Two people were hospitalized with minor injuries Sunday after the rented double-decker barge sank near Hippie Hollow, a lakeside park and the only public nude beach in Texas. The accident occurred during Splash Day, a semiannual event hosted at the clothing-optional area by the Austin Tavern Guild, a gay and lesbian bar association. Witnesses said that all of the people aboard the barge moved to one side as it neared Hippie Hollow, creating uneven distribution and making it tilt. It sank in foot-deep water.
When the sun's out and the temperature is climbing, there's no better place to enjoy Austin 's rugged, hilly scenery than Hippie Hollow Park , a lovely expanse of precipitous limestone cliffs and promontories set along the eastern shore of serpentine Lake Travis. Hippie Hollow is unusual and popular for one major reason: it's the only public park in Texas where nudity is officially permitted. It's not surprising that you'd find such a place on the outskirts of liberal, countercultural, and LGBT-friendly Austin. One particular section of the park has a hugely loyal following among LGBT sunbathers, who flock here just about any day of the year there's sun and temperatures above 50 degrees. It had long been a popular nude swimming area, and local authorities tended to ignore complaints as long as swimmers were not doing anything else illegal. Travis County designated Hippie Hollow an and-older beach in , due to its established identity as a clothing-optional beach. Hippie Hollow is about a half-hour drive northwest of Austin. Take the MoPac Expressway or Highway 1 north for about 5 miles from the west side of downtown to Highway.
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It is the only legally recognized clothing-optional public park in the State of Texas. Sometimes erroneously labeled as a beach, the park actually sits on a somewhat steep slope above Lake Travis with limestone steps that can be quite rugged in some spots. Depending on the water level of the lake, access to the water may require some rock climbing. Hippie Hollow Park has been used as a nude swimming spot for years, because the area was along a particularly remote section of the shoreline of Lake Travis. The area became more popular in the s due to the cultural changes of that era and, after Woodstock , the nickname 'Hippie Hollow' was born. Hippie Hollow was controversial in the s, due to increased skinny-dipping which generated complaints from adjacent landowners. Raymond Frank, the sheriff of Travis County from —, determined that the county's law enforcement budget was better spent on more serious offenses, and skinny-dipping activities were generally ignored as long as no other laws were being broken.
Here is our list of the best parks on Lake Travis. Several of these parks provide campgrounds, beaches, picnic areas, boat ramps and opportunities for shoreline fishing. Each year, thousands of families and groups come west of Austin to enjoy the picturesque scenery and inviting clear waters of Lake Travis. More and more are discovering that Windy Point Park is a great place to relax and enjoy an outdoor meal, in the comfort of a beautiful picnic ground, without the crowds. Convenient to Austin, Windy Point Park is also a fun destination campground. Tent camping is primitive style, but the groomed lawn and abundant shade trees help to make it feel civilized.