Dipping Your Toes in Barton Springs
Located within Zilker park is Barton Springs, the central for year-round swimming in Austin. Barton Springs is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs, mainly from the fourth largest spring in Texas. Over the years, people have come to this natural pool to fish, swim, and even hold baptisms. Along with its massive size and naturally-fed water, Barton Springs also boasts an average year long temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. With all its popularity today, how did Barton Springs become what it is today?
Years and even centuries ago, the Tonkawa Native American tribe who once inhabited this area used the springs as a sacred location for purification rituals. Then Spanish explorers found the springs in the 1700s and erected missions at this location. Following the Native Americans and Spanish, William Barton settled the area in 1837, and thus Barton Spring’s name was born. Barton realized the value of Barton Springs and began to promote it as a tourist attraction which eventually lead to its popularity today. In the 1900s, Andrew Jackson Zilker became the last owner of the property and passed his ownership to the city of Austin in 1918. With Barton Springs as now a city-owned attraction, the city of Austin decided to further expand the swimming area by damming the springs and building sidewalks for tourists and visitors. The bathhouse was also created around this time. Eventually, Barton Springs became the comfortable and easy swimming tourist attraction it is today as it passed ownership from William Barton who first recognized its value in 1837 to the city of Austin which built the visitor accommodating add-ons to make Barton Springs the popular attraction it is today.
If you're planning to visit this popular attraction sometime soon, here is all of the admission information you need to know.
The pool's hours are:
Thursday: 5AM-9AM & 7PM-10PM (Cleaning day)
Free swimming during these times:
5AM-8AM (No guarded swimming)
9PM-10PM (Guarded swimming)
Daily Entry Fees
Many visitors on bike rental tours also tend to bike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt and swing by Barton Springs which is only a 25 minute bike ride away for a nice, refreshing swim. Across from Barton Springs is an educational exhibit where visitors can learn more about the history and biology of Barton Springs. During it’s open hours, Barton Springs is filled to a maximum depth of a little over 18 feet. The pool is closed during flash flood warnings for obvious safety reasons. Barton Springs is also closed for several days after a flood so that any debris that washed into the pool can be removed. Other unforeseen reasons for pool closure would be lightning or thunder, serious medical emergencies or pool contamination. Barton Springs is not just a popular location for people. It is also home to a federally listed endangered species of salamander. After debate and studies, Texas state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was concluded that swimmers and salamanders could coincide.
Today Barton Springs still continues to attract visitors from all around Austin and beyond. If you would like to travel to Barton Springs and visit it for yourself, and you’re not from the Austin area, there are many different hospitality services you can check out to make your visit to Barton Springs enjoyable. Also check out www.texashighways.com or www.jetsetter.com if you’re looking for traveling inspiration here in Texas. As for the advent bikers out there, feel free to check out local bike rentals and take tours of the area to learn more about Austin beyond just Barton Springs. Austin is home to many amazing tourist attractions with Barton Springs being just one of the many locations you should visit. This summer would be the perfect time to dip your toes in Austin by starting at Barton Spring!