Springs of Texas

Taylor G. '17

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Mineral-water springs have attracted health seekers since the beginning of time. Recently the assumption that these waters can heal medical and spiritual conditions has grown so popular that thousands of people have visiting springs yearly. Osmotic exchanges within the water are supposed to benefit the body. Rheumatism, arthritis, and skin diseases are reportedly relieved more often than any other condition.
Barton Springs, the fourth largest spring in Texas, is located in Zilker Park in Austin. The artesian water in the spring issues from the cavernous Edwards in the Balcones fault zone. For thousands of years the springs were a gathering place for Indians. It is one of Austin’s most famous landmarks and easily the most popular swimming hole in the city. Spring fed, Barton Springs is over 3 acres and around 900 feet long. The average temperature of the spring is 68-70 degrees, making it ideal for year-round swimming. A fun fact about the Springs is that it is home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, and is listed as a federally protected habitat. Today, Barton Springs still attracts a diverse crowd of people and has seen record setting numbers of visitors nearing 800,000 in recent years.
Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. It is located about 23 miles west of Austin, Texas off Highway 71. “I really enjoy going to Hamilton pool because they pool is very clean and relaxing! It’s an awesome place to go for some family fun!” –Hunter Libby ’17. If you visit Hamilton Pool be prepared to hike about a mile from where you park in order to reach the pool.
Hot Spring Resorts have also become incredibly popular, for example, Chinati Hot Springs. Chinati is located in Presidio, TX about 10 hours north of Dallas. The natural spring has provided healing waters to the native people of the area for thousands of years. Today, the Springs offer a peaceful atmosphere for people to relieve themselves of the stresses of everyday life and discover the soothing waters. The resort offers a variety of activities to keep the mind and body active as well. There are trails for hiking, mountain biking, or exploring the natural beauty of the deep canyons, cottonwood lined creek beds, distinctive geology and stunning sunsets. The resort has amazing reviews claiming “The owners are very nice, the Spring is such a gem and the land is breathtaking. Overall it was an amazing experience!” Another visitor said “It is a little slice of heaven and my favorite place in Texas!”
There are currently ten public springs in Texas including these three. These springs often charge guests a small fee when entering so make sure to bring some cash along. Springs have become increasingly popular for families and college students who live close to these springs. Even if you don’t believe these waters have healing powers it is certain that you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated after visiting a spring.

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