McKinney Falls State Park is located in South Austin, in Travis County. It is a 726-acre park acquired in 1970 by private donation. It opened in 1976. The headquarters of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is next to the park.
Kentucky-born Thomas F. McKinney made and lost a number of fortunes in Texas. McKinney settled in San Felipe de Austin in 1830 as one of Stephen F. Austin’s first 300 colonists. He played roles in financing the Texas Revolution, developing major Texas cities, and trading in cotton during the Civil War.
By 1850, McKinney was living on this property along Onion Creek, near a crossing of the historic El Camino Real. His slaves improved the land by building a two-story stone home and grist mill complex. They also helped develop his stock-raising and breeding enterprise. Before his death in 1873, McKinney had made a mark on Texas.
You can still see the stabilized ruins of McKinney's homestead, his horse trainer's cabin, gristmill and stone walls in the park.