The Narrows in the Texas Hill County

January 9, 2013

North America, Travel

The Narrows in the Texas Hill County

The Narrows in the Texas Hill County

The Narrows is a secret swimming spot in Austin, Texas. It is in the Texas Hill County on the Hays/Blanco County line.  There was a time when this was covered by an ocean and coral reef thrives in land. With the passage of time it has all frozen and dried up.

This LCRA Park is located on the upper south side of Lake Travis near the community of Spicewood. From Austin you should take Texas 71 and take a right onto Spur 191 at the Exxon. Follow the road approximately one mile to Spicewood.  Travel further north say 1.1miles on Burnet County Road until CR410 becomes CR411. This is a gravel road. Another 1.5 miles north should take you to the entrance of The Narrows Recreational Area.

The Narrows (Hay’s County) is a gorge formed by a series of seventy-five feet high cliffs. They are spread over quarter of a mile along the Blanco River in southwest Hays County. As you move upstream from the junction of the Blanco and Little Blanco rivers you see Narrows. It is basically the narrow appearance of the gorge that you see from above which is responsible for the name- The Narrows.

The gorge widens at the water‘s edge. The water has eroded potholes into the rocky banks and the river bottom. The upper reaches of Blanco River are hilly. The river’s slopes are frequently steep. As the river reaches the Balcones Escarpment near San Marcos, it becomes wider and the slopes are also moderate. Actually this is quite typical of rivers in the coastal prairies of the state.

The Blanco River provides drinking water for the city of Blanco as well as the nearby ranches. The river supports a number of recreational areas like the Blanco State Recreational Area in Blanco; the Boy scouts camp El Rancho Cyma near Wimberley Texas and other private parks and resorts.

The moisture from the springs flowing from the cliffs is responsible for the various species of ferns and watercress growing along the banks. The surrounding countryside of the Texas Hill County is characterized by sloping limestone which is used as pasture land. Live oak, juniper and mesquite grow in the shallow clay loam.

The Narrows was the part of the Hermann Schlemiels ranch. It was a scenic park. The local maps showed them from the 1930s through the 1950s. In the 1960s the ranch was sold and then the Narrows was closed to the public.

It is a day’s use park only. Other than the rest-rooms there are no other facilities provided for here. The Narrows is open daily and there are no charges. The lake levels are very low. You can walk to all of the swimming holes. It has limited swimming and fishing areas. They also have a boat ramp there.

When you finish up here you can consider going to Krause Springs. Also if you are getting thirsty and have finished on all your supplies you need not worry as there’s Poddies’ on71 while you head back to Austin.

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