Warm up with a free dip in this naturally heated, outdoor swimming pool

Pam LeBlanc took an early morning dip at Big Stacy Pool on Live Oak Street this morning.


Have you stepped outside today? Perfect swimming weather.

I know it sounds crazy, but I love to swim in the winter, when cold snaps turn outdoor swimming pools into cozy, steam-emitting ponds, and swimming laps feels like snuggling under a warm blanket.

RELATED: When you’re tired of sitting, head outside to work out the kinks

No, I’m not talking about Barton Springs here, although I’ve been known to strip off my wooly mammoth deck jacket and dive into that spring-fed wonder even when temperatures fall to the 40s or 30s. (Just remember, the air temperature is colder than the water temperature, so it’s not as shocking as it sounds. And water temperatures at Barton Springs hover around 70 or 71 degrees year round.)

RELATED: Four Austin pools open for winter swimming

Today I’m advocating a dip at Big Stacy Pool, 700 Live Oak Street. The pool, with its mix of tap water and water naturally heated through underground springs, steams like soup during the winter months. The old-school vibe will soothe your soul, too.

The pool closes if temperatures fall below freezing. Otherwise, hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 7 p.m. weekends.

If you’re prone to chills, pack a Thermos full of hot tea or coffee, or plan on a post-swim visit to nearby Magnolia Cafe for pancakes.

Entry is free. For more information call 512-445-0304.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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