On spring break this year, my friends and I decided to go to Hamilton Pool on a hot afternoon. Anyone who has actually been to Hamilton Pool knows that this was a naive, foolish decision, but having only heard of it and watched the movie Teeth (which, upon further Googling, I’m no longer certain was actually filmed at Hamilton Pool?), I thought this was ambitious but possible. I was wrong. The line to get in was so long that we weren’t even allowed to wait in line, we were just told to leave. We were pretty bummed, but on the bright side, I was about to spend the whole summer in Austin for my internship, so the opportunity would arise again.
That fantasy became reality this Sunday when we got up at 8 a.m. to try to at least get in line this time. When we got there after a 45 minute drive, we were both lucky and unlucky to discover that swimming wasn’t allowed for the day. (No, I did not check the website before we left…) We were a little sad because it was blazing hot outside and we wanted to swim, but because apparently everyone else did check the website and see that they couldn’t swim, it wasn’t crowded at all. We didn’t even have to wait in line and we were able to hike and explore in relative peace.
Hamilton Pool is a really beautiful place. Of course the pool itself is gorgeous, but the rest of the area is fantastic, too. The hiking trails are lush and shady, and the cypress trees along the trails are impressive. I think it would be worth the wait to go swimming there. The pool isn’t the only swimming area in the nature preserve, either. There is a (long, hot and sweaty) hiking trail to the Pedernales River, which I’m assuming is less crowded than the pool on days that swimming is allowed. On that trail, we heard a woman say something like, “at least it wasn’t a big snake,” after which my boyfriend saw a snake, freaked out and ran away — oh wait, it was just a lizard. That’s how natural this nature preserve is. Your hiking partners might think they’ve seen a snake and leave you for dead.
I wish we had been able to swim, but who knows? Maybe someday I’ll go back and get a place in line and wait a few hours for that magical dip in Hamilton Pool. Until then, I’m just happy I finally got to see it.