Archive for the 'Swimming' Category

Swimming Opportunities at State Parks

Monday, July 11th, 2016
Fun in the water at state parks.

Fun in the water at state parks.

This is Passport to Texas

Don’t hunker down indoors with the air conditioning running this summer. Get outside to a state park and cool off. Many parks offer a refreshing alternative to air-conditioned cabin fever with a number of swimming opportunities…

Public swimming pools can be fun, but if you prefer a more natural setting, float your cares away at Blanco State Park, 40 miles north of San Antonio. Although it got hit hard by floods in 2015, the water’s fine. Here you’ll find cool, clear, spring-fed swimming for anyone seeking refuge from the long Texas summer.

Just 10 miles north of Beaumont is Village Creek State Park, and a free-flowing stream, popular with tubers and paddlers. [Due to recent flooding, swimming is not allowed]

About one hour from Fort Worth, Dinosaur Valley State Park allows visitors to swim in the same Paluxy River where dinosaurs roamed 113-million years ago.

Garner State Park near Uvalde is home to 10 acres of Frio riverfront, giving visitors plenty of space to swim the clear water, scoot the rapids in inner tubes, or even rent pedal boats.

Find listings of river and creek swimming sites at state parks when you log onto You’ll also find a list of sites with lake swimming, and even some with ocean swimming. When taking a dip in natural setting, always use caution. Find safety tips on the Parks and Wildlife website. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV – A Look Back at Texas Swimming Holes

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
Krause Springs near Austin Texas, photo by Dan Pancamo.

Krause Springs near Austin Texas, photo by Dan Pancamo.

This is Passport to Texas

Over the three decades the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show’s been airing, the name and its personnel have changed, but one thing remains — it delivers the best of Texas to you. Next month the series revisits a story from 1990 featuring Central Texas Swimming holes, many of which, like Krause Springs near Spicewood, offered more than mere recreation.

Years ago I was baptized here on this place.

Barton Springs—in Austin—one of the largest natural spring-fed swimming holes in Texas, has long been the subject of enjoyment and controversy. In this same segment, the series followed the heated debate concerning how development would affect the springs.

We need stronger protection in our watershed. In our inner city. You must find all the causes of pollution and treat them. You will represent all the city of Austin, and don’t get caught up in the cause celeb of the moment. I think without water, we will not have life. With all due respect, I cannot get away from the feeling that the new ordinance, as proposed is simply a no growth ordinance. It is very simple: if you build over the aquifer, you will pollute our water supply.

Although the segment on Central Texas swimming holes is more than a half century old, the issue is timeless. Catch it the week of June 5th on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Balmorhea Fun

Monday, May 9th, 2016

This is Passport to Texas

Jeffrey Buras [Byou-ras] is the newest producer on the PBS Texas Parks and Wildlife Television series.

There’s a lot to learn, for sure. Not only just with our production process, but also [becoming familiar with] all of the biology, all of the wildlife management…

The job involves more than knowing where to point the camera. It’s challenging, and also keeps producers on the road for long stretches. Yet, even when they’re done for the day, they’re never really done. As you’ll see when you view an upcoming segment called Balmorhea Fun.

I was actually doing a story with producer Abe Moore—we were out in the Pecos region studying the Pecos Pup fish for another segment. We’d finished in the middle of the afternoon, and we were considering—okay, we could either do the drive back to Austin over six hours, or we could just stay here in Balmorhea, enjoy the afternoon, make a fun little video, and drive back the next day.

And that’s just what they did.

We had a bunch of small Go-Pro cameras, and, we had a Quad-Copter that can shoot video. We spent the afternoon swimming with folks, giving them cameras [to use], and coming up with this fun little video.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife TV segment Balmorhea Fun airs on PBS stations the week of May 15th.

It’s just a fun view of what it’s like to spend a day at Balmorhea State Park.

That’s our show…for Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Before Summer’s Truly Gone–Get Wet!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Women on the water at a BOW Workshop.

Women on the water at a BOW Workshop.

This is Passport to Texas

Autumn is gaining on us…and no self-respecting Texan would allow an entire summer to go by without spending time in or on the water.

Fortunately, state parks provide opportunities for both.

Want to do a little canoeing, but don’t want to go it alone? This month you can join a ranger for a two-hour, three mile long guided canoe trip through the Martin Dies Jr.’s State park’s swampy marshes and the Neches River. Be on the lookout for wildlife such as bald eagles, belted kingfishers, herons, turtles and alligators. Find the schedule on the calendar at

Make tracks – or is that waves – to any Texas inland or coastal paddling trail. These trails provide well-mapped accessible day trips in a variety of settings, for all levels of paddling experience. Find trail maps online.

Anglers experience a new perspective on the sport by casting a line from a kayak or canoe. It’s simple to do, and you can find tips on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

There’s still time to get neck-deep in cool water, as the hot days are quite over. No matter where you live in Texas, there’s a state park with a pool, lake, river, creek, or even ocean just waiting for you to dive in.

Find information about all the wet and wild opportunities in Texas on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas parks and wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Swimming Opportunities at State Parks

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
Preparing for a dive into the crystal clear, spring fed, Balmorhea State Park swimming pool.

Preparing for a dive into the crystal clear, spring fed, Balmorhea State Park swimming pool.

This is Passport to Texas

From spring-fed rivers to Texas-sized lakes, to diving in a pool, Texas State Parks offer swimming opportunities. Spring floods affected many natural swimming holes, so call ahead to find out about access and safety. Meantime, parks with public pools were largely unaffected.

Abilene State Park in the Panhandle has a large swimming pool and pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps decades ago, which continues to provide visitors with summertime swimming and a separate wading pool for children.

Balmorhea State Park welcomes swimmers to the crystal-clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Swim or just relax under the trees at this CCC created historic park in arid West Texas.

In Far West Texas, Indian Lodge, within the boundaries of Davis Mountains State Park, has a lovely facility for its guests, who can relax poolside with a cool beverage or snacks from the lodge’s restaurant.

Bastrop State Park, in Central Texas, entices campers and folks from the surrounding area to its pools for summertime fun. The pool opens at noon daily.

While Goliad State Park and Historic Site in South Texas doesn’t offer swimming on premises, it is available across from the park, at a junior Olympic swimming pool, operated by the city of Goliad.

Wherever you are, there’s still time to get wet in the wilds of Texas this summer.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.