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The Swimming Holes of Texas

The Swimming Holes of Texas
Updated Edition

Series: Jack and Doris Smothers Endowment in Texas History, Life, and Culture

April 2020
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256 pages | 5 x 8 | 115 color photos, 6 color maps |

Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide.

Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets.

So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.

  • Introduction: Swim the Lone Star State
  • Planning Your Trip
  • Swimmers' Etiquette
  • History and Conservation
  • Park Rules and Regulations
    • State Parks
    • National Parks
  • North
    • Belton Lake
      • Cedar Ridge Park
    • Buffalo Springs Lake
    • Caprock Canyons State Park
    • Cleburne State Park
    • Copper Breaks State Park
    • Dinosaur Valley State Park
    • Fort Parker State Park
    • Grapevine Lake
      • Katie’s Woods
      • Meadowmere Park
    • Lake Arrowhead State Park
    • Lake Brownwood State Park
    • Lewisville Lake
      • Little Elm Park
      • Pilot Knoll Park
      • Stewart Creek Park
    • Lake Mineral Wells State Park
    • Possum Kingdom State Park
    • Ray Roberts Lake State Park
      • Isle du Bois Unit
      • Johnson Branch Unit
    • Stillhouse Park
    • Twin Points Park at Eagle Mountain Lake
  • East
    • Boykin Springs Recreation Area, Angelina National Forest
    • Daingerfield State Park
    • Fort Boggy State Park
    • Huntsville State Park
    • Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
    • Lake Livingston State Park
    • Lake Tejas
    • Martin Dies Jr. State Park
    • Ratcliff Recreation Area, Davy Crockett National Forest
    • Tyler State Park
  • Central
    • Badu City Park
    • Bandera City Park
    • Black Rock Park
    • Boerne City Lake Park
    • Cypress Bend Park
    • Flat Rock Park
    • Guadalupe River State Park
    • Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool
    • Ingram Dam
    • Inks Lake State Park
    • James Kiehl River Bend Park
    • Kerrville-Schreiner Park
    • Lions Park
    • Llano River Slab
    • Louise Hays Park
    • Moffett Park
    • Pedernales Falls State Park
    • Robinson Llano County Park
    • Wagon Wheel Crossing
  • Austin and Surrounding Area
    • Arkansas Bend Park
    • Barton Creek Greenbelt
      • The Flats and Campbell’s Hole
      • Gus Fruh
      • Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls
    • Barton Springs Pool
    • Blanco State Park
    • Blue Hole Park, Georgetown
    • Blue Hole Regional Park, Wimberley
    • Bull Creek District Park
    • Canyon Lake Park
    • Colorado Bend State Park
    • Deep Eddy Pool
    • Emma Long Metropolitan Park
    • Hamilton Pool Preserve
    • Hippie Hollow/McGregor County Park
    • Jacob’s Well Natural Area
    • Krause Springs
    • Landa Park
    • Laura Reed Park
    • Mansfield Dam Park
    • McKinney Falls State Park
    • Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
    • Pace Bend Park
    • The Point at Bob Wentz Park
    • Prince Solms Park
    • Rio Vista Park
    • River Trail Park
    • Sandy Creek Park
    • San Marcos City Park
    • Sewell Park
    • William & Eleanor Crook Park
    • Zedler Mill Park South
  • South
    • Choke Canyon State Park
    • Coleto Creek Park
    • “Come and Take It” Historic Swimming Hole
    • Lake Corpus Christi State Park
    • Max Starcke Park
    • Palmetto State Park
  • West
    • Amistad Reservoir
    • Balmorhea State Park
    • Del Rio’s Blue Hole at Moore Park
    • Boquillas Hot Springs, Big Bend National Park
    • Devils River State Natural Area
    • Fort Clark Springs Swimming Pool
    • Garner State Park
    • The Quince
    • San Felipe Lions Park
    • Utopia Park
    • Wes Cooksey Park
  • Our Top Fives
  • Acknowledgments

Austin, Texas

Wernersbach is the literary director of the Texas Book Festival and a former marketing director at BookPeople, Austin’s largest independent bookstore. Tracy is a freelance photographer who works for an animal welfare nonprofit. They are the authors of Vegan Survival Guide to Austin.


“Organized by region, this resourceful guide provides comprehensive information—complete with color photographs—about 100 scenic swimming holes around the state.”
Texas Highways


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This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca