Pedernales Falls

Yet another place that we have only just now visited for the first time.  I can't believe I've missed coming here all these years of living in Austin!  It has been on my list to go to for a long time, but it just seemed too far away.

We decided to check it out over the Christmas holiday and it was amazing.  Lots of hiking paths, biking trails, geocaching and more.

Fortunately, there had been a lot of rain recently, so the falls were more than a trickle!  I did hear that even in the worst of the drought, they never did dry completely!

The highlights were a cave for the boys to climb around in and a natural spring that sprung up right on the beach for them to play with.  They spent at least an hour diverting the outflow in various directions by building dams.

Not having been here is summer, I can still guess this would be a great place, though hot!  There is no swimming for two miles surrounded the falls.  A friendly ranger explained that between 1970 and 1974, 25 people drowned in the falls, and as a result they shut the falls to swimming.  Makes sense to me. 

I did ask how strictly they enforced the rule (ie, does getting wet up to your knees count as swimming?) and he seemed pretty lax.  So coming on a hot summer day, the boys could still cool off a bit wet while enjoying the falls.

Swimming is allowed in another part of the park, further away from the falls - but we didn't have a chance to explore that area as - it being winter - it wasn't a huge draw :o) 

This will be a definite add to my top 50 list, and we will definitely return in the summer for a day of biking, hiking and swimming!

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