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Dive into a Highland Lakes swimming hole

This waterfall, created by a dam at Blanco State Park, is a favorite for people looking to cool off in the water. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

When the sun is out, it's time to take a dive. A great way to find relief from the heat is with a dip in a Highland Lakes swimming hole.

• The Kingsland Slab – Created by a huge outcropping of granite beneath the Llano River, the Kingsland Slab has plenty of natural swimming and wading holes. Drive RR 1431 west through Kingsland then turn west on FM 3404 and stay there for a couple of miles until reaching the Llano River.

• Devil's Waterhole – Located at Inks Lake State Park, this is one of the area's most popular attractions. Inks Lake is located at 3630 Park Road 4 several miles west of U.S. 281. Call (512) 793-2223.

• Krause Springs – Open year-round, this spring-fed retreat is known for its cold water, abundance of shade and outdoor grills. Get on Texas 71 to Spicewood and turn north on Spur 191 at Hollingsworth's Corner. Go to krausesprings.net or call (830) 693-4181.

• Hancock Springs – Originally a water source for public bathing for more than a century, Hancock Springs now also features 18 holes of golf, walking trails and playgrounds. Drive U.S. 281 just southwest of Lampasas.

• Robinson City Park – Located next to the Llano River, park-goers can enjoy lots of shade trees, picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing and swimming. Take RR 152 west from the Llano’s courthouse square for two miles. Call (325) 247-4158 ext. 202 for camping reservations.

Blanco State Park – Stand in the shower of a watterfall at this park thanks to the dam on the Blanco River. The park is located at 101 Park Road 23 in Blanco. Call (830) 833-4333.

• Hamilton Pool – The pool is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, which features 32 springs, trails for hikers and more. The pool is about a quarter-mile from the parking lot. Get on Texas 71 east toward Austin, turn south on FM 3238 (Hamilton Pool Road) and stay on it for about 13 miles. A sign on the right leads the way. Reservations are required May 1 through Sept. 30. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call (512) 264-2740 for daily updates.

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