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Finding open swimming spots in Central Texas as drought continues

This summer, swimming could be a challenge as the lack of rain affects our favorite Central Texas watering holes. But Hamilton Pool remains open.

AUSTIN, Texas — Central Texas is known for all the great things you can do outdoors, and that includes great spots to go for a swim.

But Jacob's Well in Hays County is still closed to swimmers due to the drought.

Although water levels are lower, Travis County parks are open for swimming. One of the most popular ones is Hamilton Pool, located about 30 miles west of Austin and perched away in nature.

"We are comfortable with the water level and people coming in for a swim. Depending on what happens with water levels throughout the year will determine access. The other thing that will determine access is bacteria levels," Travis County Spokesperson Hector Nieto said.

Hamilton Pool is a spot that people from around the state – and even the world –  come to enjoy.


Randy Neal from Fort Worth was visiting Wednesday with his daughters.

"It is fantastic. It is beautiful," he said.

He is in Travis County for spring break with his family.

"Right there is my life. And to watch them, see them come to a place like this and have fun, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we work hard for, to take this break and spend some time with each other," Neal said.

Despite the drought, Nieto said Hamilton Pool does have enough water. But there are some restrictions this year when swimming.

"Limiting swimming to the beach area, so no one can go underneath the grotto, which is the large rock overhang," he said.

Nieto said during the winter storm of February 2021, ice got in the cracks of rocks, causing some of them to fall. Travis County is working with the University of Texas to figure out how to secure that area.

Other Travis County parks, including Reimers Ranch Park and Mansfield Dam Park, also remain open.

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