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For our next swimming hole, we’re heading to Dripping Springs to visit Milton Reimers Ranch Park. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Pedernales River with your pup in tow.
Before we get started, we want to remind you that with the rise of Covid-19, it’s best to stay home. We encourage you to consider the safety of yourself and your neighbors. Our swimming hole features will remain online as a reference that you can access when you are able to safely experience the location.
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.
Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about swimming at Miltons Reimers Ranch Park!
Location and Hours:
This Texas State Park is located about 30 minutes outside of Austin in Dripping Springs, at 23610 Hamilton Pool Road. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. No reservations are required, though the park may close to new visitors without warning it if becomes overcrowded. This is likely to happen during weekends and holidays.
To enter the park, there is a $3 to $5 charge per person, with no charge for children. The park only accepts cash payments. The pass includes access to all the trails, fishing, guided tours, rock climbing, and swimming. Milton Reimers Ranch Park also features an astronomical observatory on site where you can have the opportunity to see a star-filled sky without driving to a remote site. The observatory does require reservations and an additional fee.
Opening in 2005, the property that is now the state park belonged to Milton Reimers, a fourth-generation rancher. Reimers opened his private park to rock climbers, mountain bikers, and fisherman as the site was known for such activities along the Pedernales River. Reimers sold part of the land to the Travis County, which is now the public park. Once the property was sold, local climber John Hogge joined forces with his adjacent land to put together a guidebook for climbers and hikers. Travis County then added in paved roads and added restroom facilities.
Milton Reimers Ranch Park is a whopping 2,427-acre property full of beautiful limestone and over 13 miles of hiking trails. The stretch of Pedernales River to swim in is about three to four miles in length. Some areas of the river are shallow enough for little ones while some areas of water are up to 10 feet deep.
Because the water at the park is flowing from Pedernales River, the water temperature will depend on the season. During the summer months, the water will be a little warmer. However, if you go after it rains, the water will be nice and refreshing.
Parking and Amenities:
Not only does Milton Reimers Ranch Park offer swimming, hiking, and more, they also host monthly bird walks the first Saturday from October through April. The walk starts at 7:30 a.m. and lasts two hours. Additionally, the park gives guided tours on Saturdays from October through April. It’s included in the regular park entrance fee and starts at 10 a.m. The tour lasts two hours and is limited to the first 30 guests. There are a few parking lots throughout the park, but keep in mind that they will fill up on busy days.
Most walking trails throughout the park are kid-friendly and easy to walk on. There are plenty of picnic tables in the parking areas to take a break or eat a packed lunch. The swimming hole is about a 300-yard hike from the parking lot to the river. On busy summer weekends and holidays, the hike may be longer due to overflow parking. The water is very kid-friendly featuring more shallow areas. Unfortunately, there are not many trees around the water area so no shade from the sun.
The following items are prohibited: camping, fireworks, glass containers, ground fires, alcohol, and tobacco. Dogs are allowed in the park but they must be kept on a leash.
This is a great park to spend the entire day! With all the activities Milton Reimers Ranch has to offer, there is something for the entire family. Tennis shoes or hiking shoes are a good idea if you plan to hike more trails than the trail to the swimming hole.
Check out all of the swimming holes in the area here.