Handy Book Is Your Guide to 100 of Texas's Greatest Swimming Holes

Just in time for Memorial Day and the long summer stretching out ahead of us, Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy have come up with a very handy book indeed: The Swimming Holes of Texas.

The pair took a look at 100 swimming holes in Texas and not only tell you where they are, but how to access them, what's nearby and what you can do when you get there.

William & Eleanor Crook Park: Free.

Take William & Eleanor Crook Park in San Marcos. Now, the rules say no Styrofoam or alcohol, and no nude sunbathing or jumping from the bridges above.

But right there in San Marcos is a six-acre park where you and the San Marcos River can find a certain amount of serenity. Employ the section with the rope swing and you should be able to miss all the tubers elsewhere, the authors say.

River Trail Park, ranked one of the top five dog-friendly spots.
River Trail Park, ranked one of the top five dog-friendly spots.
Photo by Carolyn Tracy

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River Trail Park: Dog-friendly.

Take River Trail Park in Luling. There's no camping but it does offer you a free way to just pull off the roadway and walk into the San Marcos River. Feel free to bring your dogs along; there's kayak and boar rentals available but no lifeguard so take care.

This is also the start of the Luling Zedler Mill Paddling Trail. Park on the grass and have at it.

Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool, ranked one of the top five best spots for accessibility.
Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool, ranked one of the top five best spots for accessibility.
Photo by Carolyn Tracy

Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool: Accessible.

Hancock Springs in Lampasas is one of the oldest spring-fed swimming pools in the state. Entrance fees range from $2.50-$3.50 a person and free for kids 2 and under. At one time the Central Texas spring on Sulphur Creek was known as the "Saratoga of the South" for its supposed healing powers.

But that was a long time ago; now visitors enjoy it for its clear cold water, kept at 69 degrees all year long.

Utopia Park, ranked one of the top five worth the drive.
Utopia Park, ranked one of the top five worth the drive.
Photo by Carolyn Tracy

Utopia Park: Worth the drive.

No matter where you come from, according to the authors, Utopia Park is worth driving to. Located in (of course) Utopia, head for this small Uvalde County town and its community park. This is another swim at your own risk kind of place but it does have restrooms with showers and picnic tables with grills.

Not to miss: a rope swing letting you descend into the Sabinal River. With a soft river bottom spotted with rocks, the authors advise bringing along a set of swim shoes.



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