barton springs tropical waters along town lake in Austin Texas USA
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15 Best Swimming Holes in the Texas Hill Country


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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2017. We're sharing it again as part of our Texas Month. 

Anyone who lives in Texas or has even visited the Lone Star State knows how hot it gets during the summer months. Sometimes you literally feel like you're standing on the surface of the sun so finding outdoor activities that can actually cool you down are essential.

We've rounded up the 15 best swimming holes in the Texas Hill Country that are perfect to cool down Texans and tourists alike when it's nearly too hot to be outside.

15. Blue Hole, Wimberley

The natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country in the small town of Wimberley.

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When real estate developers wanted to set up shop on Blue Hole Regional Park, the folks in Wimberley put their collective foot down and initiated the necessary fundraising and city-bill-writing to make Blue Hole a city park. Blue Hole is the locals' favorite Texas swimming spot to cool off, not to mention it comes with a rope swing that will entertain the kids for hours. The park is open year-round and the water, fed by natural springs of the San Gabriel River, runs cool.

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14. Krause Springs, Spicewood

photo of Krause Springs

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Krause Springs is a collection of 32 natural springs just 30 miles west of Austin. But the swimming area is the real highlight of the springs. It's natural, relaxing, and accented by a whopper of a waterfall when the water is flowing fast! It's definitely one of the most beautiful Texas has to offer.

13. Schumacher Crossing, Hunt

 

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You can thank the late John Schumacher for damming up this little hidden gem on the Guadalupe in the early 1920s to prevent flooding, which inadvertently created quite the swimming hole. Schumacher Crossing along the Guadalupe River is a true beauty, with a panoramic cascade of short waterfalls enveloped by towering cypress trees.

12. Hippie Hollow, Austin

Hippie Hollow is Lake Travis's famous "clothing optional" swimming hole. If you're looking for true aquatic freedom, Hippie Hollow is your spot. Just don't look too close, because there really are nude hippies in live 3D.

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11. Jacob's Well, Wimberley

a view of Jacob's Well, a perennial karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country flowing from the bed of Cypress Creek, located northwest of Wimberley, Texas.

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Jacob's Well swimming hole is situated over an artesian spring-fed by the Trinity Aquifer. The aquifer is actually 140 feet below the water's surface, and the well leads to one of the Lone Star State's biggest underwater cave systems.

10. McKinney Falls, Austin

Where the Onion and Williamson Creeks meet, you'll find McKinney Falls State Park, home to McKinney Falls. The rushing water here pours over a limestone ridge to form a lively waterfall and great backdrop for a day in the water.

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9. Blanco State Park, Blanco

 

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Just a few blocks down from the Blanco Courthouse, you'll find Blanco State Park's awesome swimming holes. The Blanco River is lined with limestone, nearly always flowing, and a consistently cool temperature. A man-made damn creates a fun set of waterfalls, but the pool is mostly still and relaxing.

8. Landa Park at Comal Springs, New Braunfels

Comal Springs in New Braunfels is the state's largest group of aquifer-fed springs. At Landa Park, Edwards Aquifer feeds into a massive lagoon complete with lazy tubing, climbing, and even a slide carved into the side of a dam!

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7. Colorado Bend State Park, Bend

Gorman Falls, at Colorado Bend State Park, Texas.

Gorman Falls, at Colorado Bend State Park, Texas.

When you're done hiking to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park, take a short hike down the Spicewood Springs trail to the multiple pools that are formed along the Colorado River. A big change here is that instead of one big lagoon, you almost get your own little private pool every 30 to 40 feet.

6. Hancock Springs, Lampasas

For over 100 years, people have applauded the healing properties of Hancock Springs. The salty, sulfuric creek maintains a constant 72-degrees. The pool has existed as a baptismal river for Lampasas' Baptists, a hot spot health spa, and now as a free pool that welcomes all to its healthy waters.

5. Devil's Waterhole, Burnet

Devil's Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park, Texas

Devil's Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park, Texas

Devil's Waterhole is a favorite swimming hole at Inks Lake State Park. A big attraction here is cliff jumping. Adrenaline junkies and brave boy scouts come to Devil's Waterhole to face their fear and take the plunge.

4. Garner State Park, Garner

Beautiful Fall Foliage Surrounding the Clear Frio River in Garner State Park, Texas.

Beautiful Fall Foliage Surrounding the Clear Frio River in Garner State Park, Texas. Getty Images.

There's a reason why Garner State Park is the most popular spot on the Frio River--it's awesome! When people get overheated from dancing and camping at Garner State Park, they take to the water, where they lounge, tube, swim, drink, and shoot water balloons at one another in the cool, crystal clear waters of the Rio Frio.

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3. Guadalupe River State Park, Bulverde

The main watering hole at the Guadalupe State Park is a real treat for wading and escaping the heat. The wide stretch of the river is lined on one side by cliffs that are over 40 feet tall. There are also large boulders in the river to tan on, leap from, or picnic on. The park is a hot spot for camping, tubing, and kayaking along the nine-mile stretch of the Guadalupe that cuts through the park.

2. Barton Springs, Austin

Barton Springs in Austin Texas

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Barton Springs is the most popular spot in Austin to bathe away the heat of the Texas summer. The water at this Texas swimming hole runs at a consistent 71.6-degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and is long enough to provide plenty of room for laps and races! The pool is the main attraction of the Barton Springs Greenbelt, which itself features plenty of other smaller swimming holes. It's popular among locals as well as visitors in town for a weekend getaway.

1. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Austin

Beautiful early spring landscape near Hamilton Pool on Hamilton Creek, Texas.

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Hamilton Pool is a magnificent natural pool that lies beneath a gorgeous 40-foot waterfall. The intimate grotto and accompanying pool were formed when an underground river caved in after millennia of erosion. If you are looking to mix fun with a backdrop straight out of National Geographic Magazine, Hamilton Pool is your place for a swim.

READ MORE: 7 Best Places to Go Tubing in Texas This Summer

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