Monday, April 12, 2021
Warm, mostly cloudy, low 80s
Ian, Court, Biff, Finn
McKinney Roughs is one of the last relatively unknown hiking gems in the Austin area. It is part of the LCRA system and there is a $5 entry fee, but it is well maintained, lush, and offers a variety of trails. We both had this Monday off, so we headed out to the park and hit the trail around 9:30am.
We took the trail down to the riverside, where it is lush and shaded. The river was a little murky and flowing slowly this morning, but it was serene nonetheless. This trail reminds me a lot of the scene where the hobbits encounter their first Black Rider. Nerd alert.
We could see some cows at the ranch across the river that were cooling off in the water.
There was a good amount of wildlife on this hike. Aside from cows, we saw several deer on the way in, a hawk (red-tailed?), and a black vulture gave us a nice close up as well.
We also came across one of the biggest ant mounds I’ve ever seen. Seriously this thing was huge. At least 10 feet by 10 feet. Quite the colony.
We left the river and continued on to the Deep Sandy and Pecan Bottom trails, which make a nice mile or so loop through some fairly dense forest. We then paused at the large pecan tree to have a snack and rest before continuing back to the Riverside trail and then back up the hill to the Visitor Center where we started.
We both love this park and will be back many times in the future. Don’t tell anyone about it.