TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — Hamilton Pool in western Travis County is one of the area’s most sought-after destinations for people looking to beat the heat during Central Texas summers, and county officials are trying to keep the land around it from developers.
The county, using money approved by voters through a 2017 bond, bought seven conservation easements around Hamilton Pool Road to keep new builds off the land leading up to the popular spot.
The easement purchases also help protect Milton Reimers Ranch Park, which is close by to Hamilton Pool, the county said.
“Travis County is growing at a rapid pace, and there’s an urgent need to protect natural areas like the Hamilton Pool Road corridor,” Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea said. “These conservation easements allow us to maintain the County’s irreplaceable environmental features. Reimers Ranch Park and Hamilton Pool visitors and residents nearby will be able to enjoy the land and scenery for many years to come.”
The 2017 bond county voters approved was specifically tailored to help protect watersheds, native wildlife and scenic vistas.
Travis County Commissioner Ann Howard said similar conservation easements purchases are in the works for eastern Travis County.
In May, county officials had to restrict swimming at Hamilton Pool due to the risk of falling rocks caused by February’s winter storm. Some of the hiking areas around the water were also restricted due to winter storm damage. According to the county’s website, swimming won’t be allowed at Hamilton Pool “for the foreseeable future.”
It’s still open for most hikes, but you’ll need to make a reservation on the county’s website.