Outdoor swimming is a great way to exercise and spend time in nature. However, it can be difficult to find suitable places to swim outdoors that are safe, have good water quality and are easy to find.
Whether you live in Texas and are looking for a regular swimming spot, or you want to find somewhere to swim while you are visiting then you are in luck – there are plenty of lovely spots to choose from.
We have put together a list of the best swimming holes in Texas to make it easier for you to decide where to go. They have lovely scenery, crisp clean water, and make the perfect places to cool off on a hot summer day.
Barton Springs Pool – Austin
Barton Springs Pool is a fantastic place to swim. This outdoor pool is part of the Barton Creek and is filled with water from the Main Barton Spring, a natural spring that is the fourth largest in the whole of Texas.
It has a surface area of around three acres and you can swim lengths of 900 feet – perfect for practicing long distance swimming! You can also stick to the edges and enjoy some gentle swimming, relaxing in the natural water.
The pool has varying depths and there are dive boards at some of the deeper parts so you can jump into the water. The water temperature varies as it comes from a natural source and some parts of the pool will be cooler than others.
It is a very refreshing experience and can get quite busy over the summer as people are eager to cool off in the cool water. It is open all year round but will be quite chilly in the winter so you might want to wear a wetsuit.
Surrounding the swimming hole is Zilker Park, a recreational area in the South of the city with beautiful gardens and amazing views of the Austin Skyline. After your swim you can take a walk around the park and visit the botanical gardens or the prehistoric gardens.
Krause Springs – Spicewood
Krause Springs is a perfect place to swim, especially if you want to camp out there too. It is approximately 30 miles North of Austin in Hill Country, not far from Lake Travis.
The 115 acre privately owned area has 32 natural springs. The water from these springs fills up the natural pool and the man-made pool. The pools are seasonal, usually opening in February.
There are some campsites on the property with basic facilities and spots where you can park your RV and connect to water and electricity. Guests can also enjoy the butterfly garden which is a very relaxing experience with windchimes that make lovely music in the breeze.
Krause Springs is a no smoking area and pets are not allowed onsite. The water is incredibly clean and the owners take pride in keeping the surrounding land natural and free of litter or waste. The pools will never be closed due to droughts as the water comes from deep within the ground.
Devil’s Waterhole – Inks Lake State Park
Inks Lake State Park is a stunning area of both land and water located in Hill Country with plenty of hiking trails, camping sites and picnic areas where you can enjoy being in nature. Nestled into the park is the Devil’s Waterhole where you can swim in the cool, clear water.
It is surrounded by rock and you can also climb up the canyon to get a better view of the swimhole before you go in for a dip. At certain times of year you can also explore the scenic waterfalls upstream.
The waterhole is an extension of the Inks Lake, which also has some great spots for swimming and water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking. There is no lifeguard at the waterhole so swim at your own risk, but it is a very popular spot with families to cool off in the hot weather.
Make sure you keep an eye out for all of the incredible wildlife that lives in the park, such as white tailed deer, armadillos, racoons, reptiles, lizards and lots of different types of birds.
Blanco State Park Swimming Hole
Blanco State Park runs along the river Blanco covering 104 acres of land. It is very popular for camping, hiking, wildlife spotting, tubing and swimming. The river is fed by a spring which makes the water clean and crisp for swimming in.
There are lots of spots along the river where you can swim, but if you are looking for a calm swimming hole then head to the lagoon by the waterfall. There is also a man made pool next to it which is perfect for children.
This is a lovely, safe and relaxing place to swim which is very popular with families, especially in the hot summer months. There are lots of other things to do in Blanco State Park to keep the whole family entertained. A lot of the wildlife is nocturnal but keep an eye out for turtles and green herons.
Jacob’s Well – Wimberley
Jacob’s Well is a small swimming hole open from May to September for swimming. It is part of the Jacob’s Well Natural Area which is open to the public for hiking and exploring, but you need to make a reservation if you want to swim to ensure that it doesn’t get too crowded.
You get a two hour slot to use the swimming hole and a fee is required. Dogs are not allowed in the area for hiking or swimming.
The swimming hole is closed for the fall and winter to help preserve the natural habitat and reduce disruption to wildlife. The natural pool is very popular in the summer so the area needs time to recover. There is no lifeguard so swim at your own risk, but it is generally considered a safe area to swim.
Swimming Hole At Neal’s Lodge – Concan
The swimming hole at Neal’s Lodge is a long, naturally occuring pool with a shoreline which is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the water. It is fed from natural springs and the water is always clear and blue.
You must be a guest at the lodge camping site to use the pool, but there are plenty of reasons to go and stay there. You can go kayaking on the river or rent a tube to float and relax on the water. There is a large water slide which is very popular with children and teenagers.
It is a great place to observe wildlife like bats, as they love to fly in a large group at dusk. There are also dining facilities and a fun atmosphere in the evenings with dances and events put on for the guests.
Balmorhea State Park Swimming Hole
The Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale is home to the world’s largest spring fed swimming pool. Over 15 million gallons of water flow from the San Solomon Springs and through the pool each, keeping the water clear and fresh. The pool has a surface area of 1.3 acres and reaches a depth of 25 feet.
The pool is open every day and there is no additional fee to swim in the pool once you have paid to enter the State Park. There is no lifeguard on duty and anyone aged 15 or under must be accompanied by an adult. Some areas are very deep so you should keep a close eye on your children and make sure they are confident in the water.
There are lots of campsites in the park and it is a great place to enjoy nature and spot wildlife like fish, birds, lizards and turtles.
Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs
This natural watering hole in Central Texas is a really beautiful place to swim. Hamilton Creek spills into a 50 foot waterfall with a refreshing pool underneath.
You must make a reservation to swim there, and sometimes the pool is closed due to the danger of falling rocks so make sure you check before you go. The pool is very secluded, surrounded by rock faces, and you have to walk a quarter of a mile on rough terrain from your car to get to the quiet spot.
The rocks provided some areas of shaded water which are perfect for very hot days.
Schumacher Crossing – Hunt
Schumacher crossing is a very popular swimming hole on the Guadalupe River where several small waterfalls spill into a large pond.
The scenery around the swimming hole is beautiful, but it is easy to get to as it is only 7 miles off the Ingram intersection with plenty of parking nearby. The pool is not wheelchair accessible and though dogs are allowed it is not recommended to bring them.
There are deeper areas and shallow areas for different types of swimming, as well as some strong rapids. There are picnic tables close to the pool so you can bring some food and spend a nice afternoon dipping in and out of the water.