Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park…a favorite local “place to be” in Austin, Texas…the ultimate summertime swimming hole to me!!
When you jump into Barton Springs Pool for a swim, be prepared! The water feels absolutely freezing! Fed from underground springs, the water is usually 68 degrees to 70 degrees. Yikes!! Compared to the probably near or over 100 degree weather…the water is indeed cold…and just what you need on a hot Texas day.
Spanish explorers discovered the springs way back in the 17th century and eventually built (in about 1739) missions at the site. The springs were considered sacred and were first used by the Tonkawa Native American tribe who lived in the area.
There have been several private owners of the springs, but the last owner–Andrew Jackson Zilker–deeded it to Austin in 1918. The city proceeded to create a large swimming area by damming up the springs. Sidewalks were put into place and a bathhouse was built.
Barton Springs Pool brings about a yesteryear type of feeling to me…the bathhouse, the canoes and the rowboats/the picnic areas/the kids throwing footballs/ the happy swimmers just about everywhere. The key word is happy…hardly anything better than hearing laughter from all ages…at a beautiful swimming hole on a hot summer day!!
The Swimming Hole
The Swimming Hole A burbling tuneful peaty burn Like amber whisky flowing clear Where darting minnows twist and turn Is soothing music to my ear. Between the banks of rushes green Below the falls a deep dark pool Where lads who come to swim are seen Enjoying fun and keeping cool. I paddle in the flowing brine Where icy waters cool my feet And ripple through my toes, sublime. A feeling rare, supremely sweet. The swimming hole, a place to be When sun is warm and spirits free I spend a quiet happy day And watch my worries float away
Copyright © Margaret Foster | Year Posted 2010
“Texas Country Reporter”…one of my favorite shows…reports on favorite Texas Swimming Holes!