Top Swimming Holes in the Hill Country
For the adventurous summer traveler, the hill country surrounding Austin holds many pleasant surprises, including some breathtakingly scenic swimming holes.
I visited two of these jewels in the course of a week, both a short road trip west of Austin and each an oasis of cool, clear water amid caverns and limestone in the hills.
Hamilton Pool, located about 13 miles past Bee Cave, lies sparkling within a collapsed grotto and canyon formed by years and years of erosion.
The pool is accessible by a 1/4 mile long trail of stone and slippery ledges, but there is a payoff at the end: a 50 foot cascading waterfall.
Krause Springs is only a hop, skip and a jump away from Hamilton Pool near Spicewood, TX, in Travis County.
The Springs offer two main pools, one man-made and the other a more natural pooled creek. Tall cypress trees and ferns line the big swimming hole area, complete with a waterfall revealing a small cave to swim around in and explore.
There’s even a rope swing tied to one of the trees to launch swimmers into the water. How perfect is that?
Camping is allowed at Krause Springs, and there is also a newer botantical garden to explore during your visit.
Both of these places require, not surprisingly, a small admission fee. Pets are not allowed at either of the swimming holes, and sturdy footwear is recommended.