The falls and park are named for Thomas F. McKinney, an early Nineteenth Century settler who lived in the area. The park provides abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and bird and wildlife watching.
Onion Creek, which flows through the park, provides opportunities for both fishing and swimming. The park participates in the Texas state Tackle Loaner Program which allows individuals to borrow tackle boxes and fishing equipment. Fish in the creek include perch, catfish, and bass. Wildlife in the park include armadillos, white-tail deer, squirrels, and various bird species such as ducks and shorebirds.
McKinney Falls includes over seven miles of hiking and bike trails. Some are paved and wheelchair accessible, while others are rough and ideal for hikers and mountain bikes.
Sights along the trails include "Old Baldy", one of the oldest bald cypress trees on public land in Texas, estimated to be over 500 years old. There's also the remnants of a natural rock shelter first used by humans over 1,400 years ago, and the ruins of Thomas F. McKinney's homestead and his horse trainer's cabin.
The park visitor center provides a variety of educational programs including guided nature walks and an outdoors kids' club.
Visit the park website to find out about park hours, trails, and campsites.