Summer Road Trip: Your Guide to Cooling Off

Summer Road Trip: Your Guide to Cooling Off

Texas Road Trip

Summer in Texas is not only hot, but can also become quite brutal. Triple digit temperatures, combined with high humidity, can get old pretty quick. John Williams tells us how to beat the heat this summer by taking a road trip to these top natural springs located in the Lone Star State.

East Texas

Tyler State Park

This beautiful spot east of Dallas offers a 64 acre lake that is fed by a nearby spring. Pineywoods encase the area that offers plenty of room for swimming, fishing, and boating. Tyler State Park is located just 10 miles north of Tyler and is surrounded by 100 foot pine trees that offer adequate shade for a day of fun in the sun. The swimming area is located on the east part of the lake as well.

Boykin Springs

This 9 acre lake located a few hours north of Beaumont is a natural wonder that is sure to please. Named after the man who dammed a nearby creek, Sterling Boykin created a beautiful natural pool of water that serves Eastern Texans well throughout the summer months. The water comes over a stone spillway from the creek and Boykin Springs is so hidden that many locals don’t want to talk much about it. The area is great for kids and young families as well.

Texas Hill Country

Hancock Springs

Viewed as a body of water that has healing properties, Hancock Springs has a salty and sulfuric consistency that keeps the water at a steady 72°F all year long. Visitors have flocked to the area for over 100 years which is located in Lampasas just off of Hwy 281 in between Waco and Austin. Hancock Springs is a free-flowing pool that naturally fills from the cold artesian spring that flows directly into Sulfur Creek. The water is heavy with minerals and is chemical free but does have a slight sulfur smell. Make sure to plan accordingly as this natural wonder is only open to the public Thursday-Sunday.

Devil’s Waterhole

Texas Summer Destination - Inks Lake

Inks Lake, near Burnet, Texas. Photo by Texas Home and Garden/Dave Holz.

Located just south of Hancock Springs is Inks Lake State Park that features Devil’s Waterhole. This naturally formed swimming hole is fed by the Valley Spring Creek flanked by cliffs on either side. Visitors often like to test their bravery in jumping from the cliffs into the cool refreshing waters. Go a bit further down the canyon and you will find waterfalls and small ponds of water that will bring relief despite the Texas heat.

Hamilton Pool

Texas Summer Destination - Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool, near Austin. Photo from iStock.

Hamilton Pool is a picture perfect spring that perfectly describes Austin’s outdoor scenery. This swimming hole sits underneath a 40 foot waterfall that visitors flock to every summer to escape the heat. Reservations are needed to visit this magnificent wonder and there are times during the summer when the pool is closed due to high bacteria levels. Make sure to call ahead before trekking over to Hamilton Pool in order to use the gorgeous area without any issues.

Jacob’s Well

Texas Summer Destination - Jacob's Well

Jacob’s Well, located northwest of Wimberley, Texas, near Austin. Photo from iStock.

This popular swimming hole near Wimberley, Texas is known for its unique artesian well that is fed underground by the Trinity Aquifer. The aquifer is located 140 feet beneath the surface of the well which also includes a large expanse of underwater cave systems. Jacob’s Well is popular in its unique spring system and has become a hot spot for thrill seekers who choose to free drive its deep cavern. Two hour reservations are required for this popular swimming spot so be sure to call ahead before heading out.

Krause Springs

This well-known area is just 30 miles west of Austin in Texas Hill Country. It is a 115 acre property that was founded in 1955 and provides some of the best natural spots to explore and take a refreshing dip. Named for the family that owned the property, Krause Springs is made up of 32 individual springs that supply both the man-made and natural pool on the site. It is named on the National Registry of Historical Sites and is a popular camping spot as well.

West Texas

San Solomon Springs

Head west along Hwy 10 to Balmorhea where you will find San Solomon Springs in Balmorhea State Park. This natural spring is fed by more than 15 million gallons of water that flow through the pool on a daily basis. Water temperatures stay above 72°F and provide a cool break from the West Texas heat. The pool is less than 2 acres in size and provides plenty of room to swim as well as scuba dive to up to 25 feet below water. The lively pool sits in stark contrast to the desert surroundings and saw recent years of up to 135,000 visitors. The area has been threatened by recent oil issues so call ahead to be sure that it is open when you arrive.

No matter what order your choose to visit these natural springs this summer, all of these options offer beautiful waters that are sure to refresh a weary road warrior. From the well kept secrets of Eastern Texas to the many options of the Texas Hill Country to the gem of a natural lake out in West Texas: these natural springs won’t disappoint in staying cool during this hot Texan summer!

About the Author

John Williams is an outdoor living expert and explorer. When he’s not traveling to nature’s most well known beauty spots, he tends to the greenery surrounding his home.

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