You’ve probably already read through our list of amazing natural swimming holes in and near Austin, and chances are, you’ve seen our recommendations for some of the prettiest hiking trails and off-leash dog parks with nature paths in town — but if not, then get to it!

Now we’re hoping to enhance your adventures by breaking down 10 of the best Texas state parks within reasonable driving distance from Austin. These parks offer wide varieties of recreational activities and community attractions that are perfect for filling up a weekend if you can wrangle the time off work to play. Here we go!

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1. McKinney Falls State Park

Located just 15-20 minutes from downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is something of a hidden gem in town. McKinney Falls SP might seem small when compared to bigger and better known natural spaces like Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Pedernales Falls State Park, but it’s got a lot packed into its 725 acres. Besides native Texas flora and fauna, the park boasts two lovely limestone-lined swimming holes, nearly 10 miles of hike and bike trails, and 81 primitive and developed campsites. They’ve even got cabins and a retreat facility — and one of the largest and oldest bald cypress trees in Texas!

5805 McKinney Falls Parkway. 512-243-1643. Open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. $6 per adult, children 12 and under free. Park Map. Trail Map. Website.

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