This is a really beautiful park in an incredible location with one major downfall. As much as we loved it and enjoyed our stay, we'd have to attach a cautionary red flag for anyone planning to stay there in a big rig.
Click here to read about our criteria for campground reviews.
Overall Rating: 3.6/5
Price per night / Discounts: $24 / None
Campground website: McKinney Falls State Park
Our Site #: 13
Privacy Rating (how spacious and private do the sites feel):
5/5: We lucked out with a very private site (#13), however we noticed most sites were really pretty great. Most are tucked in among the trees, with a few out in the sun, but all offer significant space between campers, and with all the trees, the overall feeling is one of separation and privacy. Every site has a picnic table and fire ring, and they were all placed in such a way as to give visitors their own private outdoor space. We were really impressed with the layout here.
Location Rating (accessibility to points of interest or to major highways):
5/5: You cannot get much closer to Austin than this state park. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes most days to get downtown which we didn't think was bad at all. Austin is a great city with so much to offer, but we also found some fun restaurants and food trucks outside the city. All were easily accessible from this park.
Site Quality and Big Rig Accessibility Rating (utilities and accessibility of campground hook ups):
1/5: This is where McKinney failed big. Our site had a massive slope. Like, we could have practiced our ski jump on it. It was ridiculous. Once we backed into our space, we had to use the majority of our leveling blocks to get the front level, and by the time we did, there was no way for our dog to get up the stairs. As you can see from the pictures below, we ourselves had to step up about two feet to get up on the first step. As we walked around the campground we noticed at least 60% of the sites had similar issues. We saw multiple RV's propped up on their jacks with the tires completely off the ground, which is a very bad idea. The State of Texas needs to spend some money and get these sites graded. At some point, this stuff just becomes unsafe. Otherwise, the water and electric were fine. Sewer would be nice, but we know not to expect that in state parks. The central dump site was conveniently located and accessible, though there was quite a line when we left.
Technology and Customer Service Rating (online resources, reservations, and staff):
3/5: We were able to reserve a site on the Texas State Park system, though unfortunately, they do not allow you to reserve a specific site. The folks at the front desk were very friendly with our only criticism being they seemed to be understaffed, especially on the weekends. As we would drive in, they would often only have one booth open for people coming into the park. Oftentimes, the line to get in would spill out onto the main road. If they had a second booth, folks who were already registered could zip right through, and they could process everyone quicker.
Internet Availability Rating (Verizon coverage or campground wifi):
4/5: Verizon service worked fine. No wifi, but no surprise there.
We had a real love/hate relationship with this park. We absolutely loved the spacious, quiet, private site we landed, but the process of getting level and the aggravation involved in getting the dog in and out of the RV multiple times each day was so substantial, it really took away from our visit. The park itself is beautiful with numerous hiking trails and access to the pretty waterfalls. It was also perfectly located for exploring Austin. We just wish they'd spend a bit of money on grading the sites. It would be perfect if they did. (**Note: If you are staying at any Texas State Park for more than 7 days over the course of a year, it pays to buy an Annual Parks Pass from the state. This will relieve you of having to pay the additional daily charges that many people find so maddening.)