As I’m writing this post the sun is blaring down on top of the umbrella I’m sitting under. It has been raining for weeks, but with the sun shining thoughts of jumping into the water around Texas is a top priority. If you’re wondering where to swim around the lone star state here are the 5 best Texas state parks for swimming. ( In no particular order )
Tyler state park has an amazing CCC-built window view of the waterfront. The stone structure is the hub for the lake, and it offers places for people to get settled by the water, shower after your swim, and there is also a rental facility and gift shop.
While the water is accessible in multiple places to boat and fish, the swimming area is a roped off section that changes in depth. For those more courageous, swim out to the floatin pier and show off that sick cannon ball. Learn more in the full recap.
The Guadalupe river flows in front of a majestic wall that offers amazing views from the water, and from above if you’re doing some hiking as well. The river bottom is deep enough to float around on a toob (sic), or walk up and down the river and do some exploring. The water levels can change drastically, so make sure you check their official park pages for the latest info. You can explore the full recap of this park here.
I remember that ol’ frio river… where I learned to swim. So sang Mr. George Strait himself. Not sure if he was dipping into the water at Garner State Park, but the river here does offer a ton of different options for the entire family.
There are multiple sections of the river you can access, but a lot of the main areas are located in one part of the park. During the warmer months this park can get really busy, so reserve a spot well in advance.
Cabins and screened shelters are all located in this part of the park, so it really feels almost like a fun resort. The area is wide open, and everyone camps fairly close to each other.
You can also access the gift shops, snacks, and the historic dance floor. Read more about Garner State Park in the full recap.
One of my favorite places to cool off in the summer is Pedernales Falls State Park. This park is similar to Guadalupe River SP, but the water flows a bit farther down. There are two sections where visitors can view the water, but there just know the upper falls section is off-limits for swimming.
The remaining sections vary from scenic and woodsy, to more open. You can also hike down from Trammel’s Crossing and lay your towel down on some river rocks under a tree and admire some of my favorite scenery in the park. Check out this post for the Pedernales Falls SP overview.
Blanco state park is laughably small, but makes up for its petite size in the amazing river the flows through the park.
With structures built by the CCC, there are portions of this waterway unphased by time. The stone swimming pool, CCC-built benches, and the dam are all remanence of the historic achievements they had in building some of Texas’ great parks.
Of course all of the parks with lakes will offer some fun swimming opportunities, Martin Creek Lake, Inks Lake, And Lake Mineral Wells are all top swimming destinations; and the parks by rivers can often provide amazing swimming opportunities too.
And besides the parks on the ocean, be sure to check out the parks listed below that feature swimming pools. Bastrop SP swimming pool was much needed to cool off during the summer. And the pool at Davis Mountain state park Indian Lodge provides a miraculous Mountain View.
Get out and explore this summer at some of these amazing Texas state parks for swimming, and share your favorite swim memories in the comment section.
Find the full list of Texas state parks for swimming
Lake, River or Creek Swimming (Links to official TPWD sites):
- Caprock Canyons
- Cedar Hill
- Choke Canyon
- Colorado Bend
- Cooper Lake
- Copper Breaks
- Devils River
- Dinosaur Valley
- Fairfield Lake
- Fort Boggy
- Fort Parker
- Fort Richardson (via Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway or by road)
- Guadalupe River
- Inks Lake
- Lake Arrowhead
- Lake Bob Sandlin
- Lake Brownwood
- Lake Casa Blanca
- Lake Colorado City
- Lake Corpus Christi
- Lake Livingston
- Lake Mineral Wells
- Lake Somerville (Birch Creek and Nails Creek units)
- Lake Tawakoni
- Lake Whitney
- Martin Creek Lake
- Martin Dies, Jr.
- McKinney Falls
- Pedernales Falls
- Possum Kingdom
- Purtis Creek
- Ray Roberts Lake
- San Angelo
- South Llano River