10 of the Best Austin Swimming Spots
A list of some of the best swimming locations around Austin, Texas.
INTRO: Always clean up your trash. Do not leave these areas dirtier than you found them. Bring a trash bag and pick up what you see. Don't let your city become a dump! Value what you have around you and show it respect.
1. Commons Ford Park
Located along the banks of Lake Austin on the west side of town, Commons Ford is a hidden gem. This park has a simple walk in, pup friendly atmosphere, and a big lush hill under large oak tress. The hill looks out over the lake which has a concrete bank to prevent erosion. Lake Austin water level is constant through the year and is always around a cool 65-70 degrees.
Around the park are several maintained trails through the trees and woods. Several large fingers from the lake continue inward and prove for small fishing and adventurous kayaking. There is a large boat dock that is sometimes host to parties. A volleyball net completes the laid back environment and plenty of folks bring coolers.
2. Barton Springs Park
A must see for anyone visiting Austin. This water hole is located in near southwest Austin and is a captured live spring. The water is a crisp 62 degrees all year long making it perfect for a beat the heat dip. There are two sections of the pool: a large humans only reservoir with a big shady lawn bank above it and an all paws allowed lower section with a more rocky side bank.
This area has become very well know for Austinites so I recommend getting there early during the day or to visit during the off season (Free Entry). There are shows with hot water and life guards on duty. No food or coolers are allowed in the upper pool area.
3. Sculpture Falls - Barton Creek Greenbelt
This location is another that has gained popularity over the last 5 years. The Barton Creek Greenbelt trail runs to and from highway 360 (Capital of Texas) and Mopac (Loop 1). Sculpture Falls is along the trail and equidistant from either entrance but I prefer to enter from 360 and descend the "Hill of Life." This is a 20 minute hike that drops about 300 feet in elevation down into the creek!
Sculpture falls is named for the amazing rock formations that have been created through the last thousand years as spring water rushes over and through the karst (porous) rock layer. The rain water is slightly acidic by nature and dissolves the basic minerals in the rock, washing them away. This swimming spot is dog friendly and a great place to string up a hammock to soak up the Texas heat!
4. Hippie Hallow - Lake Travis
The last nude beach in Austin... this park has been active since the 1960's. A popular location for those in support of free body breathing, skinny dipping is not only allowed but encouraged. This park has always been a hotspot for celebrating LGBT pride all summer long! Bring a towel to sit on and sunscreen for your whole body. It's normal to see full and partial nude men and women.
This park is located on the north side of Lake Travis near the Oasis restaurant on a secluded hillside over the water. Bring your dog and cooler but dont forget comfortable shoes as the shore line can be rocky in some areas depending on the lake water level. There is also boat access to reach this park!