Reimers Ranch


Didn’t start thinking about your weekend plans until Friday? You might as well forget about floating the Frio in Garner State Park or exploring Enchanted Rock. This weekly series assists in finding great alternatives to Texas’ popular summer hangouts, from watering holes to museums, for those who prefer (whether intentionally or by accident) to plan their trips spontaneously.

THE SPOT: Hamilton Pool

Hill Country summer favorite Hamilton Pool has been reservations-only since 2016 due to the swimming hole’s popularity. Unfortunately, reservations are booked into August this year. And with unpredictable bacteria levels, reservations don’t always mean you get to swim. But if you’re still looking for a scenic place to cool your heels, there’s a more secluded spot five minutes away.

THE ALTERNATIVE: Milton Reimers Ranch Park

Milton Reimers Ranch Park charges $10 (cash only) per vehicle for day use. In addition to access to the sandy banks of the Pedernales River where swimmers and sunbathers can relax and fishers can cast a line for white bass, there are also miles of hiking and biking trails as well as rock-climbing for novices and experts alike.

If you want to visit the park’s observatory, you will need reservations, but there are currently spots open in all June programs, so securing a place is feasible for the short-notice planner.

Leashed pets are allowed, and unlike Hamilton Pool where visits are limited to four hours, Reimers Ranch is open to guests from 7 a.m. to twilight. The hours between sunup to sundown are fair game for as much outdoorsy activity as one can muster in triple-digit heat.

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