Natural Swimming Pools

Krause Springs–A Legendary Central Texas Swimming Hole

Visit a spring-fed pool in Central Texas, like Krause Springs. Photo Credit: Pixabay

The carful of kids love to travel and explore new places outside of our home state of Texas but the kids are back in school. Since it’s still hotter than a firecracker, we load up in the SUV to check out some legendary Central Texas swimming holes.

Located in Spicewood, Texas, Krause Springsisabout 30 miles west of Austin and is the home of Willie Nelson. The 115-acre property has been in the Krause Family for over 50 years.

With 32 springs on the property, there’s enough water for a man-made pool and then a natural swimming hole. The spring water eventual makes it Lake Travis.

The natural swimming hole is the draw at Krause Springs, with its century-old Cypress trees.
Sit on the edge of Krause Springs. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

We enter the little piece of paradise in Central Texas withbutterfly gardens and huge Cypress trees. It’s shady and lush, such a relief from the Texas summer heat. We park our stuff at a shaded picnic table and head for the main attraction.

Natural Swimming Pool at Krause Springs

The rope swing is a rite of passage for kids for over a generation.
The rope swing is a rite of passage for kids. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

The natural pool is a traditional swimming hole, rope swing included. The carful of kids decide today is the day that they’re taking the plunge into the age-old tradition.

My oldest son is first in line and firmly grabs the rope and lets it rip only to forget to let go. My daughter is not going to be outmaneuvered by her little brother, she drops in shoes and all.

I sit on the limestone rocks at the edge of the natural pool and blow up my air mattress until I’m dizzy. Before I can get it into the water, the carful of kids are asking to use it.

Central Texas' Krause Springs offers two ways to enjoy natural spring water, located just a few miles outside of Austin.

Where were you guys earlier this morning when Mom was loading the car? That’s right you were watching cartoons. Mom’s going to use her air mattress alone.

Since I’m a Mom, I ended up paddling my youngest around in the water as he sits on my air mattress.

Speaking of the water, it’s a constant 68F year-round and it takes a few minutes to adjust. To the carful of kids, it’s all part of the fun. We paddle around and swim for a bit before the kids decide they’re hungry–just about the time Mom starts to relax.

Man-Made Pool at Krause Springs

The man-made pool at Krause Springs adds to the fun and makes for a great day trip for families.
The man-made pool at Krause Springs adds to the fun. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

After lunch we decide to try out the man-made pool.It’s shaded, not too crowded and super clean. The carful of kids take turns jumping off the rock wall at the deep end.

It’s not the largest spring fed pool we have seen, that honor belongs to Balmorhea Springs Pool in Toyahvale, Texas.

Cypress Trees so big you can walk into them. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

We hiked around the property to see more of the springs, a few waterfalls and the beautiful butterfly garden full of wind chimes. Find century-old cypress trees with open cavities that kids can climb in a photo.

Camping at Krause Springs

If you want to make it a weekend, bring the RV or pack a tent. Krause Springs offers primitive camping and 24 RV sites with electricity and water.

Krause Springs features clean and modern bathrooms. I found flush toilets, sinks and showers though the showers use fresh spring water. And the water isn’t heated.

Camping is charged per person, $15 for adults, over 12 and $10 for kids 4 to 11 and no charges for little kids under 3. RV sites are $15.

Know Before You Go

Located at 424 Krause Springs Road, Krause Springs is far enough out of Austin to keep the crowds down and close enough to make it a great day trip. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Once you pass the newly developed Bee Caves area, the food gets sparse. So load up a cooler insteadto feed the kids for the day.

Krause Springs acceptsCASH ONLY. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids four to eleven and kids four and under are free.

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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