McKinney Roughs Nature Park: Outdoor Programs

Fall and winter 2015-2016 recreation programs


Learning is an adventure at McKinney Roughs

All programs take place at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Registration is required unless stated otherwise. To register, click on the registration link in the upper right corner of this page and follow the instructions. For programs with a fee, be prepared to pay online by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) to complete your registration.

Need more information? Call 512–303–5073 or email outdoorprograms@lcra.org.

Recreation Program Registration Policy

McKinney Roughs reserves the right to cancel programs due to weather or because the minimum number of participants has not been met. Registered participants will be notified of cancellations by email or phone and rescheduled to another date or program. If that is not possible, a full refund will be given for any program fees paid.

Participants who cancel their reservations at least 24 hours from the program start time will receive a full refund. Participants cancelling within 24 hours of the program start time will not receive a refund of fees paid. Cancellations must be made by email to outdoorprograms@lcra.org and include participant name(s) and programs(s) to be canceled. A confirmation email will be sent when the refund is processed.

Wild by Nature

First Saturday each month, October-February: 10 a.m.-noon, free, adults and children ages 8 and up

Fall and winter are wonderful seasons to explore the outdoors along the beautiful trails of McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Temperatures are cooler and the views stretch further after the trees lose their leaves. Enjoy an interpretive hike as a park naturalist brings together a unique blend of human and natural history to tell the story of the Colorado River. Discover how the river influences animal, plant and human life along its banks. After your hike, visit McKinney Roughs' exhibit hall of live native Texas animals and interactive displays. Bring a picnic lunch and make it a family nature day! No registration is required.

Home-School Day: Animal Tracking and Adaptations

Tuesday, Oct. 13: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., $25 per person, children ages 8-14

In whatever setting we find ourselves – urban, suburban or rural – we are surrounded by evidence of living creatures that inhabit our world. While we might not see these animals all the time, evidence of their occupation is all around. Learning to see and interpret that evidence is an enjoyable skill that can be learned. Children will learn about the common animals of Central Texas and the evidence the animals leave behind. Children also will learn and practice the art of seeing and interpreting animal tracks. They will investigate animal skulls and make deductions about diet and habits of mammals by examining the physical features of their skulls. Children will be placed in groups based on their ages, and teaching will be age-appropriate. Students should bring a lunch, refillable water bottle and sun protection and wear clothes appropriate for hiking and the weather. This is a drop-off program. The program will take place regardless of the weather. An alternative indoor program will be substituted if weather does not permit outdoor activities. Preregistration is required.

Stargazing at the Roughs

Fridays, Oct. 16 and Dec. 11: 9-10:30 p.m., free, all ages

Do not miss this opportunity for the whole family to explore the galaxy together as our astronomer takes you on a tour of the Milky Way that is truly out of this world! Behold the wonder of the cosmos through our Dobsonian telescopes and venture beyond the boundaries of our planet. Learn about the legends of the constellations and marvel at the beauty and mystery of the universe in this spectacular free program for the whole family. Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments (recommended). The program will be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Please call 512–303–5073 to find out the program's status before 5 p.m. the day of the event, or check the McKinney Roughs Nature Park webpage at www.lcra.org/mckinneyroughs. No registration is required.

Intro to Kayaking

Saturday, Oct. 24: 9 a.m.-noon, $30 per person, adults and children ages 10 and up (children ages 10-13 must be in tandem kayak with an adult)

Learn to kayak, and enjoy a serene and refreshing morning on the water. Listen for the salute of waterfowl greeting the day, catch a glimpse of the waking wildlife along the riverbanks and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Relax and recharge as you kayak the Colorado. This trip is great for all skill levels. Preregistration is required.

Outdoor Adventure Day

Saturdays, Oct. 31 and Dec. 12: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., $50 per person, adults and children ages 7 and up

Like the first explorers of Texas, we will travel down the Colorado River, navigate through the woods and climb to great heights. Meet at McKinney Roughs for a day of excitement and adventure with a focus on land stewardship. We will get vertical on the rock-climbing wall, enjoy the thrill of a zip line, and work as a team on a raft trip down the Colorado River. Bring a bag lunch and refillable water bottle. Preregistration is required.

Sunset River Float Trip

Saturday, Nov. 7: 4-6 p.m., $30 per person, adults and children ages 7 and up

Wind down your day with a sunset float down the Colorado River, where you will be surrounded by wildlife and vibrant vegetation along the river corridor. Take in the beauty of the sun setting on the Colorado River and the cool comfort of the evening air as your raft is gently guided down a stretch of tranquil river. Adults and youths ages 7 and up can participate and must be able to swim. Preregistration is required.

Intro to Canoeing

Saturday, Nov. 21: 10 a.m.-noon, $30 per person, adults and children ages 14 and up; children ages 10-13 may participate with an adult sharing a canoe

Learn to canoe, and enjoy a serene and refreshing morning on Lake Bastrop at South Shore Park. Traveling along the quiet cove of the lake gives you ample time to enjoy the scenic views and waterfowl of this Central Texas ecosystem while also learning to canoe. At this promotional price ($10 off the regular price of $40), this trip is a great opportunity for people interested in trying a new sport. Preregistration is required.

​Register today



Downloadable trail guide


Features & Events

​Educational/Recreational Outdoor Programs
Challenge Course
Natural Science Programs
River Trips
Summer Nature Camp
Special Features
​Community Programs
Hiker's Trail Guide
Plants and Wildlife
Riding Your Horse
Hiking & Walking Trails​
Horseback Riding
Outdoor Education & Recreation Programs​

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