TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hamilton Pool is considered the most significant natural area in rural Travis County. But years of meteorological and geological events have led to some parts of the park to close earlier this year.
But there’s one thing to be aware of: the park is still open.
“It’s open for guests to come in and to hike down to the pool. There’s also a trail that follows Hamilton Creek all the way down to the Perdenales River,” says Drew Pickle, West District Parks Manager for Western Travis County explains.
Pickle also says that the beach is open for the public to enjoy, but you can’t swim in the pool. “The main impact has been closure due to rockfall to hike behind the waterfall and to swim in the pool.”
According to Pickle, the February winter storms caused ice wedging to occur which is when freezing rain falls into cracks in the ground then expands and freezes on contact.
As a result of the ice wedging, Pickle says that Travis County Parks began noticing an increase in large rock falls into the pool. Some were as large as 100 yards in neighboring Reimer’s Ranch.
In addition to the ice wedging, above average rainfall over the course of this spring and summer has only exacerbated the loosening up of the limestone rock of the Hamilton Pool Preserve.
While the pool and some trails are closed for now, Pickle says it’s just temporary.
“Once we’re able to dry out and get out of this cycle […] we’ll be able to see if things stabilize and reopen the pool,’ says Pickle.
For now, Hamilton Pool is open, just make sure to make your reservation for either the morning block or afternoon block prior to coming to the park.