Nature-tripping at Hamilton Pool Preserve just outside of Austin  

by Pool Builders on 11-14-2008 in Articles

The Hamilton Pool Preserve just outside of Austin is a favorite destination of nature lovers looking for lush flora, varied fauna, and natural landscape in one place. With a canyon and a collapsed grotto both water-eroded to be formed, this nature's wonder is a sight to behold and enjoy. The peace and quiet, the cool atmosphere, the away-from-the-city-buzz laid-back ambiance, all these contribute to the attraction that drives locals and tourists to the Hamilton Pool Preserve year in year out.

The Hamilton Pool Preserve, transformed over the years by both natural and man-made interventions and land management restorations, has recently made a comeback as a tourist attraction with its cliffs, canyon, rolling hills, and upland meadows. All of the preserve's 232 acres of natural habitat is a collation of various features including a 50-foot waterfall pouring onto a jade-green pool, limestone walls surrounding the pool, stalagmite-like formations serving as a natural ceiling, fern- and moss-covered cliffs, and a sprinkling of exotic flora here and there.

Hamilton Pool Preserve amenities may be a bit Spartan for the average tourist but that's what you can expect from a nature trip. Swimming, hiking, backpacking, picnics - alone, with a friend, with the family - all these you can enjoy. On a clear sunny day, the trails are available to explore, although the preserve is sometimes closed after a heavy downpour.

Online, you can take a virtual tour of the Hamilton Pool Preserve to sample the excitement. As you finally decide to go there, you take the route along Highway 71 and 30 miles to the southwest of Austin is the Hamilton Pool Preserve. At Bee Cave, you then take the Hamilton Pool Road for a 13-mile ride to the Hamilton Pool Preserve entrance.

The preserve is open daily from 9 o'clock in the morning up to 6 o'clock in the evening, barring inclement weather. Reasonable entrance fees are charged ($8 for vehicles, $3 for hikers and cyclists) and special permits and passes are available for regulars (so you get annual permits at lower rates) and senior citizens. The seniors and veterans can avail of the Lone Star Senior Pass and the Lone Star Veteran Pass. Overnight camping and trailer parking passes, both regular or annual permits, are also available.

Once there, go on and swim, picnic on the grounds, hike and backpack, go biking, nature-trekking, on your own or with the preserve's tour guides that may be arranged by appointment.

Some notes for visitors: bring potable water; call ahead if you want a guided tour; parking is available only for up to 75 vehicles; footgear made for hiking is recommended; pets are not allowed; firearms and fireworks are not allowed, too; and take note of the weather as the park is closed after a heavy rain. Swimming in the preserve's pool is sometimes suspended when water conditions (as in bacteria levels of the water) do not permit.

So if it's nature trekking you are after, it's definitely the Hamilton Pool Preserve just outside of Austin you'd be meaning to go to.

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