Pedernales Falls State Park in Blanco County is a great Texas Hill Country family destination. Just 35 miles West of Austin Texas it truly feels a world away. The park at 5,211.7 acres is spacious and spread out along the banks of the Pedernales River. The main attraction at Pedernales Falls State Park is Pedernales Falls. The river eroded through the rock canyon and drops 50 feet over a distance of 300 feet through the layered limestone. This area is set on the southwest flank of the Llano uplift (see Inks Lake State Park) The falls backdropped by sweeping hills can be viewed from a scenic overlook at the North end of the park. If you want to float the river or tube head to the parking lot 3 miles down the river. Steep stone steps and a 1/4 mile walk will take you to the swimming area. Be careful as you wade on the slick river bottom stone. Try your luck fishing for catfish after a river rise. And if you do see the river start to rise leave the area for higher ground immediately. Flash floods, swift and fierce are common in Hill Country. When you are done playing in the water there is plenty of hiking and wildlife viewing to keep you busy. Pedernales Falls State Park boasts 19.8 miles of tree shaded hiking and mountain biking trails, 10 miles of equestrian trails (you cannot keep your horse in the park overnight) and 14 miles of backpacking trails. Typical wildlife frequenting the park include white-tailed deer and coyotes. 150 species of birds have been identified in the park and of these 1/3 are permanent residents. A covered bird blind for viewing and photography is popular especially during the morning feedings. In the Spring the endangered golden-cheeked warbler nests in the park. Camping choices include remote back-pack or mountain bike in (2 1/2 miles) sites or 69 spacious water and electric sites with some privacy but very little shade.