Explore Texas: Pedernales Falls

I’m trying out some different topics for posts, so please let me know what you like to read about. I’d like to highlight some of the places we visit in Texas because we are making an effort to explore the state while we are here. I am hoping to mix posts about mission work with posts about my home, explorations, hobbies, and more. I’d love feedback about which topics are the most interesting to my readers!

After a month of weekends spent cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and furniture shopping, Ben and I decided that this weekend we would take a break and do some exploring. One of the great benefits of living in Texas is that the season for doing things outdoors is just beginning as it should be starting to cool down to a more reasonable 70-80 degrees over the next month. So, we decided to buy a Texas State Park annual pass so that we could get outside and explore the natural side of the state. In Minnesota, the outdoor activities (besides skating and skiing) would be wrapping up soon, but here, the time for hiking, camping, and swimming is just beginning.

We started off this weekend by exploring a park called Pedernales Falls. Do not be deceived by the spelling of the name, it is pronounced pur-də-nal-iss not pəd-ər-nal-iss. This confused me all day as I tried to say the name right when reading the name. On Saturday morning, we packed up our backpacks with lunch and lots of water and drove about an hour to the park.

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When we got there, we started by hiking near the falls area. It was absolutely beautiful to see the reflections in the blue-green water next to the solid yellow-white rock. We climbed around on the rocks and after several weeks of spending our time inside and in an urban area, it felt so good to climb, jump, and hike in a completely natural landscape. We got a little over an hour of hiking in on the rocks before it got so hot that we had to take refuge in the shade. We drove to another part of the park and found a nice shady spot on the side of the river where we could swim and eat lunch. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

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If you visit central Texas, I would recommend taking a trip here. The park was not very busy for a Saturday, so it was a nice place to get away from crowds. There are a lot of hiking trails that we didn’t get to explore on this trip so we are planning on going back to try them out. It does get very hot on the rocky falls, so I would avoid them between noon and 3pm. It was hot but bearable until noon, but after that it got noticeably hotter and very uncomfortable. I am a northern-born, Scandinavian-blooded girl that is not used to the intense sun and high heat. You are not allowed to swim or wade in the water near the falls because of the flash flood risk, so at noon we headed down stream to the area of the river that you can swim to cool off. It was a perfect place to relax, so my recommendation would be to explore the falls during the cooler part of the day and then sit in the shade and/or water for the hot, sunny mid-afternoon.

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All photos on this post were taken by Ben Huntley.

 

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