Wildflowers and Waterfalls: McKinney Falls State Park

After the price for Balcones Canyonlands and Wild Basin Preserve (free), the price for McKinney Falls was a bit steep, but also justifiable since we didn’t pay for any other parks. It’s also different that the other parks because its much more recreational and developed as a park. Trails are paved, and the falls are really a swimming hole. There were so many people that I couldn’t actually get a people free photo of the falls and it felt super weird to take a picture of a ton of people in their bathing suits. Hence no full pictures of the falls, but they have some on their website! After this visit though I highly recommend McKinney Falls in May, the wildflowers were out of control. We didn’t make it to the lower falls because we still needed to drive back to Houston, but the upper falls and the hike and bike trail (which also passed a Reconstruction Era horse trader’s cabin) was pretty cool (not temperature cool).

 

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Cactus at the entrance of the park.

Upper Falls, we dipped feet in the water and it seemed really nice. People were jumping off the falls and having a big party it looked awesome. The “river” that runs through the park is Onion Creek, namesake of the delightful brunch pace near the Houston Heights Hike and Bike Trail, our favorite urban hike.

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A big blooming cactus next to some kind of power center behind a chainlink fence.

 

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Cactus buds. My favorite ones have the red/orange at the base.
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So many flowers!
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The lonely thistle. Thistles are the national flower of Scotland so when Alexa Jeopardy asked me what green was the national vegetable of Wales I said “dandelion” and it turns out its leeks and I think everyone should know that because it’s weird.
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99% sure this is Christmas Cholla (cylindropuntia leptocaulis).
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Maybe it’s not but that’s the closest thing I could find at first google. Here’s Matt and Nicole.

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