Pedernales Falls State Park is about nine miles east of Johnson City and in some the prettiest Texas hill country. This 5212-acre park borders some very scenic stretches of the Pedernales River and has six miles of river frontage and a rugged and picturesque gorgeite known as Pedernales Falls - making it a great park for sight-seeing, hiking, fishing, and swimming. The park is well maintained and the campsites are spacious and nestled in the trees.
Pedernales Falls State Park has 69 sites with water and electricity (30 amp only) and 21 backpacking campsites in a primitive camping area about 2.5 miles from the trail head. Some of the amenities at Pedernales Falls include: clean restrooms and showers; dump stations; ice for sale at the campsite entrance (how cool is that - you can walk to get it); youth group primitive camping area; an amphitheater and historical site; a park store; interpretive trail; horse corral; bird blind; and a scenic overlook. There are also over 21 miles of hiking trails; a quarter mile nature trail; 20 miles of bike trails; a 10 mile equestrian trail; a beach with river swimming; and fishing (primarily catfish) along the banks of the river.
You have to start the day with a very short hike from the parking lot to Pedernales Falls. If you very athletic folks you can walk or bike a little over a mile along the road to the Pedernales Falls parking area, and start the hike from there. What a beautiful site. Enjoy it, but no swimming.
Then head over to the picnic area near the beach for lunch and swimming. After you tire of swimming, hike or bike the moderately strenuous 4-mile loop that starts at Trammel Crossing.
Chill out the next morning with bacon, eggs and pancakes (you deserve it after yesterdays activities), then hike, bike, or horseback ride one or two of the other trails - try the scenic Wolf Mountain trail if you only have time for one. Cool off in the river.
Visit Johnson City and for some history by visiting the LBJ Historical Park. If you are up for some shopping or exploring small cities, head to nearby Dripping Springs (quaint shops), famous Fredericksburg, or Marble Falls - all within 30 miles. Some excellent boating and lake activities are available at Lake LBJ (read a review of Lake LBJ here) or Marble falls. Some great golfing can be found at the Horseshoe Bay courses (pricey but worth it) or other courses in the Marble Falls area -- go to the Texas Outside golf home page to find a course.
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on: