity now! Witness the beauty of the park’s namesake, experience some seriously historic geologic formations, and enjoy the solitude.
For the rock geeks, Pedernales Falls is a 50 ft waterfall cascading down 300 million year old limestone formations, created by Cretaceous seas that deposited what is seen there today, including marine fossils. For the American history geeks, Pedernales Falls State Park was once a working cattle ranch with roots going back to the pioneer days. One can expect to run into old stone building foundations, and even a settler’s cemetery. The graveyard is quite decrepit, with only a handful of stones, but it is marked by an iron fence and can be accessed by the 4-mile loop trail.
No swimming in Pedernales Falls itself, but there is plenty of swimming to be had in the Pedernales River. Be sure to bring rubber soled shoes though, as the mild hike (down rocky stairs) can be rough on your feet. At the beachy swim area, one can frolic in water holes or sit in the shallow current and soak up some rays. In some areas the rock is smooth enough to create a short natural waterslide.
In over 5,000 acres of park, there are 21 miles worth of hiking trails that range from relatively flat for the beginner to challenging for those looking for more of a workout. Wolf Mountain Trail is the most popular and most difficult hike at 8.2 miles. Yes, it’s popular, but not everyone does the whole trail, so the further you go, the further away you get from any crowds that might be present.
There are 12 miles of bike trails that range from easy to moderate. Technical rating is about a 2, however, coming down some hills, bikers have been known to hit speeds of 25mph.
Bring your horse, pony, or donkey to the park for 10 miles of equestrian trails. Keep in mind however, that if you do bring your four-legged hoofed buddy, that there is no overnight camping. For those who want to horseback ride, but don’t own an equine, sorry, but there are no public stables for guided tours. Must bring your own animal.
Bring an RV or bring a tent and enjoy these semi-private sites. For those wanting a more rustic experience, primitive campsites are also available. Must be able to hike 2-2.5 miles with all equipment/packs to access them.
Dogs are welcome to the park, however there are restrictions. No canine is allowed in the river/swim areas, or at the primitive campsites, and must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 ft. They are allowed on all of the trails and in the other camping areas.
Peak seasons for this park are: spring, summer and fall with June being the busiest month.