Summer Swimming Series
Hidden Holes: Georgetown's Blue Hole
Most Central Texas swimming holes require a fairly significant jaunt beyond the Austin metro area. Georgetown's Blue Hole is one refreshing exception. Located just off I-35 and six blocks north of Georgetown's town square, the swimming hole is as easy to get to as it is beautiful.
Stretching some 40-yards across, the swimming area itself is relatively broad in comparison to other area swimming holes. The park also offers extensive length, with accessible entry points on the southern shore of the river stretching roughly 1/10 of a mile before continuing around a bend that offers another sizable stretch of access.
Because the park is, for all intents and purposes, just a portion of the San Gabriel River's south fork, the water runs a bit warmer than some of the other area swimming holes.
In comparison to the slightly warmer water temperatures, Georgetown's Blue Hole Park offers little in the way of grass. The southern shoreline is quite dusty and proffers negligible benefits for those looking to sun. Unless you plan on floating on an inflatable raft of some sort, this hole isn't quite ideal for sunbathing.
Conversely, the park doesn't offer much in the way of shade either. In addition to the dustiness, the shoreline feature no trees. In order to gain a respite from the unrelenting Texas sun, you'll have to trek up a slight incline into a rocky, wooded area.
It's not all bad, of course. The park does have clean bathroom facilities and numerous picnic tables, so if you're looking to have a meal with your swim, this is one of the better options around.
And be mindful of the cliffs on the northern shore. Though there have been folks jumping from the rocks into the water each time I've visited, recent news reports have indicated that the Georgetown police will be cracking down and writing citations to those adventurous souls looking to take advantage of the easy cliff access.
While the park is far from perfect, the minimal crowds and plentiful space make it a nice respite from the summer heat. That it's located just minutes away from the city center makes it even more remarkable. And with limestone bluffs framing the northern shore, this city park can be a breathtaking escape from the day-to-day life of the Austin metropolis.
To get to the park, take I-35 north and exit University. Take a left on Austin Avenue and look for the Blue Hole sign a few blocks north of the town square. The park is free and open to the public from dawn until dusk. Please note that glass bottles aren't allowed in the park and there is a strict leash law for all pets. Visit here to see a complete list of park rules.