Encircled by ancient cypress trees, this spring-fed swimming area is a true Central Texas treasure. Blue Hole Regional Park is a natural oasis nestled on 126 acres of protected land in Wimberley.
Access the swimming area via the Cypress Creek Nature Trail just off of Wimberley Square, about 45 minutes southwest of Austin. The trail takes you on a short, 15-minute walk; meandering lazily through towering cypress and cedar trees flanking the banks of Cypress Creek. Enjoy the sound of the spring as it babbles over rocks and trickles down into tiny waterfalls. Let yourself be serenaded by the birds singing high above in the tree canopy.
The terrain is flat, alternating between dirt, mulch, crushed granite, and paved sections. On the hike, you will eventually encounter a barricade to protect private property on the creek. Continue to the right to stay on the official trail. Soon, you will find yourself at the entrance to the swimming area—marked by a rain collection cistern and bathhouse. Allow the weight of the world to wash away with a dip in the cool, emerald green water.
* To get to the trailhead, travel on U.S. 290 west to Dripping Springs. Just past the H-E-B in Dripping Springs, turn left on Ranch Road 12. Enjoy scenic Hill Country views for the next 15 miles and park on Wimberley Square. The nature trail entrance is one block from the heart of Wimberley Square, near the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and Old Kyle Road. Look for a wooden sign and public restrooms (adjacent to The Lumberyard shopping center).
Admission to the swimming area is $9 for adults, $5 for kids, and free for ages 3 years and younger. From May 25 to September 7, the park is open daily to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No pets are allowed.
** On Saturday, June 13, join Hill Country Outdoors for a guided hike and swim at Blue Hole Regional Park followed by a group dinner on Wimberley Square. Visit their club calendar at HillCountryOutdoors.com for details and to RSVP.
Thanks to Regina Kubelka, owner of Hill Country Outdoors, for recommending this month’s trail. HCO is an outdoor and social club focused on fulfilling the outdoor and social needs of Austin. Learn more about them at hillcountryoutdoors.com