McKinney Roughs Nature Park: Outdoor Programs

2014 Community Programs


Learning is an adventure at McKinney Roughs


New spring and summer 2014 program dates coming in April


All programs take place at McKinney Roughs Nature Park and registration is required for all programs unless stated otherwise. To register for those programs, click on registration link in the upper right corner of this page and follow 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 send an email to outdoorprograms@lcra.org.

Recreation Programs
Education Programs
Community Program Registration Policy


Recreation Programs

Light o’ the Moon Float Trip

Beat the heat and enjoy the river in a whole new way! Floating by the light of the moon, you'll be serenaded under the stars by the nocturnal creatures of the river corridor. Take in the beauty of the sun setting on the Colorado and the cool comfort of the night air as your raft is gently guided down a stretch of tranquil river. Participants must be able to swim. Preregistration is required.

Walk on the Wild Side!  No registration Required.

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’ Visitor’s Center gift shop with live native Texas animals and interactive exhibits. Bring a picnic lunch and make it a nature day! Hike is limited to the first 20 participants. Clubs or groups of more than five people should schedule a private hike.

TOAD – Texas Outdoor Adventure Day

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 and water stewardship. The day begins at the challenge course where we will get vertical on the rock-climbing wall and zip line. Next, everyone becomes an explorer as we use Global Positioning System (GPS) units to navigate the McKinney Roughs hiking trails. We will top it off with a splash -- a raft trip down the Colorado River where getting wet is guaranteed. Bring a bag lunch. Preregistration is required.

Kayak the Colorado

There's no better way to usher in your weekend than with 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 river banks and bask in the breathtaking scenery. Relax and recharge as you kayak the Colorado. This trip is great for all skill levels. Preregistration is required.

Colorado River Cleanup

Enjoy the beautiful Austin-Bastrop River corridor while helping to keep this pristine section of the Texas Colorado clean and healthy. Boats and safety equipment will be provided by LCRA. Come along for a free ride and do a good deed at the same time. You will need to bring your own lunch, water, hat and sunscreen. Long pants and shirts are recommended. Groups can be accommodated if pre-arranged with the trip leader. Call Patrick Olsen at (512) 303-5073, Ext. 8035. Preregistration is required.


Education Programs

Stargazing at the Roughs  No registration Required.

Don’t 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’s 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 constellations and marvel at the beauty and mystery of the universe in this spectacular free program for the whole family. Bring lawn chairs, refreshments and blankets for comfort and enjoy this family event. Program will be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Please call 512-303-5073 to find out program's status the day of the event. An alternate activity will be provided if program cancels.

Homeschool Day at the Roughs - Exploring Habitats and Ecosystems

Homeschooled students can learn about the state’s changing ecosystems in this hands-on class. Students will explore everything from how Native Americans and buffalo played a role in the changing ecosystems of our state, to the role of prairies and grasses in the settlement of Texas. They will learn to identify species of native grasses and find out how the grasses can help us today. Walking along the trails of McKinney Roughs, students will learn about plants historically used for soap, rope, bread, tea, jelly and medicines. After exploring a field to gather organisms and identify signs left by animals, students will use the data collected to draw conclusions about the field’s biodiversity. Students will learn about the components of a habitat and how the relationships of the organisms, populations and communities form an ecosystem.

Children will be placed in groups based on their ages. Each student should bring a lunch, bottle of water and sunscreen and wear clothes appropriate for hiking. This is a drop-off program. The program will not cancel for inclement weather; instead, an alternative indoor program will be substituted.

Bird Identification Workshop

Brush up on birding skills and learn tricks for identifying birds that are common to Bastrop County. The workshop will use Bastrop’s bird count results from the past 10 years to help novice and experienced birders prepare for the Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 28. Going beyond looking at the birds’ markings, we will explore other clues such as habitat, foraging behavior, flight patterns, silhouettes and vocalizations. Get ready to share your birding experiences and focus on those hard-to-identify birds found in Bastrop County.


Community Program Registration Policy

McKinney Roughs' reserves the right to cancel programs due to weather or that do not meet the minimum number of participants. Registered participants will be notified 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.

Due to the popularity of the community programs, there is often a waiting list. Staffing and preparations are made based on a program's registration. As a courtesy, participants desiring to cancel should do so at least 24 hours prior to a program's start time. Cancellations made by the participant 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.

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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​
Parks Recreation & Education Programs Calendar