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Kids swimming in the Llano RiverWhen the hot summer months steam and you need to escape the indoors, there’s nothing better to do than hop in a swimming hole. It’s one of the few things that can provide relief from Texas heat. Rather than trekking to Six Flags Over Texas or Schlitterbahn, where one must contend with unsightly lines, the luxury of skipping out of town for a secluded escape can’t be beat. The Homer Martin Ranch boasts two private swimming holes – one on the beautiful Llano River and another on Bast Creek.

Woman relaxing in the Llano RiverThe Llano River is a lovely stream, especially in times of normal flow. It’s rippled clear water issues from good springs on it’s north and south branches, and is augmented by tributaries here and there, the main one being the James River, a scaled-down version of the Llano. The Homer Martin Ranch has two miles of riverfront property. Situated down river from the bluffs is our favorite swimming hole. Thanks to gargantuan cretaceous limestone cliffs jetting into the river, at this swimming hole, there isn’t a lack of scenery. Pop in a comfortable lawn chair and soak up the sun. Float on your back down the river. Or if you’re in the mood for something zesty, try swimming upstream. It’s a workout.

Kids tubing in a swimming holeBast Creek, also another favorite, is a limestone bottom creek lined with sandstone cliffs and Pecan trees. The creek is no stranger to wildlife. Turkeys routinely roost along Bast Creek, and whitetail deer, hogs, and cattle use the spring fed stream as their watering hole. At the swimming hole, a rope swing dangles anxiously waiting to cast you into the middle of a clear pool. There’s even a water slide, given you don’t mind slipping down a smoothed rock. It’s Nature’s own version of a Water Park.