One of the most pleasant and scenic spots in Central Texas is Pedernales Falls State Park (nine miles east of Johnson City on FM 2766, 830/868-7304, www.tpwd.state.tx.us , $5 daily per person 13 and older, $3 daily per person 13 and older staying overnight). Located on more than 5,200 acres of rolling hills and flowing water, the park’s main attraction is its namesake Pedernales Falls, visible from a scenic overlook at the north end of the park.
Park activities include camping, hiking, swimming, tubing, mountain biking, fishing, and, most popular of all, bird watching. The park has a covered bird-viewing station with feeders (food is provided year-round) and a drip bath.
Quails, doves, rufous-crowned sparrows, western scrub jays, and the endangered golden-cheeked warbler nest in the park and visit the feeders. Facilities include campsites with water and electricity, primitive campsites, restrooms with and without showers, 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, and 14 miles of backpacking trails.