Hamilton Pool in Texas

Hamilton Lake

Hamilton Pool is a natural water basin formed about 1,000 years ago by the collapse of the tunnel vault where an underground river flowed.

The pool is about 37 kilometers from the capital of Texas. What makes it unusual is that it is both an underground lake and a surface lake, rising to the surface from under the vault of a stone grotto. The beauty is completed by the waterfall falling from the 15-meter height. The lake was formed thousands of years ago by the collapse of the limestone dome of the underground river due to massive erosion.

Until the nineteenth century, the area was inhabited by Tonkawa and Apache Indian tribes. In the 1860s Morgan C. Hamilton bought the land. His brother Andrew Jackson Hamilton, who was a famous politician and the 10th governor of Texas, sometimes visited the picturesque grotto, which was named Hamilton Pool in his honor.

Local legend claims the honor of discovering the grotto belongs to the eight-year-old son of the Reiner family, who bought the land from Morgan Hamilton in the 1880s to farm cattle there

The subterranean river discharges into the nearby Pedernales River, which is a tributary of the Colorado River. The pool is surrounded by huge slabs of limestone, and stalactites hang from the ceiling of the grotto. Before the 19th century, the Tokawah and Apache American Indian tribes lived here. In 1985 the 232-acre parcel of land on which this unique natural formation is located was purchased from private owners and declared a nature preserve – Hamilton Pool Preserve.

Rayner quickly realized that the grotto also had great tourist value and opened the site to public visits.

In the beginning there weren’t too many visitors, because it was hard to get to the lake, but in the 1960s Hamilton Pool, with its picturesque grotto and waterfall, became one of the favorite summer recreation spots of Austin residents.

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The only way to get to the lake is on foot, leaving your car at the entrance to the preserve and walking the 400-foot drop down the steep hillside. In the 1960s the lake was a favorite summer recreation spot for Austin residents, and youngsters amused themselves by jumping into the lake with the waterfall jets – now prohibited. Swimming is not always allowed either, but only when special water quality monitoring allows it. In addition, the time of visiting the park by tourists was reduced – the park is open until 18 hours.

In the 1980s, the number of tourists has grown so much that it began to badly affect the natural environment of the grotto. In 1985, Texas authorities bought the grotto from the Rainer family, and the place was declared one of the most significant natural reserves in Travis County.

Today the Hamilton Basin area is a nature preserve that includes the Emerald Green Basin itself, a waterfall that reaches 15 meters in height, and approximately 0.94 square miles of surrounding natural landscapes.

Hamilton Pool

The pool is surrounded by huge limestone cliffs that approach the very edge of the water, with magnificent stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the grotto. The ceiling of the grotto and the surrounding rocks are richly overgrown with moss and adianthum ferns, as well as many mountain swallows nest here. There are many wild orchids in the reserve.

Hamilton Pool

The picturesque surroundings of Hamilton Basin and the basin itself have been the natural backdrop for Hollywood movies. In 1990 a number of scenes for the movie Playing with Fire were filmed here. The main character Gloria, played by Jennifer Connelly, swims in this very pool. In the comedy film.

Hamilton Pool

Adopting the custom of underground lakes, Hamilton Pool is colored bright green. This fantastic lake, like the most ordinary lake, is home to small fish and small turtles. However, it is illegal to fish in Hamilton Poole Preserve. Regulations also prohibit mountain biking, camping, dogs or other pets, and campfires and cooking.

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Hamilton’s pool is usually open to swimmers, but because of the natural seasonal breeding of bacteria, swimming in it is sometimes prohibited. The sanctuary has a special service that constantly checks water quality.

Hamilton Pool

Since August 2010, entrance to the reserve, where Hamilton’s pool is located, has been paid. To get to the pool you have to pay $10. The ticket allows you to stay in the park all day.

Hamilton Pool

Some more facts:

Hamilton Pool

For the convenience of visitors, the sanctuary has a parking lot with 75 parking spaces. There are picnic tables next to the parking lot.

Hamilton Pool

To get to the water, you have to go down a path from a fairly steep hill, and there is no ramp for the disabled.

Hamilton Pool

It is prohibited to drink water from the Hamilton Pool or use it for cooking.

Since August 2010, entrance to the reserve, where Hamilton’s pool is located, has been paid. To get to the pool you have to pay $10. The ticket allows you to stay in the park all day.

In addition, fishing, campfires, mountain biking, and it is forbidden to bring any pets into the park.


photo source

Not less than a millennium ago, not far from where the capital of the State of Texas would later appear, the vaults of the tunnel concealing the underground river suddenly collapsed, and the true miracle known today as Hamilton Pool came to light.

The collapsed vaults of the cave transformed the underground river into an unusual lake, part open and part covered by a natural rock arch. From the top of the grotto, untouched by the collapse, hang bunches of stalactites like pompous chandeliers from the ceiling of the ballroom. The fantastic pool is densely surrounded by a pile of limestone rocks, abundantly covered with silky moss, and studded with nests of swift mountain swallows.

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Clickable, panoramic.

Long time these places were inhabited by Indian tribes, and in the 1960s the land was bought by Morgan Hamilton, a brother of Texas governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton, after whom the picturesque water body was named. Twenty years later, the Rainer cattle family took possession of the colorful area.

Clickable, panoramic.

One of the younger Reiners, accompanying a herd of cows, happened to stumble upon a fantastic grotto and was stunned. Although the lake was of little value as pasture, the head of the family quickly realized that it could pay good dividends as a tourist center. Since then, the problem of summer vacations for the citizens of Austin was solved – Texas families in their entirety came to the shores of Wonder Lake to spend unforgettable days there.

Clickable, panoramic.

The uncontrolled influx of tourists could not but adversely affect the state of the grotto, and then the state authorities bought the land from the Rainer family and declared it, along with a small adjacent territory, a unique nature reserve.

More recently – since the summer of 2010 to get to the corner of paradise is possible only for money: pay 10 dollars, the visitor may be on the shore of a beautiful lake until late at night.

Like most underground lakes, Hamilton Pool is a pool of green. In addition to the fluffy moss that covers the grotto walls, coastal fern thickets, diluted with an ornate scattering of wild orchids, add harmonious notes to the emerald landscape. The final fairy tale to this wonderful place is given by a luxurious waterfall, crystal jets of which fall into the transparent waters of the lake from the height of 15 meters.

It is said that in the past many brave men dared to jump into the depth of the reservoir from the very top of the waterfall, plunging into the mirror-like surface together with the stream of foaming jets. Today, when the nature reserve is taken under the protection of the state, such madness is forbidden. Even swimming in the lake is subject to special rules. During the seasonal breeding of bacteria, the lake is closed to visitors, and special services of the reserve tirelessly monitor water quality.

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This picturesque place is popular not only among tourists: filmmakers, too, do not miss a happy opportunity to save on renting pavilions and take advantage of the colorful living scenery. The shores of Hamilton Poole Lake have been the setting for many movies, including Game of Fire, Teeth, and one part of the legendary Predator.

It should be noted that the chemical composition of the water here is inconsistent and regularly monitored and therefore access to the pool is not always open. By the way, even if the entrance is open, you should splurge a little and pay a dozen dollars to have the pleasure of swimming in this amazing pool of natural origin.

Let’s not forget the virtual tour ! Click on the pictures below !

Click on the pictures and get to Texas !

The original article is at InfoGlaze.rf Link to the article from which this copy was made – http://infoglaz.ru/?p=28081

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