Hancock Springs

Lampasas is in the middle of nowhere but is on the way to everywhere. Highways 183, 190, 281, and FM 580 all collide here. People usually just stop long enough for a red light or two. A few more stop long enough to put some gas in their car and some food in their bellies. Most don’t realize that if they had an hour or two extra for the journey they’d be able to find someplace that might exceed both their origin and their destination.

Old Fashioned. As the oldest spring fed swimming pool in Texas Hancock Springs hasn’t changed much. I expect if you came here in the late 1800s or early 1900s you’d recognize it as not too different from today. Big pecan trees provide deep shade to picnic tables. Lifeguards sit under a large umbrella scanning the pool for kids who can’t swim quite as well as they thought they could or who wandered too far from the shallow end. From time to time they whistle the kids out of the pool for adult swim. There is no diving board, just an end of the pool you can dive off the edge from. Simple, pure.

People come for the water. It comes straight up out of the ground ground on one end and overflows down to the nearby creek on the other. It comes out cold and clear year round. No pumps, no chlorination, no filters, no influence of man. Locals say the water heals your cuts and is good for other ailments of your body. If you ask them if the water heals your mind and your soul I expect they’d say it heals those too.

Hancock Springs Lampassas
Hancock Park Highway, U.S. 281, Lampasas, TX 76550
N 31° 03.321 W 098° 10.949

Krause Springs

Time lapse of the Krause Springs rope swing.
Time lapse of the Krause Springs rope swing.

Waterfalls, giant cypress trees, clear cold water, camping, a butterfly garden, a rope swing, an unchlorinated spring-fed pool. Krause Springs is one of the best swimming holes anywhere. The authors of this book would like to take a moment to thank the Krause family for opening up their home to the public. We can’t describe this place well enough to do it justice except to say it is a true Texas gem and if you haven’t visited it you are missing out.

It’s also worth stopping at Opie’s barbeque right at the turnoff from the main highway either on your way out or even better on your way back. Opie’s is a BYOB establishment. They also have some of the best sides of any BBQ joint in Texas. Tater tot casserole, three kinds of cobbler, brownies, banana pudding. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you are going to Krause Springs for the swimming or because Opie’s is right next to it.