McKinney Roughs Nature Park

We took advantage of the good weather during our last weekend in Austin to get outside and do a little hiking. We went on a Saturday and practically had the place to ourselves; it might’ve been because the day was overcast and humid or because it was the weekend before Christmas, but we weren’t complaining. Also, we should note that while it was 78 degrees that day, the following day had a 50 degree swing and didn’t get above 38 so we’re experiencing drastic temperature changes along with the rest of the country.

McKinney Roughs is located about 20 miles east of downtown Austin and has miles of hiking and equestrian trails. The entrance fee is $5/person, but we lucked out going on a day where they weren’t able to access the system so we got in for free. We hiked the Pine Ridge Trail to the Cypress Trail; it wound its way through a pine forest and meandered along the Lower Colorado River. The terrain was very different than what we experienced in Hill Country at Pedernales Falls – much less rocky and more pine than scrub grass.

The trails weren’t very long, but we got in a good 4 miles and took some time to let Snickers play in the river. She’s come a long way in her relationship with water since we introduced her to the Pacific Ocean back in January! Our favorite part (and her least favorite) was when a herd of cows came down to drink across the river and she proceeded to growl and stare at them for a good 10 minutes.

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Hiking McKinney Roughs (alt title: we didn’t sleep well the night before)

All in all, it was a perfect way to get out of the city and spend a Saturday. And what Matt and Beth hike would be complete without a stop for some suds? We ended our day at Live Oak Brewing, which is located near the airport. They have a pretty solid rotation of traditional German style beers; we went with the Big Bark Amber, Liberation IPA, Schwarzbier (a black lager), and the Oaktoberfest. All were smooth and mild and perfect for drinking outside on a warm winter day.

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