Friday, October 28, 2011

Hamilton Pool Preserve...

So...yesterday was my birthday.  Mr P asked what I'd like to do.  I surprised him and said I'd like to go on a nature hike.
Even though we've been coming to the Hill Country for years, and years....and, we've lived here for three years...we'd never been to Hamilton Pool.  

It's just about four miles from our son's home.   He goes there so often to hike that he has a car pass.
So, we recruited him to be our guide.  Our daughter-in-law came along, too.

The trail down is pretty natural in most spots....but, well defined.

There are natural steps, and some man-made ones.

When you get to the creek side, the trail is even marked with some stepping stones.

The walking here is easy.

River fern...I think
Woodland plants grow alongside the trail.

Maidenhair fern

The creek is lined with age old cypress trees.

The colors are changing with the season.

Hamilton Pool is a collapsed grotto, with limestone walls, eaten away from years of wear by the flowing waters of Hamilton Creek.

In the 1860s the land was owned by Morgan Hamilton.  In the 1880s he sold the land to the Reimer family, who raised sheep and cattle.  The Reimers rediscovered the pool and opened it to the public around the turn of the century.  By the 1960s it was a very popular place for Austinites to go to swim.
The cattle and humans did a lot of damage to the natural landscape.
In the 1980s, Travis County bought 232 acres from the Reimers and began to work to bring the area back to its natural state.

When you finally arrive at the pool, you see why it's been so popular for so many years.
Still open to swimmers, but watched carefully to preserve wild things here.
The water level is a bit low because of the drought.

Tree growing upside down from the roof.

Stalactites, formed by water dripping down the limestone, cling to the roof.

Moss covered rocks.

The roof is peppered with swallow's nests.

Fascinating little mud huts.

Looking out from inside...kind of like looking out from inside a Jack-o-lantern.

The trail gets a bit narrow in the back.

Looking across the pool.  See Mr P and son on the other side?  Those two bright spots.
Shows just how large this is.

Pretty fall reflections.

Not a lot of water coming over the falls.  But, with so little rain lately, any water is amazing.

Handrails for safety

So much plant life along the trail.

Is this palm grass growing out of this stump?


Turk's Cap

Beauty Berry


Something unknown

Another unknown

And, this beauty...

Does anyone know what this is?

Fall color of Virginia Creeper

We walked past the trail back up, and a little way down the river trail.  The creek and trail go down and meet up with the
Pedernales River.

Piles of big rocks have peep holes to the creek.

It was a nice nature hike, to a beautiful place on a cool fall day.

What a nice way to celebrate.

Arriving back home...more natural beauty in an arrangement sent by my daughter and her family.

Mexican food for dinner.....a great day all round.

Another busy weekend coming up.  Family weekend guests...the Longhorn game...

Life is Good.

Have a great weekend, too.

Happy Gardening...


  1. Beautiful place, looks like you had a great birthday too.

    The one plant labeled "something unknown" might be pigeonberry and I spotted a fig behind the beautyberry. Quite a mix of plants there.

  2. Looks beautiful. What fabulous weather for a hike. Happy belated b-day.

  3. O my, I haven't been there in years (actually way back before it became protected!). Great diversity of plants there, so it looks like it's well taken care of now. The "something unknown" photo looks like unopened boneset blooms to me.

    Sounds like a great birthday to me!

  4. Happy birthday, Linda!

    What a great post,love your angles and the way you've composed the pictures to make a story. Makes me want to go.

  5. Incredible pics, not to mention what a diversity of lush plants and landscape. Another place to visit when I finally make it back to Austin again!

  6. Great photos. I was there (for the first time ever!)in early September. The only plant that was blooming at that time was the little lavender plant you saw (which I'm unfamiliar with) and a Gregg's mistflower. It was incredibly dry and scarily, the county hasn't banned smoking in the park.

  7. This is such an incredible landscape. So different from any we have in Massachusetts.

  8. I have never been and always wanted to. Thanks for the incredible tour! We just went to the Blue Hole this year for the first time as well and really enjoyed ourselves. Great pics!!!!

  9. oh- and hope you had a great birthday!!!

  10. Hi, everyone...
    Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a good day...and a good weekend.

    We were cold here...down to 31 degrees on Saturday morning. The covering and uncovering of tender plants, has begun early this year...ugh

    But, the days were wonderful. That's good and bad. We could still use some rainy weather around here.

    Hope you all had a great weekend, too.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  11. That sounds like the perfect way to spend a birthday! I've not been to Hamilton Pool since college, 30 years ago. Looks like I need to go back!

  12. One of my all time favorite places which you photographed beautifully. You'll never believe this but this is where D and I went for our honeymoon in 1968. I had arrived from England on the Monday, we married on the Saturday and Sunday a friend (penniless student like ourselves) lent us his car as a wedding present and we went out to Hamilton Pool. On our 40 anniversary we repeated the experience and continue to go there often. Always take visitors. Have you been to Westcave don the road. That's a must. Only on weekends as they take you down and you must ask when David will be doing the hike. He is the BEST.

  13. Jenny~~That's a beautiful place for a honeymoon.
    We haven't been to Westcave or Reimers ranch. It's on our 'must do sometime soon' list.


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