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Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

by Ryan Shell

If you browse our Texas board on Pinterest, it’s highly likely that you’re going to do a double take when you see the Hamilton Pool.

In fact, when I first saw it it looked like a tropical setting I once visited just outside of Tulum in Mexico. But, as you now know, it’s not in Tulum. It’s in Texas. And from what we can tell, it’s a great place to visit.

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool

Upon recently seeing the photo again, I couldn’t help but look up where this awesome spot was. As it turns out, it’s in Dripping Springs Texas, just outside of Austin. Here’s some additional information courtesy of the Travis County Parks website,

“Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic swimming hole which was designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court in 1990. Located 3/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall as it plunges into the head of a steep box canyon. The waterfall never completely dries up, but in dry times it does slow to a trickle. However, the pool’s water level stays pretty constant, even during periods of drought.

The preserve is home to the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, and a great variety of other birds. The diverse vegetation of Hamilton Pool ranges from semi-arid species in the uplands to riparian species in the canyon. The uplands of the preserve are a juniper and oak savannah with a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. Several rare plant species including canyon mock-orange, red bay (western-most colony of this eastern species), and chatter box orchid are known to occur in the canyon areas along Hamilton Creek.”

The next time I make my way to Austin, Texas, or somewhere close by, I’m pretty sure checking out the Hamilton Pool will be on my to do list.

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