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Buff guide to Hippie Hollow Park

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Buff Guide is an unofficial guide to Texas nudist destinations. Efforts are made to contact to nudist clubs for the most accurate, up to date information but in the absence of a response, the information presented is obtained primarily from club websites. Contacting a club or business ahead of a planned visit is always recommended to clarify policies.

Hippie Hollow Park, Lake Travis, Austin

Hippie Hollow Park is situated on 109 acres in the basin area of Lake Travis, 20 minutes northwest of downtown Austin, Texas. The park is about a three-hour drive from Dallas-Fort Worth. It is the only clothing optional public park in Texas and is popular for nude sunbathing and swimming.

Located along a once particularly remote section of Lake Travis shoreline, present day Hippie Hollow Park has long been an attractive spot for skinny dipping with area locals. It became even more popular for that purpose during the cultural changes of the rebellious 1960s.

Sometime after the famous 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, the area was dubbed "Hippie Hollow" since the area was popular with those who were part of the hippie subculture.

Given that the area had been long used unofficially for nude swimming and sunbathing, when the site was leased to Travis County and opened in October 1985, originally as McGregor Park, the clothing optional tradition continued. It was officially designated as such and signs were installed at the park entrance warning visitors that nude swimmers and sunbathers could be encountered.

At one time the park was frequented by families, but in 1995 county commissioners bowed to pressure from influential Austin community groups who objected to children being exposed to nudity. The commissioners passed an ordinance that left the clothing optional status intact but restricted entry and use to adults, age 18 and over.

Local nudists filed suit against the county over the change but the ordinance was upheld in 1999 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hippie Hollow Park does not have a beach but instead features a steep, rocky shoreline that provides some spectacular views of Lake Travis. According to Travis County Parks Department, the park receives about 350,000 visitors annually.

Getting there

Hippie Hollow Park can be reached by car from Dallas-Fort Worth by driving south on Interstate 35 S approximately 195 miles. Take exit 250B toward TX-45/TX-1and merge onto TX-45 West. Continue onto Ranch Road 620 N to Bullick Hollow Road. Turn right on Bullick Hollow Road to Oasis Bluff Drive. Turn left on Oasis Bluff Drive and continue to Comanche Trail. Turn right on Comanche Trail, park entrance is on the right. The physical address for the park is 7000 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732.

When to go

The summer months (May-September), are the most popular time for visiting Hippie Hollow Park but the park is open throughout the year. The central Texas climate is ideally suited for year-round recreation. Summer heat is generally more of an issue than cold weather in winter. The temperature dips below freezing only a few days each year. Even very coldest days are often followed quickly by mild, sunny weather. The park is a realistic nude recreation option just about any time of year.

Each Sunday on Labor Day weekend the Austin LGBTQ community hosts Splash Days at Hippie Hollow Park and the popular event frequently takes the park beyond capacity. Those visiting on Labor weekends should be prepared for crowds significantly larger than on other summer weekends.

The Travis County Parks Department considers Hippie Hollow Park to be a heavy use area but visitors will find the park less crowded on weekdays than on weekends, especially during the peak summer months when the park sees the most visitors.

Hippie Hollow is a day use only park and the hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to civil twilight (dark).

Activities

Hippie Hollow Park offers a designated swimming area, nature hiking trails and a paved ADA accessible trail. All swimming is at your own risk. No lifeguards are provided. There is ample area for picnics and grill barbequing but no ground fires are permitted. Restrooms and water fountains are available on site.

Food and drink

Bring a picnic or snacks if you plan to make a day of it. As noted on the park department website, "Public display of consumption of alcohol is prohibited." Locals maintain that you can bring your favorite adult beverages but alcoholic beverage cans must be concealed inside a "koozie" to conform to the no open display rule.

All glass containers are prohibited inside the park. The park is patrolled by parks department rangers who are commissioned law enforcement officers and locals warn that public intoxication is not tolerated inside the park.

The outdoors

As mentioned the park offers nude hiking on nature trails, swimming and sunbathing. Also as mentioned there is no beach per se at Hippie Hollow Park but there are large flat rocks and other areas suitable for sunbathing. Bringing a blanket or exercise mat to lie on or a lawn chair to sit on is a good idea for comfort. Also, again due to the rocky landscape closed toe footwear is recommended. There are trees and shade available when you've had enough sun.

Hippie Hollow Park includes habitat for species protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act, including the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. As a result, certain areas of the park are off-limits to park visitors.

Affiliations

Hippie Hollow Park, as a government operated park has no official nudist/naturist organization affiliation.

Dues and Fees

Day use permit fee is $15 per vehicle per day. For pedestrians and bicyclists the fee is $5 per person per day. Annual day permits are available at a per vehicle cost of $100 and annual permit holders are required to pay a $2 surcharge on each visit. Fees must be paid with cash or check only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.

Buff stuff

Hippie Hollow Park is clothing-optional so the park is used by both clothed visitors people as well as nude recreation users and is not the same kind of atmosphere as an access-controlled private nudist club or resort. Typically nude visitors to the park represent a wide spectrum with respect to body type, shape, orientation and age.

Generally there are more males than females who use the park for nude recreation, especially on weekdays. The ratio can be more balanced on weekends when more visitors are in the park. Most agree the park is a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys outdoor nudity even those trying out a clothing optional recreation area for the first time. Hippie Hollow is suitable for singles, couples or groups.

That being said, you may encounter some of the same issues that plague just about every public, clothing optional venue such as voyeurs and exhibitionists committing lewd acts. Not every nude person encountered is a philosophical nudist or naturist. You may also observe overt sexual activity since some visitors are unaware of or don't care about nudist etiquette.

Since the park is patrolled by law enforcement rangers, the park is as safe as any area day use park and lewd activity is kept to a minimum. It is important to understand that nudity is allowed at Hippie Hollow but lewdness is not and rangers will take enforcement action for any observed lewd public conduct.

When creepers are encountered in the park, based on popular opinion, the situations are definitely of the nuisance variety. Unaccompanied women are best advised to take down the number supplied by the gate attendant so that if they are made uncomfortable by anyone, feel harassed or witness offensive behavior they can report it and get a ranger to respond. Park visitors can also dial 911 for an emergency response.

Nudists who regularly visit the park observe traditional, non-sexual social nudity etiquette and expect others to do so as well; no gawking, no overt sexual activity, no lewd behavior, no photographs without permission.

Nudity is not permitted in the parking lot area. Wait to undress until you are out of the parking lot and on a trail to the lake shore.

Bare essentials

  • Respect the privacy of other visitors and ask permission before taking photographs
  • Nudity is acceptable, lewd behavior is not
  • Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the park and may not be left in unattended vehicles
  • Public display of consumption of alcohol is prohibited
  • Tobacco products use is prohibited in all Travis County parks
  • Weapons, firearms and fireworks are prohibited
  • No glass containers permitted

Images

Google images of Hippie Hollow Park

Contact information

Contact person: Not provided

Telephone: (512) 854-7275 (Travis County Parks Department)

Website: Travis County Parks; Hippie Hollow.com*

*Informative unofficial site not associated with Travis County Parks - requires free registration to access

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